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Recent Tasting Notes
If you love DragonWell teas you must try this. It has the characteristic chestnut type taste that comes from the pan frying of this tea, however, it has a slight sweetness to this tea like butter. I find this better than almost all Dragonwell’s sold in the states. Highly recommend this tea!
Flavors: Butter, Chestnut, Honey
This is a very light tea. For all of you that like White Peony tea the taste is very similar. As for buying the tea I would say Mandala offers much better options. This tea is not bad its very high quality but for most people it will be too light. If your favorite teas that you like are white peony’s than I would recommend, otherwise there are better teas.
I really do love this tea! First off, just looking at the leaf is mood enhancing, as it is a beautiful reddish black, with some orangish tips here & there. The warmed aroma is heavenly. The tea itself is so mouth filling & satisfying, with a long linger.
Today I went with 4 minutes, with a 6 minute resteep. Usually I go with 3 min with a 5 minute resteep, which I like better. Next time I need to try 1, 2 & 4 minute steeps, which is actually what Garret recommends. I’ll need to get more of this…again! :)
This is really a gorgeous tea. Even with my ridiculously hard city tap water, and with leaves that are easily a year old, it’s still giving me a beautiful cup. First infusion was smooth, nutty-sweet, and extremely slurp-able. Second and third infusions were more grassy and fruity, but still very nice. Fourth didn’t fare so well (it was a bit like swimming pool water with lemon – sorry!) but I couldn’t care less because of the amazingness of the first two. Definitely restocking this one when it’s finished!
Flavors: Grass, Nuts
this was my first tea of the day. I knew today was going to be a bad day so i wanted to get it started right. I managed to get in a few steepings of this while getting ready for work and it was enjoyable enough that i may be doing it more in future. I really like this one a bunch. just the hint of the smokiness if super tasty to me.
Final tea of the day, I reached in the sheng box, & this one came out!
The initial aroma of the warmed leaf was sweet & a little fruity. It brought nectarines to mind for me, although I can’t say that it actually smelled like nectarines.
I didn’t actually document my steepings on this, but I started with 4G, rinsed, & kept it short for awhile. The primary taste I’m getting is Grape peels, with a little bitterness, but as I said before, my allergies are horrendous right now, so I can’t really tell you if it is bitter or not, & my guess is that it is not. But it does have a bright grape/citrus edge to it. Otherwise, it’s smooth & a little sweet, kind of spring like, if that makes sense.
I’m several steeps in now, & picking up on a floral quality that reminds me of Lavender, kind of. And also apricot – kind of tangy!
This is from a sample that our awesome friend Garret sent to me awhile back. I have just enough for one more session, so I’m putting it in the official sipdown cannister, where I’m collecting teas for my upcoming Sipdown Extravaganza!.
Add on: The energy of this tea is very ‘open’, as in opening of the chakras & such. I can feel my energy field clearing, something I really need today. Gratitude. Breathing deep.
Day 2: Revisiting this yixing somemore today, after a quick rinse. It’s light & fruity & I love it.
This is simply one of the most gorgeous dry leaf teas I have seen. Tight little curls of gold and brown and black. This tea steps right up and says “Hey, baby, how about a smooth breakfast?” I seriously heard Barry White in my head when I smelled this, even though the fog of allergies. This is sweet, deep, bright and fruity. The leaves unwind amazingly. This is malty but not overwhelmingly so and not as much as some others I’ve had recently. It doesn’t specify on the website, but I’m guessing this is a yunnan or relation thereof. The second steep was more minerally and had a taste of brown sugar and dusty hay.
I did use filtered water at work for this. Next up, I try it at home. :) And it will probably say 1 teaspoon of tea used but I use 1 1/2 when I’m using my work mug and this system doesn’t accept .5 as a valid entry. :)
Allergies = no rating for now.
Update: Still indubitably delish with tap water. Maybe a bit more on the dusty hay side of things in the first steep this time, though.
Another winner! Malty, sweetish but also with a bit of sour, cocoa-y, somewhat savory. Not as deeply bready as Golden Strand or Morning Sun but still a baked kind of taste. Beautiful, beautiful leaves.
Again, I went with the longer single steep. Will resteep in a bit to see how it fares. Right now I’m wishing I’d done a 16 ounce cup instead of just 8!
And again, no rating at this point. Need to give this a shot after allergies have subsided to make sure I’m doing it justice. Also I want to try it with filtered water at work. Using my tap water at home doesn’t provide a very good review for someone else since it’s not like they can use my water! :)
This is just gorgeous. The leaves almost look waxy in the package. Man, it smells awesome and tastes even better!
