417 Tasting Notes


1TBS 150ml gaiwan 212F
rinse 5/5/10/10/15/20 to be cont
Another delicious offering from Mandala . I have Phatty Cake but didnt have it for a while so I need to refresh my memory.
This is what i like about shou -strong clean taste, smell of leather and prunes. Rich and thick.

Flavors: Leather, Stonefruits

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

All of your tasting notes are making me want to place an order right now with Mandala! Need to practice restraint.


Stay strong:) I’m not


leather and prunes, yes! this is possibly my favorite pu erh ever. yum.

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Last night brew.
I really like Queen Catherine and I decided to mix it with Rose Scented( too strong for my taste). 2:1 3min 205F produced delicious chocolatey rosey cup of tea. Very soothing and comforting. 2nd steep was quite good, mellow but good. I’m going to have this way from time to time for variety.

Flavors: Cocoa, Flowers, Malt

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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This is a free sample with my recent order. Thank you Garret!
This time i decided to brew western style.
1tsp 8oz 205F 2 min
This tea is exceptional. Sweet, full of flavor. i didnt detect much earthiness. I had it plain but it tasted like i added some maple syrup. You dont need to sweeten this tea for sure. At the end of the sip its kind of spicy cool mint.
I still have some left to make it gong fu style (my beloved method). I may change my rating, I still believe western style doesn’t do a justice to this tea

Flavors: Malt, Sweet Potatoes

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Why did I not order some of this? Me thinks there is another Mandala order in my near future.


And i secretly hoping for another Mandala sale…
You know I’m going to a NYC tea festival tomorrow and my hubby suggested I should pack all my teas and sell or give them out. What a fool. They are like my babies;)


NYC tea festival – I am so jealous. I don’t think anyone else here drinks tea. Definitely nothing as fun as a tea festival. Have fun and don’t let your hubby get a hold of your “babies”. I can relate, I’m attached to some of my teas too. :))


Thank you. I’ll take pics if they allow and post them here

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drank Black Beauty by Mandala Tea
417 tasting notes

i’m so glad I picked this tea with my recent order. I didnt have a sample but had a feeling I’m going to like it. I love this tea. Dark chocolate, dried stone fruits, rye bread w/caraway and coriander seeds. its naturally sweet with some slight sour notes. Long sweet aftertaste.
Dry leaves are long and twisty and its hard to measure by spoon( I need to get scale). As usual short steeped.
a little more than 1 TBS 150ml 208F
rinse 5/5/10/15/20/25
later steeps introduce some smoke notes

Flavors: Baked Bread, Chocolate, Stonefruits

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 5 OZ / 150 ML

I knew it! I was sure you were going to enjoy this one. I was thinking of you this morning as we brewed some of this up in the tea shop. Your review of it is really nice. Thank you. It made me smile and also confirmed alot of what I think is going on in this tea. Yahooooo!!!!!


Thank you for finding such gems for us


Good stuff!


wow!!! all these notes are things i love & i am so surprised they are all found here in one tea. thanks for your review, u always find such classy, complex teas..

also i think there is something to be said for short steeps…am planning to get a gaiwan very soon :)


thank you pyarkaaloo, but its all Mandala Tea fault. every their tea I tried is so unique, its hard to resist.
for gaiwan I recommend something like this:
Good seller, great quality,I got it in 10 days from China.

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Free sample with the purchase. Thank you Verdant Tea.
i used the whole packet, 200ml glass teapot, 212F
rinse 5/10/10/15/15 etc
1st steep produced clear light orange color brew. with later steeps the color intensified. Wet leaves smelled like slightly burned toast( I’m weird, I always smell wet leaves)
its a very complex tea. its toasty, smoky and sweet. As it cooled it became more chocolate sweet with some slight peppery notes. I’m glad I didn’t add any maple syrup to it, I wouldn’t noticed how sweet it is. It constantly changes with every steep. I really enjoyed it

