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Recent Tasting Notes
seems weird that i have no tasting notes on this one…i’m sure i’ve had it before. I’ve been drinking this all morning as part of my goal to try and work on drinking some of my smaller/older samples of puerhs. This one is delicious as i recall…. initial steeps being slightly earthy but more leathery than anything…bold…deep flvours. Later steeps are more subdued..almost buttery and molasses like… overall delicious!
Mandala order arrived today!!! Yay!!!
So, I ordered this on a whim before “moonlight” teas really registered into my brain, so that worked out well. This doesn’t actually SAY moonlight, but it sure does look like one of them. The leaves are just BEAUTIFUL, and some are white/silver on one side and black on another. This also doesn’t say anything about aged. The couple that I’ve tried have been listed as pu’erh and have some age on them. So is this one or not?!? Dunno but I’m happy to be drinking it right now.
I’m not one to obey the “rules” when it comes to steep parameters but I did read the package and the recommended temp was 160-175F – that seems low to me, but what do I know….
So I used what looked like quite a bit of leaf (shrug) with 75C water for about 1 minute. Sweet, a little hay, a little mouth dry, but really nice and interesting. Where are the fruit notes that I’m looking for? Need to play with steep temp.
Second steep – 85C for two minutes – Honey, less hay, no astringent, a little juicy but no specific fruit.
Third steep – 90C 3 minutes – The hay is back, the honey is still there, and something tangy (sheng like) strange but I like it.
Fourth steep – 90C 4 minutes – totally changed – Honey and a little malty? Weird – I can’t even tell you what this is like….
I don’t really like white tea – I usually find it either grassy or it tastes like nothing. This is one I can get behind. It’s interesting, flavorful, but I think I need to play with the steep times and temp. I really happy with this one, but I don’t think it’s my MOONLIGHT tea.
Thanks scribbles for the lovely sample!
This is such a pretty tea. And pretty freaking delicious. The happy orange liquor is thick, and looks like clear liquid sweet potatoes. I taste roasted sweet potatoes, a hot slice of fresh baked bread, as well as perhaps a light dusting of cocoa. This tea is some serious NOMS. All the little golden fuzzies pack a punch, and got me bouncing off the walls. This was my breakfast tea today, maybe I should have eaten something with this because I am SO friggin wired. heh.
This holds up to many, many steeping in my lil’ gaiwan, so I will be obnoxiously hyped all day longggg :P
Flavors: Baked Bread, Malt, Roasted Chicken, Sweet Potatoes
So after a few disappointments with my more recent tea hauls, I finally brewed this bad boy up. And wow, what a good little milk oolong this is. Creamy, buttery, with a confusing but lovely burnt caramel/fresh gardenia finish that shouldn’t work half so well together. It reminds me a little of creme brule. I’m a little baffled that it isn’t flavored, to be honest, given the sheer depth of flavor and how well it holds up under repeat steepings. It does seem to evolve into a more floral brew over time, but nothing overpowering.
Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Butter, Creamy, Gardenias
I tried this gong fu style last night. I found the initial flavors of cinnamon, which slowly dissolved into a sweet almond milk at steep 4, but still retaining some of the spice. The oolong is mineral throughout. It’s very delicious and has a nice amber color brew.
Flavors: Almond, Cinnamon, Milk, Mineral
Yesterday was Chinese green tea day :P
I had this last night and it’s a new tea for me. The instructions say to use 1 tbsp per 8oz of water, so I ended up using about 3 tbsp for 32 oz, just in case it was going to be strong. The taste is very vegetal on the first steep (30sec) – almost too vegetal for me. The second steep (1min) was more mellow and slightly sweet. I enjoyed the second steep a whole lot more. I probably could have gone with more steeps, but it was already really late when I was drinking this last night.
Soo… I may have just “accidentally” placed a rather big Mandala order. Including this! (And on a side note, I totally forgot to get some Smark Soak to try. WHOOPS.)
