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Mandala Tea

Popular Teaware from Mandala Tea

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Recent Tasting Notes

98

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

Preparation
1 tsp 5 OZ / 147 ML

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69

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.

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drank Black Beauty by Mandala Tea
2485 tasting notes

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! :)

MzPriss

I had it for breakfast myself – sitting out on my porch swing with my dogs. I really, really love this tea.

Terri HarpLady

That sounds like my kind of breakfast setting! :)

MzPriss

It was perfect – the mornings are getting warming but not hot yet and my porch swing is my happy place and it was just dawn. That tea made it PERFECT

MzPriss

warmER* (bless my heart)

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92

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

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 1 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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88

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.

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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.

Stephanie

Yum! Want!

TeaExplorer

Added to my list!

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85
drank Morning Sun by Mandala Tea
426 tasting notes

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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zfxZRBm3EY

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.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
gmathis

Can’t decide what I like better in this review: the cute little coils or Barry White!

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drank Pure Buds Black by Mandala Tea
426 tasting notes

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! :)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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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.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Jennkay

Sounds delicious! Adding it to my wishlist :)

Nicole

If you like yunnans, and I think I recall several being on your reviews, this is definitely one to get ahold of. :)

QueenOfTarts

Mmm.. yum! Have to try this one!

Kat_Maria

Ah, this goes on my wishlist! Nicole, you are my Chinese black teas mentor :D

Garret

Yahooo!!! Freaky fast shipping… gots to be our new slogan at Mandala Tea!

Nicole

Awww…ya gonna make me blush! Kat_Maria, you could do so much better for a mentor. I am pretty much in deep smit with most yunnans and fujian blacks. So I’m not too discriminating. I want them all in my cupboard forever! :) That said, I’d be happy to share with you if I have some you want to try.

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90
drank Pure Buds Black by Mandala Tea
4041 tasting notes

must. get. more. Thanks again for sending this my way dexter. It’s on my list for the next mandala order i place :) this really is a great cup of tea. perfect for the miserable day that’s happening outside of my window. I love happy tea days!

Garret

you. can. get. more. :) Just got another shipment in yesterday! I’m really happy you dig this it’s one of my fave hong cha’s for sure.

Sil

it’s wonderful!

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88

This is a great tea, has a cinnamon bite to it but in my opinion a great lunch time tea.

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95

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.

Sil

YAY! i’m so glad you enjoyed it my dearest teafairy

TheTeaFairy

I liked most of the teas you sent me my dear Sil :-)

Sil

oh man.. that’s a hard act to follow lol

TheTeaFairy

Lol, no pressure…I had a few misses with the flavoured ones, but really, I pretty much liked all the straight teas :-) we’ll have to do this again, but I must bring that humongous stash of mine down first!!!!

TeaExplorer

I’ve thought many things of my teas, but never gender. I find that concept fascinating and will have to reflect on that. Thanks :)

TheTeaFairy

Haha! TeaExplorer, maybe this just works for my crazy mind, but yes try it, you might be surprised :-)

ifjuly

i totally agree with this whole note! it is a very masculine tea. makes me think of a classic old man type library with leather upholstered furniture and musty old books and a window opening out to a wet forest. this was the first pu erh that ever blew me away and i think it’s still my favorite (granted, i’m still a pu erh newb though so take my excitement with a grain of salt maybe, ha).

ifjuly

TeaExplorer, when i had this one the first time it made me want to do a tea party where “gender” was a theme…floral things like victoria-type earls, the french perfumed blends, but also these leathery pu erhs and smoky chinese teas.

Dexter3657

How is it possible that I haven’t tried this one?
So happy that you enjoyed it!!!
When Grace first introduced me to Mandala (THANK YOU GRACE!!) she referred to Noble Mark as a gentlemanly pu’erh – interesting that ifjuly thinks this one is an old man type. Love you guys and your interesting comments. :))

Sil

This is what makes patty cake if I remember right. I’ll put some in your box dexter

Garret

Loved this review so much that I am brewing this one up in the shop today for sampling, gosh darnit! Grinning from ear to ear with your postings!