Malty, caramely, sweet, smooth, bready perfection. I lurve teas like this. I went with the single prolonged steep and it is a deep reddish brown in color, hefty and luscious. I will definitely be resteeping to see how that turns out but I could see myself zooming through this package and wanting, nay, needing, more very soon.
I am tempted to rate this but since my allergies are going crazy I am going to hold off.
Oh, and let me just say – this was freaky fast shipping. I’d be tempted to say they were an offshoot of Jimmy Johns. :)
Update: Second steep is good, but not as good as the first. Probably my choice of lengthy steeping time impacted the taste of the second steep. It’s a tiny bit bitter and not as smooth. Also a little dustier.
What a beautiful tea this is tonight…gives me the clarity I need on certain decision making. Tea does that for me.
They say “sleep on it” when uncertainty hits you. Well, I’m not much of a sleeper, I’d rather have tea and reach for a nice cha qi moment, that warming feeling that makes everything seem brighter and gifts you with its silent lucidity.
I’m loving this tea. It’s robust, not for the faint of heart. It’s the solid type you can rely on, it welcomes you and embraces you when you feel weak, a hugger. A deep black sea once brewed, I just stare at it with gratitude.
I know I’m weird, but often, tea has a “gender” for me. Leathery, and earthy, very manly, this on is the “Stetson and Chaps” kind of guy. Masculine and yet, it works its magic on the girly girl that I am…
Thanks Sil for this last sample, simply wonderful…and thanks Mandala for providing such a tea.
WOW! Very unique aroma and equally unique taste—this one is an instant favorite and a MUST try. Not to mention it can be infused more times that I could count! Steeped in a glass tea pot at the recommended 1tsp per 8oz at 1 minute, adding 15 seconds per infusion, with an initial 10 second rinse.
Still super boring thanks to lack of a working nose. Got all these amazing teas to enjoy from Butiki and Shang and Mandala and Harney but grrrr.
Been drinking this every day ‘cause I finally restocked it (yay) so I don’t feel terrible using a cup’s worth of leaves each day (resteep champion!) on this stuffed up, phlegmy, voiceless bag o’ guts. This Friday marks the beginning of what traditionally has been the ushering of For Real Now, No Foolin’, No Turning Back Spring here—the crawfish festival and art walk. Still can’t taste much, still feel blegh. Stupid weeklong cold! But I am looking forward to when I feel better, any moment now, so I can dive into the warm weather, new tea, perfume, and recently mildly redecorated house. So there.
And I’m so grateful for this tea. I can still smell the leather and chocolate and roasty notes, delicious. I’m not sure I’d ever have thought to use pu erh as a sickness tea, but it works rather well.
I AM IN LOVE!!! I have had heard so much about this tea and every time I wanted to order some it was out of stock… The moment it was in stock I jumped and bought some. No regret here!
About 5 sec rinse with 195 purified water. As per instructions by Mandala Tea the infusion times. Decided to add more tea to water. So dangerous! LOL!
The aroma was so strange to me, butter. Do not really expect butter as an aroma for leaves? However, they are delicious wet leaves and the aroma becomes more green after about two steepings. The leaves unfold so beautifully and fill the small 120ml gaiwan! The color of the liquor is at first yellowish green and I love looking at the leaves! Sorry, so pretty! Buttery and creamy, no bitterness. The flavor evolves so much and you can get quite a few steepings from this tea and its just buttery smooth and pleasant! I became so happy sipping on this tea through out the day while working. Eased my mind but didn’t put me to sleep. Just so pleasant. Gets a little fruity, like honey passionfruit later, so amazing! Coconut and just creamy! So sad when it was over… I will be buying more when I get paid!!! Thank you Garret!! Favorite tea shop so far!! Love the samples too!!
Flavors: Butter, Coconut, Cream, Flowers, Honey, Stewed Fruits
Black Beauty and this Mao Cha are quietly emerging as two of the teas I find myself instinctively reaching for. The Mao Cha reminds me of the smell of a freshly mowed field on a hot summer day—sweet and pungent with a lemony tang. Like a green Ceylon mixed with a newish raw pu-erh.
Wow! My first experience with raw Pu’er and I must say it was delightful. While I don’t yet feel experienced or developed enough to offer all the interesting tasting notes and intricate details provided by most others around here, I will say it was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced and I can’t wait to enjoy it again! This time I went with 195° water, about 1tsp, brewed in a Gaiwan, 15 seconds per infusion, adding 30 seconds per in the later infusions (thanks to Oolong Owl for the steeping instructions).