I blame the order on Sil. And Dex. And my paypal balance that I was actually trying to save for the next month of Tea Club. :)
So I hadn’t tried this version yet. I have a sample of the 2008 and it is divine. I’m not sure how different, I’d have to test them side by side to see what I think. But I’m really liking this. It’s tea. Definitely tea. Hay and pea shoots. Sweet, malt, hopefully highly caffeinated.
I’m drinking part of the 4th steep right now. I combined 1-3.5 in a travel mug for work. It’s a golden shade, looks lovely. And I used a ceramic mug to be extra fancy. :)
Here’s hoping all the cakes I now have survive my rather shoddy storage conditions (paper shopping bags on a shelf in my room…) until I get to drinking them and sharing them out.
This was my puerh for the day. I may try and see if i can another one in later this evening, but if not, this one has been fantastic to drink over the course of the morning/afternoon. I am really a fan of Mandala’s original cakes. There’s something incredibly satisfying about them. I’ll be picking this one up again.
I pulled this one out to try today. My other half and i didn’t get much done with errands but we did finally get around to cleaning the house – we’ve been letting that slide lately. This has been in my cupboard for an eternity…because i bought a bunch of puerh when i first got into tea and then was too scared to try it. So now i’m focusing on getting through all of the older puerh samples in my cupboard.
First few steeps were creamy…sort of prune like with later steeps being more vanilla and sweet like. This is one i might suggest for someone just getting in to puerh, and one that i should have had ages ago. Just might need to pick up a cake of this with my next mandala order.
Received this as a free sample with my lasts order. Thank you so much Garret for including it.
I’ve been drinking it and playing with the steep parameters all day. I can’t find the sweet spot. The first few infusions seems really bold and in your face, the later steeps seemed weak and uninteresting. Couldn’t find much in between. I don’t hate this, but just feel like it should be more interesting than I could make it. Was nice to spend the day with, but there are much better pu’erhs out there. I’m just going to file this under finicky and move on.
Thanks to KiwiDelight for sending me some of this! I decided to have it gong fu style with boiling water. The dry leaf has a nice, promising cocoa smell. The first infusion was 15 seconds. It brewed up a lovely amber color. The flavor was thick bittersweet chocolate. The second infusion was 30 seconds. It came out darker than the previous steep. Again, lots of lovely cocoa notes. My dad showed up at that point and I stopped taking detailed notes, but I think I got about 7 total steeps out of this one. Later steeps were more malt than cocoa, but still quite lovely. Sipdown!
Incidentally, I thought this was a black tea. Turns out it’s a ripe pu’er. I haven’t had the best experiences with pu teas, but this one is making me think I’ve just been drinking the wrong ones. Hmm.
Flavors: Cocoa, Dark Bittersweet, Malt
From the Sheng and Shou TTB.
Brewed the gongfu method with a ceramic gaiwan. Gave the tuocha a 20 second rinse. Steeping times: 5, 5, 10, 30, 40, 60, 240.
Luscious aroma: cocoa and sugarcane arise when the tuocha is newly steeped, then loam and damp earth at the end of the session.
The liquor full-bodied, delectably creamy, and very dark in color yet clear. The flavors are bittersweet, a combination of dark cooking chocolate and black coffee. I notice that the chocolate tends to rise to the roof of my mouth while the coffee sticks to the tongue. The flavors sweeten and become less bitter as the session goes on. An earthy note then appears.
The tuocha gives away a rich liquor right away, but too much too quickly, as the flavors weaken after the fourth steep, hence the really long ultimate infusion time. Now, this comes from using a ceramic gaiwan. I’m certain a yixing pot would be more generous.
Ugh, it snowed for most of the morning and some of the afternoon (just flurries but still – UGH). At this point of the year, the crocuses would be in bloom. Even spring migration is stalled! Temple Stairs is definitely a comfort in this delayed “spring”.
Decided to continue with sheng today…
Wow, is this one fantastic…
That hint of smoke is really interesting…and the flavours here are so layered and complex. This is one special tea.
Tobacco is present, but in this mellow sort of way that is completely in harmony with everything else going on… it’s really amazing.
It would be very interesting to taste the 2014 compared to this one….
Thanks for this one, Dexter!
I wish I had more time to write, but I’m in the midst of unclogging drains, doing laundry, cleaning dishes, and sundry other tasks… Ahhh!
