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Recent Tasting Notes
I got this in my Ripe Pu-erh sampler from Mandala. It has a wonderful complex earthiness, hints of leather, cream and oak. I did a 15 second rinse followed by a 15 second steep, 30 seconds and so on. I liked this sample, but Phatty cake is still my favorite – that may simply be by virtue of being my “first”. I would like to try this again, I started it late in the day and only got 2 steeps. :-(
Flavors: Cream, Earth, Leather, Vanilla, Wood
Nice big golden leaves that fill your mouth up with caramelie goodness. Leaves a slightly but not unpleasant dry mouth feel afterwards. This tea is not woodsy or grassy at all, but is instead more like dark honey, sour cherry, or a smooth liquor. It tastes as if it should be drunk while wearing a silk robe while sitting in a red leather chair with mahogany wood floors. I’ve always imagined it as a suave, luxury tea.
Flavors: Caramel, Cherry
I bought an ounce of this not expecting much because it was a cheaper tea ($4.50 an ounce) but I really enjoy this tea! I am a big fan of Keemun black tea and this is very similar. I believe the Chinese have the best black tea. This one does not disappoint, I trust this source being that it comes from Yunnan. All high quality Yunnan black tea have a honey/sweet potato taste, this one has this plus a very light smokiness.
Flavors: Honey, Sweet Potatoes
I was very impressed with this tea, its a very complicated tea in that it produces many different floral notes using the gaiwan. It was a medium oxidized tea which I found it was a nice balance. Very high Quality and relaxing beverage. I haven’t tried every sing oolong tea but this one is my favorite.
From the unflavored TTB.
I was using this oolong to test out my new gaiwans and wasn’t sure what to expect. The floral is light – jasmine/honeysuckle – but a bit of almost savory and spice element to it with a sweet vibe in the background. I’m more partial to a more floral or heavier oxidized oolong, but I found colored species to be a fun sip.
BTW, the leaves are intact and HUGE. Just like Mandala’s milk oolong. My gaiwan was quickly an explosion of giant leaves.
This tea is good. I am getting sweet flavors (not meaning sugar sweet). I can also taste some of the other notes on the list such as the flowers note and the molasses. There is also an aged flavor to it that wasn’t present in the 2014 Wild Monk. This flavor is slightly earthy in a different sort of way than a ripe puerh. This is not a strong earthy flavor but a mild one. It was strong in steeps one through three. By steep four it is weaker. The tea is more smooth. By the fifth steep, all bitterness is but a faint memory, the earthy flavor has nearly dissipated. By the sixth steep that earthy flavor is all but gone. On the seventh steeping I get notes of butter and cream, no more earthy aged flavor. On the eighth steep I still taste a strong aftertaste, it is good. I am doing longer steeps now. The ninth steep is perhaps the tastiest sheng I have had. I hope the 2014 Wild Monk becomes this good in two more years. On the tenth steep now, just smooth, no bitterness, no earthiness or aged flavor, none at all, not a hint. Steep eleven is like steep ten, smooth and sweet. Even though this is the eleventh steep there is still an aftertaste to this tea. For the twelfth steep I added fresh raspberries and had raspberry cream sheng, very tasty. After twelve steeps I am all shenged out. I have enough of this sample left to do this two more times. Thank you Sarsonator for this sample. It was good. I wish this tea was still available.
I steeped this twelve times in a 140ml Yixing teapot with 200 degree water and 5g leaf. I steeped it for 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, 1 min, 1.5 min, 2 min, 3 min, 4 min, and 5 min. Even in the twelfth steeping the tea did not get much weaker, only better.
Flavors: Butter, Flowers, Molasses, Sweet
Yay! Another puerh to try! Garret included a sample of this tea in my last order. Thank you!!
I’ve been drinking this tea all day…I’ve probably steeped it 20 times by now. Telework days are good for that. I might have to invest in a portable gaiwan set to take to the office with me so that I can enjoy puerh there too, but limiting my sessions to days when I’m at home keeps up the excitement, so maybe not. ;) Plus, not being able to drink puerh at work will force me to drink the other teas in my cupboard! I think pumpkin chai might be on the list for tomorrow. :)
In the first few steeps, there was a strong tobacco note, but that faded into a nice smooth sweetness that goes on and on forever! It’s definitely a fruity sweetness, a stone-fruity sweetness. Yum! It’s got this thickness to it, like nectar. Double yum! So glad to have tried it. Puerh FTW!
mushroom and chocolate what could be better? That’s what I am getting from this tea. Its about to be very very hot out but for this moment hot tea is good and puer seems both hot and cooling to me. This sample from the riper sampler mandala sent out. I sent one to my sister too and so across the country we are sipping together. Once the weather cools I’ll be drinking a lot more of this! The head pains are clearing and now I’m ready for my day! Brewed gongfu style.
Flavors: Chocolate, Mushrooms
This ripe puer starts off pretty burly, with mushroom and wood notes. It then segues toward a little bit of spice and finally settles into a whiff of butteriness with those wood notes and maybe a touch of dried fruit. Thanks to Garret from Mandala for including this with my order.
