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Recent Tasting Notes
Okay. I’m bad. Got more Mandala Milk Oolong ‘cause nothing has really beaten it so far. And since I’ve had the Tie Guan Yin and regular Jin Xuan three times already, I wanted to try something different. Thank you for the samples!
Anyway, the tasting notes already on the page accurately describe it. I followed Mandala’s Gong Fu guide- 15 second rinse, then a 30 sec steep adding 15 sec consecutively, then 30 in the last two.
Like Liquid Proust, I’ve had the roasted version of this oolong variety with mixed feelings. Now that it is green, I really enjoy the natural light florals it possesses. Lilac and maybe gardenia are the flowers I’m thinking of, especially like a Tie Guan Yin. But the taste tones down those florals with a creamy texture and buttery vegetal quality. As in, fresh butter and fresh greens and spinach-not the vegetables or cooked vegetables. It is borderline brothy, but too thin for me to really label it that way. Like a lot of other tasting notes, it does have a vanilla quality that is unambiguously vanilla albeit a light vanilla. Marshmallow is also pretty accurate to the sugary smell that emanates from the cuo. As for texture, it is more like marshmallow root than marshmallow candy. Every once in a while, caramel and buttercotch pucker out as it is first poured and as it cools down. I even got a caramel cheesecake taste for where my unsoaked leaves were sitting. Yum.
I knew that I would enjoy this one, but I didn’t realize how much I would like it. This tea is creamy and vegetal the way I like it to be. If you want a crispy, fresh example of a green oolong, I highly recommend this. You might be bored because this is a very subtle tea, but the subtlety of the tea makes it all the better. I also recommend Mandala’s Tie Guan Yin, but I also like this one because it s more toned down on the florals and a little bit creamier in my opinion.
Dry leaf smells spicy, fruity. 195F 1T 8oz
20s steep spice, fruity, and earthy. I should have continued with the flash steeps and not tried to do longer steeps. With short steeps, the tea was yummy, spicy, fruity. I liked it, but you have to watch the time closely. It’s a little finicky.
Flavors: Earth, Fruity, Spicy
Thanks to Nicole for the sample!
This is a beautiful tea. The gold and black curled leafs are absolutely gorgeous both dry and wet/unfurled. I didn’t get my smell in the way of the dry leaf (possibly because it was just a sample size as opposed to a bag full) but the wet leaf smelled deliciously malty.
I brewed this first sample taste Western and did 3 steeps of 1,2, and 5. All three steeps were dark and flavorful. Malty and sweet, this tea was close to exactly what I wanted it to be. I would strongly consider buying an ounce or two of this tea.
Green tea at its finest. One or two leaves and a bud are visible on every leaf. Picked by munis who pray for those who will drink this tea. Smooth, mellow taste. Not grassy nor vegetal. A classic green tea that is sure to wow new and seasoned green tea drinkers.
This is another tea with two listings so I just picked one.
Unfortunately I didn’t love this one. Or, to be perfectly honest, any of the Mandala oolongs I’ve tried. This one is just a bit thin. In taste and mouthfeel. Overleafing/steeping gives a bit more mineral in the brew. There’s a bit of spice and bark but nothing noteworthy. Just a bland brew overall. Tried gong-fu and mug brewing, and both were insipid. Perhaps this was just a poor harvest.
Flavors: Bark, Mineral
If i’m ever going to get to 50 teas, i need to get my drink on with my puerh more often. I had been trying to get to at least ONE session a week but that sort of fell by the way side. So today i figured i should try. Pulled this one out because i am a mandala fan and can’t bring myself to use up my special dark. heh. This should make for a very enjoyable morning.
Going from the Bang Wei to this… utter disapointment. This tea is mouth damaging as it leaves a lingering astringency. Now 2012 Wild Monk was the best stuff as many of us know and I strongly believe that this isn’t the same material being pressed from a different year. Unless a few years changes a cake that much… I feel tricking into expecting a similar product. Maybe I’m wrong, but I have found a cake that I believe is much closer. This just wasn’t pleasant and I used a small amount at lower temperature. Its strong if you want that, but the taste is an undesired one.
This is a really nice sheng. I’m really bad with the tasting notes still, and especially with the shengs which seem very complex and different in every sip! so maybe…. Apple, sweet graham-cracker almost, grape, some autumn hay. Really good!
The Qi also triggered a very strong emotional swelling which I’ve never felt with tea before, including other strong shengs/shous (i’m assuming it’s from the tea, because i’ve eliminated most other possibilities and it seemed to rise and fall along with the energy / caffeine ride).
I will definitely be ordering a cake of this when I get some more money saved up!
I found my sheng! Either that or I really figured out how to brew this one perfectly. 195 degrees 5/5, 7/7, etc. Took down the temps and steep times a bit. This tea is delicious. Lots of fruit characteristics and no bitter qualities whatsoever. Don’t think I’ll need to order any other Sheng cakes besides these ones for a while! Another great offering from Mandala!
Flavors: Apricot, Pear, Vegetal, White Grapes