Thank you to Claire for this sample of Mandala Black Pearl Tea!
I used to get my Black Pearl Tea from China until I found a similar tea with the same taste at my local tea shop (with no shipping cost).
Today, I was going to a shop in Old Town to refill my bottle of vanilla-orange vinegar (I use the vinegar when baking cranberry bread and in Swedish pancake batter along with cardamom), I thought I’d walk around the corner through the melting snow from Sunday’s storm… to my tea shop.
I’d ask Preston to do a side-by-side comparison between their Black Pearl Tea and the Mandala sample.
Preston was glad to accommodate my request because the shop wasn’t busy at the time.
He warmed 2 Gaiwans, 2 small porcelain teapots and several small tasting cups.
First we tasted the Mandala Tea…which was surprisingly smoky.
I was expecting a cocoa sweet, malty tea…but instead the tea was very much like a lightly smoked tea, very smooth and so thick that it coated the inside of my whole mouth.
Next, we tasted the Tea House Black Pearls, which were sweet and cocoa-malty.
This was the type of Black Pearl I’ve tasted from several vendors…all very good.
I had expected a similar flavor from the Mandala Pearls…but they didn’t taste the same.
The flavor comparison of the two were so dissimilar, that they seemed like different tea’s. One smoky-buttery and the other cocoa-malty.
Mandala’s Black Pearls would be enjoyed by people love the tease of subtle smokiness…a thick, rich buttery coating in the mouth and an ultra- smooth finish.
I wonder if brewing by another method might not be as successful as using a Gaiwan. I’ll have to see.
NOTE…For those who use lots of Black Pearls when they brew, I wouldn’t do that with these Pearls. We used 3 in a Gaiwan and that was enough! They unfurl rapidly.
For me, the flavor was refined and very enjoyable.