I have to admit. I got this tea awhile ago and have had it a few times, but never left a review. It was just one of those teas that had so many good reviews. I didn’t really get it ,and so wanted to try steeping it many different ways before doing my review. I originally tried this with short steeps. I remember it was good but didn’t get any chocolate. This morning I did a long steep – 5 min. The first 5 min going to Hubby since he’s enjoying it now too. After having some amazing black teas from WP that have a chocolate flavour, it made me appreciate this tea and how it is different. No , not like the chocolate from the black tea but definitely chocolate notes—dark cocoa more like. This tea has an earthy flavour like other ripe puerhs, but not anywhere near as pronounced. I didn’t get any mushroomy flavour from it either. Very smooth. This is the kind of tea that slowly works it way into being one of your favourite cups. It didn’t knock me over right away when I first had it; but I enjoyed the many times drinking it ,and working through the tastes in my head.
Flavors: Cocoa, Earth
There are a couple tea pages for Temple Stairs, but not specifically for this version, so I added it.
Thank you Garret, for adding this sample to my order!!! I’ve found that I need to drink puerh early in the day or I’m up all night! That last sheng I had really kept me up! Today I have a scratchy sore throat, but I don’t feel sick. I need a good tea to help soothe it! I wasn’t sure I should try a new tea with a sore throat, but I did it anyway!
I like the samples from Garret, as they’re already portioned out, and I don’t have to think about how much leaf I should put in the pot…I just dump the whole sample. I might need to invest in a small scale…any other tricks? I’m trying to remember how the perfectly portioned out samples look in my little pot and then I’ll just copy that amount.
Two 15sec rinses.
30sec: nice earthy, cocoa, a bit leather/cedar notes.
45sec: similar, more leather/cedar…maybe a hint of mint or cinnamon? Something that has that effect.
1min: smooth, very dark, it’s smoothing over my sore throat. It also feels like it is clearing my nose out. Interesting. I just love the color of ripe puerh…that red hue is awesome.
1min15sec: ooh, smells sweeter…I just stuck my nose it it like a dork! Haha! Oops! This tea is having a major calming effect on me…I feel so blissful right now!
1min30sec: that sweet smell is like caramel-sweet, not fruity-sweet. Mmmm!
1min45sec: definitely a light caramel sweetness coming through and the earthy flavors are fading now.
2min30sec: light caramel, hint of cinnamon.
3min, 5min, and 7min steeps: caramel sweetness.
Overall, very enjoyable, and I wouldn’t mind some more of it!
I love how I can just drink any puerh now and enjoy the experience. There was a time, not that long ago, when I dumped cups of puerh! I know, the horror!!! I think Garret, and Angel at Teavivre, can take the credit for that renaissance in my tea journey. :)
I got the water super hot in my kettle, then soaked my white and badly stained teacups for 15-20 min with this awesome powder. Took a sponge, wiped them out, and they look brand new. No lie. Even my boyfriend noticed and he’s not exactly Captain Observant, ifyaknowwhatImean :p
I reused one bowl of solution for all 8 teacups. One cup had to be soaked and wiped twice, but none needed scrubbing. This stuff is amazing. Period.
Garret sent me a few of these mini tuochas with my order.
I’ve been looking at them sitting there for a while, but I was never brave enough to try them, or any of the ripe shou that I got from him in the sampler. Nope. Terrified.
I tried these today.
I am in love.
I did two rinses and then tried the third infusion. I didn’t like that one very much, and I dumped it about half way through.
But after that….
At first, it was black, like a dark roast coffee black. Deep, dark, and so rich. Almost creamy. Earthy.
Then it mellowed out. Still rich and creamy, but not to heavy. Delicious. Amazing.
Oh, and did I mention that I was kinda really tea drunk by this point? I just kept gulping it down as fast as I could.
Tea Drunk. At work.
Fortunately, it went fine and dandy, no problems.
The tea did calm down more through the later infusions. It did get almost sweet, which surprised me. REally nice.
I was sad when the final infusion (I wish I’d counted, but I was distracted with work and drinking tea) of 8 minutes was weak. I knew that was the end of it, and stopped there.
I will be buying more of this. So Yummy!
This is a very tasty shou puerh with a great deal of fermentation flavor left. There were strong chocolate notes in this tea as well as a very earthy flavor. I also picked up on the leather notes in it although I did not notice much of the list. Perhaps I was not paying close enough attention. I think this a tea with a lot of potential. That is why I will put this away and age it for a while before drinking again.
When I brewed this the first steep was over brewed because my brand new teapot was clogged from being seasoned. Also, it pours a little slowly. I adjusted the steeps downward and got better results. The first steep was very, very earthy. By the third steep the flavor improved. By the fifth steep it was markedly better. It should be noted that it never completely lost its fermentation flavor. I guess I have become accustomed to older, better aged shou puerh.
I steeped this 6 times in a 207ml teapot with 7g of leaf and boiling water. i steeped it for 10 sec, 5 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 30 sec, and 1 min. I had to adjust the time after the first steep because the tea was over brewed.