But, at least there is tea… and there is THIS tea!
I really did not know I would love sheng so much….
And the way it changes with steeps! (fruity, to buttery and rich…) and the tiniest little bite at the end… it’s so fantastic.
Thank you, Dexter, for sending this my way… another favourite that I didn’t know was a favourite. ;)
Sipdown! The last of this is off to beelicious for our swap. I wanted good tea today instead of the largely unknown because this past weekend was an overnight for work again. The only good thing from this weekend really was that it went off with relatively few issues AND i got awesome dinner out of it. Nothing says go team like a steak dinner after part 1 of a release. :) Enjoyed this tea, though i still love pure buds black more. That being said, there are very few offerings from mandala in the black tea realm that i dislike so it’s always a good time
I’ve had this before but don’t see my review. I opted for a long western brew of this today as i want to save my gonfu patience for later today with some puerhs since those are my closest sipdowns and i have a number of new puerhs to try as well as share with friends.
This is not my favourite from mandala but it’s a delicious one.Smooth, sweet, caramel and molasses. Not too heavy but not a light tea either. Great for a work from home tea day!
I managed to find a moment of silence.
Sun was streaming through the living room window, I was in a comfy spot, and all my kids were busy…away from me. ;)
Even the dog was sleeping.
It was one of those tea moments that get ingrained in your memory…. it was that special.
And this tea… Oh, this tea! I really can’t thank you enough, Dexter. :))))
I think I’m on about my 10th steep of this…and the cup is still absolutely delicious!
The leaves smelled of sweet hay after their rinse and first 10 seconds.
The cup itself was almost fruity (I swear I was picking up melon…. then I swore there were hints of ripe plum skin…).
I knew right away that this was one special tea.
20 second steep left the leaves more bright and fruity, less hay like… The cup wasn’t as fruit centered; I found it to be buttery and creamy… So good!
At this point, I seriously want to shout from rooftops that I love this tea!
I continued on… getting distracted by kids… but loving this tea the entire time… It took me through episodes of Steven Universe, and through my time perusing cook books trying to come up with the weekly menu, and now it’s time for me to start dinner, and I’m still drinking this tea.
I loved how it tingled my tongue and left my mouth just wanting more.
Yes. This tea is a keeper.
Dexter, I wish I could hug you right now!! :)))
(This whole session was done using boiling water… I have enough to try it with a lower temp, as suggested on the website. I’m really excited to see what that’s like!)
Umm. So I decided to try this one this morning. I’m not fully awake and I’m having issues with my shoulder/headache thing, so this might not be completely coherent.
First, a story. My introduction to oolong was with a lily oolong. Upon first impressions I liked the green seaweedyness, but then after I had drunk some I started feeling really ill. So, uhh, that scent/taste is not something I’d normally drink. But because this was a sample from the lovely Sil, I thought I’d give it a go. (And of course I figured this all out after steeping it and smelling it and then looking up the name, etc. So most of the sample is gone already!)
The taste and feel of this tea start out very creamy and thick, but then the aftertaste is all weird seaweed.
I’ll be popping the rest of this into someone else’s box.
Finally finishing off this sample given to me by a Steepster friend. Now I can’t remember who it was, it’s been so long. Whoever you are, thank you!
It was a difficult week for me. I am still sending out job applications and I had a very lengthy interview for a job I really wanted. Found out on Monday I didn’t get the job and I’ve been kinda down all week just burying my head in the sand, doing nothing but obsessing over tea and avoiding more job searching. I might be coming out of my funk a bit today but I am just so sick of this job searching process! I have to remember to enjoy life.
So here I am with a nice cup of pu in a cute yixing teapot. I’m not sure why I don’t have any of this tea but I will need to pick some up in the future. It’s so smooth and I’m really digging the cocoa taste. I also pick up a faint bit of cherries. Something about it seems a bit leathery too, not that I would normally be chewing on a piece of leather, but you know what I mean….
This is a nice companion to a quiet evening. It’s hard to go wrong with any puerh from Mandala but something about this seems almost decadent. Quite lovely.