Mandala Tea

Recent Tasting Notes

drank White Night by Mandala Tea
4889 tasting notes

I won’t even try to do this one justice. I had it a few times over the weekend and my dad kept going back to this one to drink it again and again. So i left some with him when we left. A better review will come later, promise :)

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95

Marco Lewis TTB

Tried this today and it was really good! I rinsed it 3 times and had to through out first 2 infusions because they were too bitter, but after that I got my steeping times just right and drank 4 or 5 infusions. It got sweeter and sweeter as I kept going. Will consider purchasing this! Maybe I’ll for it for Christmas? :P

Flavors: Sweet

Preparation
7 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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80
drank Green Gold by Mandala Tea
215 tasting notes

Had this tea early this morning. I only got two infusions on this but I think it would have been good for quite a few more. Garret writes 3-4 on the pkg. It was light , vegetal, buttery, sweet. I tried to think what type of tea does it remind me of? Mao Jian? Dragonwell? Bi Luo Chun? Mountain Indonesian green? I think the last one: Mountain Indonesian green. It was an enjoyable cup.

Flavors: Butter, Sweet, Vegetal

Preparation
1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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75

This tea is a bit different than I was expecting! I thought that it would have strong notes of butter, but it’s much more vegetal and floral. It’s not a bad tea, but I prefer my oolongs to be a little bit more on the milky, sweet, peachy side of things. I just don’t think that this offers all that much in terms of flavor.

I taste leaves, some flowers, minerals and salt water. I think this would be a nice tea to drink if you’re just starting out with oolongs. It’s simple, fresh and rather light. I don’t think I would buy any more in the future, though.

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72
drank Highest View by Mandala Tea
21 tasting notes

It’s rare that this happens, but this one was kind of disappointing. Not bad tea, by any means; it just didn’t do much for me. I did three steeps in a gaiwan for 30/60/90. There was some green tea sweetness at the outset, but it dropped off pretty quickly and I was left wanting more flavor and longevity. I think it’s got potential though, so I’ll try it next time with more leaves and see how that changes the equation.

Flavors: Caramel

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML

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My second puerh from the sampler. This one I found to be similar to Noble Mark in that I tasted a cedar wood note, but not as prominent, and some unsweetened cocoa notes. Overall, it was pleasant, and I liked the first steep best, even though I think this could be resteeped forever!

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90

Off work today and trying to go through my tea cupboard. It’s a fun job! Then I saw this tea that I had put away from my last Mandala order and haven’t even tried yet!!!!!!! I was planning on doing a sip down on some of my older teas but I just had to try this and couldn’t wait for the afternoon.
This tea has such a wonderful floral aroma. Like a field of flowers. Yes, that could be honeysuckle and orchids. It’s a light oolong not the buttery type but it does have a light sweetness. It don’t pick up floral notes in the taste just the aroma.

By the 3rd steep there is not as much floral aroma but it’s still a delicious cup.

Now I noticed I have a few more ripe pu’er teas AND a green I haven’t tried from Manadala. Glad it’s a long week-end.

Flavors: Floral, Honeysuckle, Orchid

Preparation
0 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 3 OZ / 103 ML

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This was the morning tea with Hubby today. He’s liked all the pu’er tea I’ve been brewing up for him. I wish I could remember more on it but I know it went down easy. Kind of silky on the tongue. I’m not as good as picking up the differences in the ripe pu’er teas compared to the raw. I know I enjoyed this tea but just can’t remember why. lol Holding off a rating until next time.

Preparation
0 min, 30 sec 6 OZ / 177 ML

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This tea was a sample someone added for me. I think was Stephanie, but I could be completely wrong. I really don’t know. Everything to all mixed up.

Anyway, I was having a cruddy day at work and after going through everything I’d grabbed from the L&C box this morning, nothing appealed. This one was sitting on my desk, and sounded perfect.

It was.

Delicious.

I love white peony tea, and this is a beautiful example.

Yum.

Sweet, creamy, delicious.

YUM.

(Yes, I wrote YUM multiple times on my note paper while tasting this.)

Cameron B.