Flavors: Dark Chocolate, Earth, Leather
This was from the $5 Ripe Puer Sampler. MAN this was some good shou! Such a strong, rich flavor. Reminded me of dark chocolate, just not bitter. It brews up pretty dark in color as well. The taste was much sweeter than other ripe puerhs I’ve had. It also had a really interesting savory smell that’s kind of hard to describe. Another review mentioned leather. Maybe that’s it.
I used boiling water in my 4 oz yixing pot and did 3 steepings (rinse, rinse, 5s, 10s, 15s). I soooo wanted to have more, but I didn’t want to go into caffeine overload (which is very easy for me). I’ll be saving this for tomorrow to enjoy again!
Flavors: Dark Chocolate, Earth, Sweet
I’ve recently tried this tea and found it has very mild smooth taste, a little bit milky. This milky taste is not a matter of adding milk onto your tea but it’s so natural that it seems to be the part of the tea. I like drinking it in the morning as it helps me to wake up and get little positive (especially early in the Monday morning ;D) .
Flavors: Flowers, Milk, Wet Earth
I couldn’t wait to try this one with all the amazing reviews and people worried it will be out of stock. Since I’m still new to the puerh world, I only bought a sample of this one, but still, it’s good for 4 whole amazing experiences, right? :)
I also used my new tawny dragon tea set to make this tea. The little pot is awesome! Pours so nice! The cup, and actually the pot, gets really hot to the touch, though. Fortunately the pot has a handle, but I have to let the little cup cool a bit before drinking. Now I know why it would be a good idea to have coasters for your teacups! Just looking at the cup relaxes me though…it’s color and shape has that effect.
There was a big piece of the cake in my sample, which I estimated to be about the right size for a serving, so I just plopped it into my tawny dragon and poured two rinses of 10 seconds each.
My first steeping to drink was 15 seconds. It came out pretty light. Very mild, slightly sweet, hint of tang, hint of smoke/camphor…whatever it is! ;) Creamy. I followed that up with a crapload of steepings, probably around 14 or 15, each 15 seconds longer until I hit 3 minute steeps and then stayed there. I did one last hurrah steep for 5 minutes too. I think I actually got tea drunk! The liquor was absolutely beautiful throughout…a pretty copper color. As I steeped, the taste became more astringent and then less so, turning into a very smooth stone-fruit tea. The astringency was kind of a lot at the beginning, which made me want to keep going to coax out the fruity note. It worked, but it took a lot of steepings. My favorites steepings were toward the end of my session. I’m thinking either I used too much leaf, or the water was too hot, or maybe it’s just me? Any recommendations for the best way to brew this one? I’d like to be able to coax out that fruity note sooner, if possible. Fortunately I have more leaf to enjoy!
Oh, and that tawny dragon pot has now become my new best friend…I might just start gong fu-ing everything now! Ha!
I liked my sample of this less than the Phatty Cake II, I think given a few years with proper storage it might develop more flavors/improve. That’s not to say this is a bad tea, It just wasn’t as strong or complex as I hoped. I got 3-4 infusions from it. It has a nice woodsey flavor, fig, leather, slight astringent – but not off putting. I’m more familiar with wine tasting terms than tea – but this tasted “young”. very drinkable, but I’d love to be able to store this and age it..but I don’t have a good set up for that.
I did a 15 second rinse, rested the leaves for 10-15 seconds, infused 15, 30 and 45 seconds. last steep was much longer- trying to wring every last essence from the tea leaves! :-)
Flavors: Earth, Fig, Leather
This was my very first Pur-eh and I was in love at first sip. Complex notes ranging from earthy to a hint of vanilla, maybe a slight molasses flavor. the depth of flavors and complexity was amazing. I got 4-5 steeps from my sample packet before there wasn’t much flavor left. This I am planning to buy soon. :-) I did a 15 second rinse, let the tea rest for about 5-10 min, then did 15, 30, 45 second infusions. the last steep was quite long since it was loosing flavor, but still tasty.
Flavors: Caramel, Earth, Leather, Molasses, Oak wood, Vanilla
Receive a sample along with my last order from Mandala Tea, and finally had a quiet, rainy afternoon to enjoy multiple steeps of this wonderful oolong. Loaded up my guiwan, gave a quick rinse and then enjoyed watching the unfurling and expanding leaves do their dance. Wonderful aroma, subtle and slightly floral. Nice progression of flavors through several steeps, becoming sweeter and more creamy with time. A really nice Alishan Oolong.
Flavors: Creamy, Floral, Herbaceous
Hm…this one is interesting. Not sure how I feel about it. Not a favorite, but it’s interesting.
Cocoa, chocolate, and earth are the main things I’m tasting.
I just have no idea how to feel about this one. xD Feeling a little stumped from it…but it’s interesting. Glad I got to try it. Maybe I’ll figure out what I think when I re-steep it.
Thanks for the sample, Sarsonator! :D
Flavors: Chocolate, Cocoa, Earth