Sil… yes, the Phatty Cake is made with this exact same material. Phatty Cake II is this same material with the addition of some slightly larger leaves to switch is up a bit. They were steamed and pressed 2.5 yrs apart or so.

Wishing everyone a very joyful day!

TheTeaFairy

Ifjuly: love your description!! I’ve been reviewing with “gender” in mind for a long time, glad to know there’s other people in my “tea gender club”! And a tea “gender” party sounds awesome, what a great idea :-)

Thank you Dexter, we love you too!!!!

Garrett, thank you and a joyful day to you also :-)

ifjuly

it has a minty quality to it, subtle but cooling and clean, as a heads up Dex. at least i think so. i love it—it’s what sets it apart and to me takes it over the top—but i know you have an uneasy relationship with mint, so i thought i’d mention it. i don’t know yet if phatty cake retains it (i mean i suppose it should, but it’s funny how things work sometimes), haven’t broken into mine yet…

tea gender club! hee. it is nice to know i’m not weird. or, if i am, i’m not the only one. ;)

TheTeaFairy

Yes, I had only a sample of Phatty (from Dexter actually), and I checked my note, it does seem to retain it as I wrote «a minty fresh finish». Lots of good quality pu’erh have that finish I find, but it’s more a fresh feeling in the mouth than an actual mint taste most of the time for me, so maybe Dex could tolerate it? So thoughtful of you to mention it…

I think we should all fully embrace our weirdness together :-) :-)

Dexter3657

http://steepster.com/Dexter3657/posts/198968#comments
That’s what I wrote about Phatty cake… I didn’t think mint at the time.
I think WE are perfectly normal – it’s the rest of the world that whacked…. :))

TheTeaFairy

Lol, Yes Dex, it’s us against the world…and I bet we are having more fun than they do!!!

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95

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95

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.

Preparation
1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Garret

This stuff goes and goes and goes!! Don’t be afraid to start with 3 to 8 minute steeps, either. It works very well as a tea glass/tea thermos style drinker as well! So very happy that you are liking this one!

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90
drank Pure Buds Black by Mandala Tea
4041 tasting notes

nom nom nom nom nom another one from dexter who is one of those awesome swapping tea friends. I hadn’t yet tried this from mandala so she sent me some to nom on. it’s deeeelicious! and also one of those teas that i just want to say YAYAYAYAYAYAY about. lol

scribbles

This is an awesome tea! My fingers are twitching to place an order for this.

Nicole

The list of wants from Mandala keeps growing. As soon as everything I want is in stock, my bank account is in trouble.

Dexter3657

Awesome glad you liked it. :))

Garret

Whenever I break open the crate of this tea to bag up for an order, I get excited. The smell of the dry leaf recreates in my mind all of the best things about my wood shop class in 8th grade. The sweet aroma that certain woods gave out when cut or planed makes me so very happy and this tea has the very best of those aromas in the dry leaf. I’m really happy that are enjoying it.

Garret

Hey Nicole! What have you been waiting for as far as out-of-stocks at our shop? Maybe I can help you with some ETA’s.

Sil

yum!

Nicole

Garret, I was trying to remember – maybe it was the Morning Sun or the Flowering Black Tea Cones? I tried getting to the site to check my wishlist and I can’t get it to come up today.

Nicole

Apparently I just hadn’t checked recently enough. Everything was in stock. And the bank account sighs… :)

Garret

Nicole! New teas are on the way to you, my friend. Wish I could deliver them myself and then sit down for a nice tea session :) Enjoy each of them. Thank you!

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drank Milk Oolong by Mandala Tea
579 tasting notes

Yep this amazing. Not too floral for me. Fantastic. That’s all I have to say…

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83
drank GABA Black by Mandala Tea
293 tasting notes

A very roasty black tea. Got honey notes as well.
Smooth.
Loved it. Thanks Dexter3657 for sharing

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 45 sec
ifjuly

ooh, i’ve been curious about this one. didn’t realize it was one of the roasty ones, yum.