Yum, I just had bai mudan too. :D

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91

This is an excellent tea that is just a step behind the 2014 Wild Monk in quality. It was most enjoyable. I steeped it six times in a 140 ml Yioxing teapot with boiling water and 5g of leaf. I gave it one rinse and steeped it for 10 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 30 sec. 30 sec, and 1 min. There was only a hint of bitterness in some of the early infusions and it was fairly smooth throughout. At one point I noticed a note that I would describe as a plum note. I had hoped for something as good as the Wild Monk but not quite. Still, it was one of the best raw puerhs I have had.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 5 OZ / 140 ML
mrmopar

This one has changed the minds of many a nay sayer.

AllanK

The tea that made me really like sheng was the 2014 Wild Monk.

mrmopar

The Monk is good stuff. I think my turning was Misty Peaks and I have gone from there.

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72

This tea is ok, not great, but decent. It is somewhat floral, somewhat bitter, and somewhat sweet with bitter slightly overriding the other flavors. I only bought an ounce of this as I don’t always like white tea. I brewed this with the recommended amount of leaf, about 6 tsp in an 18 oz teapot for 1 min at 175 degrees.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec 6 tsp 18 OZ / 532 ML
Jamie Groth

Hi Allen – Give that a shot with a much longer infusion, maybe 3-4 minutes to start.

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62
drank Milk Oolong by Mandala Tea
146 tasting notes

Got this in a tea swap with kimquat a couple of months ago.
This doesn’t really make me a fan of Milk Oolong yet. Only tried one before from DavidsTea. Maybe they are just not for me? Too milky haha!
This one is a bit better though than the last.
It’s creamy and milky. Feels heavy and full but still smooth.
Has a faint fruity taste to it though, which throws me off. But I think the fruity flavor makes me kinda like it more. It’s just different…
Milk oolong is just weird-haha!

Flavors: Cream, Fruity, Heavy, Milk, Smooth

Cheri

Milk oolong just isn’t for everyone. Fact of life.

Ost

Haha yeah-don’t think it’s for me. But glad I tried!

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85

Now that I can fully express my love of shous, I decided to brew this one up.

Method: rinse 10-10-10-15-20 and dump. Steep 20-25-30 and drink. 5 g, 4 oz, 200 degrees

I think I finally found a shou method that works for me!!!! SO EXCITED! I am seasoning my TeaVivre pot in this tea, so I decided to drink some also. I’m feeling all relaxed and mellow. Had a nice lunch with friends downtown. I have a pot of shou simmering with my yixing on the stovetop. All my pups are happy and spry today. Life is good!!!!!

This tastes like honey and caramel. I may not even needed quite so many rinses, but I was making some for the seasoning, and it all worked out. So happy!!!!

Preparation
5 g 4 OZ / 118 ML
Whispering Pines Tea Company

Wait, your love of shou’s?! When did this happen?! :D

Sarsonator

Like yesterday, Brenden. Keep up, will ya! :p

MzPriss

Paging Dr. Sheng…

Cheri

I’ve been told it’s okay to love both sheng and shou.

Whispering Pines Tea Company

^This is the truth. ;-)

Whispering Pines Tea Company

But don’t tell sheng that! :D

mrmopar

A mix between the two is easy to do. A little sheng and toss in some shou will make for a happy you. What can I do as it is always true. A sheng a shou it’s all some puuuu….A small Haiku…..for you…

Lariel

I like shou, but mostly by default.

TheTeaFairy

Lol, this thread was very funnney! And yay for shou love and happiness sarsy <3

Sarsonator

My name is Dr. Sheng. Please make a note of it, Fairycakes :p

Me? Love Sheng AND Shou? It just seems so… wrong! LOL

Really, mrmo? Do you mix them for real? I love your poem. :)

AllanK

You name is Dr Sheng? My gastroenterologist name is Dr Shou, but when asked he didn’t know anything about the health benefits of Shou puerh. True story.

Sarsonator

No way, Allan!!!! Shouldn’t a gastroenterologist know all about shou???? Especially one NAMED Dr. Shou?

AllanK

Apparently not. But that is really his name.

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89

Short note.

I love shou. and I think shou loves me.

It gave me a bunch of hugs and kisses this afternoon, yes it did!

I spent good quality time with it, all rolled up in a blanket. It’s been a rainy day here again. This shou was the perfect companion.

This is leathery, I love leather taste in shou.

It’s a little musty, spicy and woodsy.

It’s rich, thick and syrupy…smooth and mineral.

It’s a reliable dude, and I’m glad I purchased a cake.