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 OZ / 200 ML

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4 pearls in a 200ml glass pot
I like short steeps when I’m drinking any Chinese tea. I tried longer steeps like 1min, but it doesn’t work for me. It becomes too bold, sometimes bitter, welcomes some unwanted flavors ( I don’t really like mineral taste). With short steeps I can notice some subtle changes, how flavors and smell progressed.
This tea is no exception to my rule. I tried longer steeps but didnt like it much.
rinse 10/15/20/30 to be cont
Starts kind of earthy but later on i got dark chocolate. Wet leaves smell of pure chocolate. Delicious. Some sugar or agave syrup would transform it into sort of dessert tea.

Flavors: Chocolate, Earth

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 OZ / 200 ML

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drank Yunnan Beauty by Mandala Tea
417 tasting notes

Mandala tea, what are you doing to me? i just placed an order yesterday. Couple hours later i got a swap package from TranquiliTea81 with this tea.
1 tsp 4oz gaiwan 195F
rinse 5/5/10/10/15/20 then i just lost count of time and steeps.
1st steep fresh peach. Smells like peach, taste like peach. Delicate and sweet. its kind like Oriental Beauty but still different.
2nd steep peach and white grape and some nutty flavor.
In later steeps peach fades, not completely, but grape becomes stronger. Muscatel flavors become dominant.
this is such unique oolong. what a transformation: from Oriental Beauty to Darjeeling, not 1st flush grassy and not 2nd flush bold stone fruits. Something in between (I’m not an expert in Darjeeling tea, i wonder if there is a crop between 1st flush and 2nd).
This tea is like champagne. Fine, delicate and strong in the same time. with later steeps it becomes sweeter. i haven’t noticed any earthiness though, I was expecting it because its Yunnan.
I’m madly in love with this tea. I’m thankful being part of Steepster community. I would never discover such fine tea I’m drinking on my own. Thank you TranquiliTea81 for this awesome swap.
PS I need to place another order

Flavors: Grapes, Honey, Hops, Nuts, Peach

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

It sounds amazing!


I wonder… have you tried the Black Beauty and/or the GABA black tea? Just a hunch, but I think you’d appreciate them given what you enjoy about this tea. Thanks for taking the time to write up your thoughts on it, my friend. Made me go back into the tea storage vault and grab some to brew for myself!!


Awaiting for my Black Beauty, should be delivered today. Can’t wait anymore;)


I agree with ashmanra: this tea sounds amazing!

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Thank you ifjuly for this sample.
Smells heavenly. I’m a big fan of ATR Brioche and they smell similar. While I was reading previous reviews I noticed JustJames recipe. I made it in the perfect mug 12 oz and split it in 2 cups. 1 cup I added 1tsp agave syrup, 2nd nothing. I didn’t have salted macadamia nuts on hand, but had white cheddar popped corn chips( not to salty, not strong flavor just right)
I wasn’t impressed with either of the cup. The smell doesn’t match to the taste. As it cooled sweetened cup reminded me of sugar cookie but no almond taste. I prefer w/ agave syrup cooled. Brioche still my favorite.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

it’s not their best. true. i will weep when i am out of the strawberry cupcake though….. the rest? not so much.


So far I only tried this one and Hazelnut. i really liked Hazelnut, i think they captured true taste and smell of it. I dont have Strawberry cupcake though :(


I had Hazelnut some weeks ago, forgot to log it. As far as I remember it reminded me Ferrero Rocher. btw I’m glad to see you back.

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7g 150ml gaiwan
rinse 5/5/10/10/15/15/20 to be cont
Actually i had it last night. only after 3rd steep leaves started to open up and it became incredibly dark burgundy. Smooth, clean taste of dried fruits. it has like walnut aftertaste( not bitter but something hard to explain). After drinking i felt some warmth in my throat. i’m going to continue tonight. it sets me in a great mood,very calm, and i slept like a baby(good baby who is not teething yet, no ear aches, just blissful)

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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Brooklyn, NY



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