Ysaurella

it is really nice and absolutely roasty.

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drank Special Dark by Mandala Tea
607 tasting notes

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.

Cheri

I hope you start feeling better soon! I’ve been in a similar boat where I can’t taste some of my teas. Certain flavors were just GONE. BLERGH.

boychik

Puerh is for everything. for better sleep and for those days, for stomach aches. this is my remedy! hopefully you will feel better soon. Today is official spring break. Kids are home till apr22:)

ifjuly

oh, that’s the worst Cheri! i’ve had a couple of those moments. i find taking a break from tea for a while and going back to it helps…or trying tea types i’d never had before. sometimes you just kinda get burned out.

do you have any fun activities planned for your kids, boychik? yay spring break! and i agree, pu erh is surprisingly therapeutic.

boychik

We should go to Poconos to turn the heat off. then I planned to come back. its so much to do in a city, why go anywhere? plus my older one have to finally take off her braces on 17th. she cant wait nomore.

Dexter3657

Crawfish festival? I am SOOOOOOoooo jealous!!! Hope the hot sauce helps to clear you sinuses. Have fun and I hope that you feel better.

ifjuly

so charmed to learn you’re a fellow crawfish fan, Dexter3657! yes, it’s lovely…it’s usually the first solid gorgeous spring day of the year (has been the last 3 or 4 years at least), and it’s down the street from my apartment (one of those events where they block off the roads and people who live on this street offer visitors parking space in their driveway for a fee!), and i walk down in shorts and sit in the sun eating crawfish and drinking fizzy lemony beer. i love it. simple pleasures. thank you for the well wishes, by the way. yes, spices—we had a thai curry for dinner last night which helped clear things up a bit, ha.

that sounds like a big event for your daughter, boychik! i never had braces but i can imagine i’d be counting the days if i were her, ha. and you’re so right about NY—super jealous you live there. (:

DeliriumsFrogs

Fizzy lemony beer and a short walk (down your street!) to a crawfish festival!? Oh dear, that is heaven!!
And I love your perfume knowledge… scents are magical (which we all know, since we love tea so much…), and perfume has always seemed so mystical to me. Why does it have to give me headaches!? (do you think that’s just cheap perfume?).

ifjuly

i think it’s a really common issue, DF! it’s why i don’t wear perfume out much, because i know lots and lots of people who are sensitive to it, like allergic. perhaps all-synthetic cheaper stuff is the worst, i’m not sure, but i know it’s hard to find a perfume these days that lacks something synthetic, even the pricey ones.

i’m actually not knowledgeable at all about perfume—my friend Kate in california is way more of an expert—but it’s a fun hobby once in a while! i like little private sense-memory treats, which is probably why i like tea so much too. (:

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83

Milk Oolong has an almost buttery type flavor to it, cream if you will. If you are into a buttery cream type tea, then this is for you. I enjoyed it, but be forewarned if you do not appreciate a buttery taste, as it will and can overwhelm you if you place too much tea leaf in.

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95

This wild monk has an interesting smoky flavor that may be too intense for the average tea drinker. Although some may say it is an acquired taste, I would definately give this one a try if your taste buds appreicate a smoky rendition.

Preparation
2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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81
drank Special Dark by Mandala Tea
20 tasting notes

No notes yet. Add one?

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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100
drank Milk Oolong by Mandala Tea
2 tasting notes

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

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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91

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.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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90

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).

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 3 OZ / 88 ML
Garret

So happy that you are enjoying this one. Just got the first shipment of the Wild Monk 2014 cakes, too. The one you are drinking is the spring 2012 picking. I was able to get the autumn-picked 2013 mao cha from the same farm and pressed 500 cakes of it. Delicious now and will only improve with further aging in the storage vault. Thanks for writing up your thoughts. I’m just wild about raw pu’er. We’ve got some great teas in the works.

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