Here’s some Phatty shou in a blanket for you:

http://instagram.com/p/sDoXFfQh9R/

Sarsonator

Every time I think you can’t get any damn cuter, you manage to get cuter. I don’t know how you do it!!!!

Terri HarpLady

Now I want some shu, but I didn’t bring any to Tony’s, so I’m going with some oolong instead.

TheTeaFairy

Oolong are excellent huggers Terri ;-)

scribbles

TTF…took me long enough, but I get it now. Merci Beaucoup.
…for being you, and being unassuming. Ttrs bien :)

AllanK

I have that cake. Have not tried it yet maybe tomorrow.

pyarkaaloo

looks wonderfully roasty! yummy dark coffee color. and your tasting note is adorable! ;)

what about a shou haiku or onomatopoeia??

MzPriss

I love shou (and I love THIS shou) and I love you too

TheTeaFairy

Scribbles….dunno what to say…thank you :-)

Allan, break that cake open!!

Pyarkaaloo: a shou haiku would be adorable!

Missy, you know I love you too!!

Sarsonator

I am going to try this one, now that I no longer fear the shou!

Lariel

That was my very first Mandala tea.

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88

I like this tea name. My cinnabar dragon (that I picked up in SF Chinatown around that New Year) is sitting next to my Western tea mug.

Tried a short step with Western equipment. Every time I make something like it makes me want a gaiwan even more. (The one I like even has dragons.)

Scent (brewed)- dried fruit, mushrooms
Flavour- baked bread, fruit, sweet

For my attempt at a 30 second step, I think it was more like a minute. Still turned out well. Shorter seems to be better for my future shou brewing.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Dried Fruit, Mushrooms

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 45 sec
TheTeaFairy

Oh! Yay, you got your dragon yea pet :-)

TheTeaFairy

(I meant tea pet)

Lariel

Hehe… I have a ‘yea’ pet.

Cheri

I need to pick out a tea pet.

Terri HarpLady

I don’t have any tea pets, unless you want to count my various yixing pots, they are kind of like pets to me :)

Lariel

Tea dragons can be found in Chinatown. Do you name the yixing pots? (I guess they can be small and cute.)

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100
reviewed Smart Soak by Mandala Tea
106 tasting notes

This stuff is amazing! And it’s simply too much fun to use. At first I was like ’I’m just doing to do one liter on my most tea-stained stuff’, which turned into ‘make 4 liters and clean anything that has the slightest tea or coffee stain on it’. Haha- and I’ve alot of various cups and thermoses and teapots. I even soaked the OUTSIDE of a brushed stainless steel thermos, just to see how it would do (SHINY!) I’m half tempted to make a big bunch of this stuff to see if it’ll get my stainless steel kitchen sink super shiny, but that would be overkill… and a waste of cleaner. Although the tea stains never really bothered me before (except on the inguineTEA), it was just really cool and fun to watch. I think some of this stuff is possibly shinier than when I bought it.

Warning: it does make your hands slippery and slick for awhile after touching, so be careful with handling or you’ll drop it. After the first few I switched to using rubber gloves so I wouldn’t drop anymore things, I didn’t want to risk the ceramic. Also, it does work tons better when HOT.

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85

A sample from my first order from Mandala, during the Great Sale. Prepared gongfu style with a ceramic gaiwan. 5 second rinse. Steeping times were 5, 5, 5, 10, 15,20, 30, 45, 60, 120.

The dry leaf smells of mushrooms and earth, and the wet leaf of mostly freshly baked bread with raisins. Some chocolate, after only the rinse. Throughout the session, the liquor was rusty red, medium-bodied, silky smooth, and a little thick in texture. There were earthy notes at first, but these disappeared later, when I mostly tasted whole wheat bread, somewhat sugary. Not a hint of coffee-like bitterness or astringency. This shu is mild, even gentle, though the after effects were not weak, and I felt my energy strengthen yet calmed.

I forgot I did a session of this not two weeks ago. My notes said mostly said that it was earthy and coffee-like, and that there were mushrooms (taste-wise). Weirdly incredible how my palate changed. I didn’t even drink shu between then and now o_O

Preparation
Boiling 5 g 4 OZ / 118 ML
TheTeaFairy

So true that our palate trains quickly :-)

KiwiDelight

I’m not the only one?? That makes me feel a little less crazy!

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76

Thanks for this one Sil!

It’s my last tea of the night! I feel like I got a pretty good amount of stuff in today. I mean, no sipdowns but at least I tried a new tea and had fun doing unfamiliar things with familiar blends.

As for this one, I steeped it in my glass Octo mug so I could watch it bloom. I have to say, it’s definitely not the prettiest bloom. In fact, mine kinda came apart in the cup. Taste wise, it was somehow better than I anticipated; though I don’t know what I was anticipating other than it was not this. The tea was not the most mind blowing straight black, but it does have one thing really going for it: it’s very malty. And I do love malty blacks.

So again; thanks Sil! I think I’ll enjoy the last two blooms!

Sil

Nice. Glad you enjoyed it :) they’re fun to look at too

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drank Dark Beauty by Mandala Tea
1700 tasting notes

In some respects, I may have been a bit too enthused about working from home, today, due to allergies, because it gave me a chance to finally brew a pot of Dark Beauty, using MzPriss’s recipe!

Surprisingly, it is not as dark as I expected. Hmm, I wonder why…I did all the steep times and amounts to the letter. Perhaps my water was too long off boil, before beginning the Special Dark steep.

But it is tasty! The thickness of the tea is awesome, and if a flavor can be described as “dark,” this would be. Even better that it seems incapable of being oversteeped! I may extend the steep time for my next pot.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec 16 OZ / 473 ML

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84

Just got this yesterday from Mandala. This is a nice little shu! Very, very smooth with lots of earthiness and a thick, thick mouthfeel. Definitely looking forward to enjoying this as the fall arrives (there are good things about summer ending!)

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

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92
drank Four Leaves Ripe by Mandala Tea
78 tasting notes

This tea is smooth with little or no trace of fermentation flavor. It has a natural sweetness. I found the cocoa notes early on and even could detect, but just barely, the spice notes listed. They turned up in the fourth steeping, or at least that’s when i noticed them. I steeped this five times in a 220ml gaiwan with boiling water and just over 6g of leaf. I steeped it for 15 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 30 sec, and 1 min. I did not find a hint of bitterness throughout any of the steepings. This is good puerh. I may go back for a sixth steeping but I have already had too much caffeine today.

Flavors: Cocoa

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 7 OZ / 220 ML

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90

Another sample from my lovely Mandala ripe puerh sampler! It definitely sounds tasty from the description. It looks very similar to the Year of the Dragon sample I had. It’s mostly one big chunk from a cake, and the leaves are a variety of browns with a few metallic golden spots on the chunk. Dry scent is very mildly fishy, with cocoa and a vague sweetness. I followed Mandala’s instructions and did a 15s rinse, then 30/45/s steeps. I found that there was a teensy bit of bitterness, so I decided to do another 45s steep instead of 60s. I may keep going, but they’re all tasting pretty similar so I’m writing the note now. :)

The brewed aroma is somewhat sweet with chocolate and woody notes. This tea is actually somewhat similar to Year of the Dragon. It has that same lovely smooth, creamy texture and similar milk chocolatey flavor. However, this tea veers more toward savory instead of being quite as sweet as the other. The wood flavor is quite similar, but this one does seem to have a bit of a fragrant, slight spicy cedar edge to it. There’s a very mild earthy/mineral quality that seemed to fade as I kept steeping. I can definitely taste the nuttiness mentioned in the description, and to me it tastes specifically like pecans or walnuts – slightly earthy, but quite rich and creamy.

Overall, this is a very tasty tea and I love the woody and nutty qualities it has mixed with the chocolate. However, I still like Year of the Dragon better… ;) I’m a sucker for vanilla!

Flavors: Cedar, Chocolate, Creamy, Earth, Leather, Pecan, Sugarcane, Walnut, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 3 g 4 OZ / 118 ML
Sarsonator

I see you like the shous :)

Cameron B.

This one and Year of the Dragon, yes. :D

Garret

I like sensible shous.

AllanK

The Noble Mark is one of the best.

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2014

From the wonderful Stephanie

rich
earthy
deep
not smoky, but minerally I think
complex
kinda spicy

I was drinking this all day while dealing with a shit ton of work crap that just seems to be getting deeper. I don’t even know anymore. I remember drinking the tea and enjoying it, but I don’t remember a lot. It’s a shame. I know I want this one again.

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76

I didn’t particularly care for this one, though it is not bad. I found it acidic and not very smooth. But it is deep.

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