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Recent Tasting Notes
This afternoon was the St. Louis Harp Society Fall meeting. I’m the president (no real power, I just set up meetings & recitals & such). I brought my own tea (& I’m glad I did, there was nothing that interested me there), & this was still in my purse from yesterday, so I polished it off.
We had Writers’ Group at my house last night instead of Thursday due to a scheduling conflict. For a while now, we have mostly been drinking oolongs. Last night, one of the ladies told me that she had become unable to tolerate eating beef because of digestion problems, but when she drank “that other tea” at my house she could eat anything she wanted and was just fine. She asked if I could make some of it, especially since she was going to a chili cook-off today.
I showed her the remains of this Phatty cake, let her sniff, and she said it was indeed the kind of tea that had helped her. I pried a bit off and steeped it seven times, for a total of about 150 ounces. Everyone liked it, obviously, since we kept steeping and kept drinking!
I really wanted to order a breaking tray, so getting this close to running out of my Phatty cake is a GREAT excuse to go ahead and place that order. :)
Tony & I went out to breakfast at the Southwest Diner. Although their tea selection is lame, the food is quite good. I brought 3 of these blooming buds, dropped them into the little silver hot water thing they brought to the table, that holds just enough water for one cup, & didn’t even need a strainer. When she refilled it, I made sure she knew not to dump the tea out (waitresses have done that to me before). I was set for tea!
I really enjoy these. I only have 3 left. I need to place a Mandala order.
Hey Sil… ;)
I have some backlogging to do this morning. We had friends over last night so i didn’t get much of a chance to do anything besides eat and have fun while drinking tea :) such a hard life.. heh
I don’t recall much about this one other than it was SOOOOO tasty while i was at work. once i get a chance to drink it again, i’ll capture a better note. That being said, this was really a great tea to have yesterday!
Sipdown! I’m at 199 teas!
I’ve enjoyed this black tea, which is rolled up in the ‘spring snail’ style. The flavor is very savory, it still reminds me of fire roasted chilis & masa harina, lol.
sipdown! and terri, thank you so much for sharing this one with me since it’s nothing i ever would have bought for myself. I’ve been drinking this most of the day, in between other teas.
I just wanted to enjoy this tea so i didn’t really take notes. What was most surprising and interesting to me though was the smokey notes in this. It wasn’t like a black tea, but the contrast of the smoke with a lighter tea was really interesting, especially since it wasn’t overpowering the tea taste. there’s a sweetness to this one as well that i like.
Wonderful find Garrett!
Mmm, now this is a yunnan tea I can get behind. Sweet and a bit nutty, with hay and squash notes. Malty and sweet potato-y. This is one of those teas that I enjoyed so much that I drank it down without thinking about it too much, and it was suddenly gone before I was ready. Thanks for sending this one along, Sil!
I can’t seem to keep myself away from this tea lately! sips guiltily
I got a sample of this tea with my first Mandala order. Thanks Garret!
This is not a kind of tea I actively seek out, but a kind I always tend to enjoy. Very smooth and sweet. Lots of nice roasty and cocoa-like flavors without being super heavy. I’m glad I got to try it :)
So I had my water boiled and ready to go, and I knew which tea I wanted to drink, and I thought I knew exactly where this particular tea was. Wrong. There are only 5 possible places in my home where this tea could possibly be hiding, so where is it??!! It took me 10 minutes to find, and wouldn’t you know it was in the desk right beside me. Hiding behind the box that it came in.
So I prepared fresh water, and am now sipping on sweet caramel goodness. It was worth the hunt. This tea is so silky smooth. I bought this tea because of the way it looked in the photo – all the long golden strands. I just knew I had to have it.
Another delicious tea from Mandala – thank you!
After enjoying the puerh yesterday, I was hopeful to find another one that I enjoy too. This one has stellar reviews and i had it on hand, so i gave it a go.
It definitely smells like puerh, but is surprisingly sweet and not fishy at all. As it cools the more hay like notes start to take over, but there is a sweet spot right around 5 mins after cooling where it is perfectly sweet and delicious. I’m on my 4th resteep, drinking it between other cups of teas. Glad I have a bit more of this!
What to say? Sometimes I hate being the person who has to add a tea, AND being the first person to review it.
I wanted a cup of raw puerh because I’m feeling kind of fuzzy headed, & drinking sheng tends to clear my head…well sort of…it also makes me a little out there, if you know what I mean. I feel extremely ‘present’ right now.
This Sheng is VERY dark, almost black, with mahogany streaks running through it. I started sipping it a few hours ago. I can’t really describe the tastes today…other than to say it was initially earthy & smokey, gradually getting sweeter. After a few rounds there was an ‘open’ taste. I can’t really tell you what that means to me…kind of a hollow, circular taste, very smooth. Right now there’s a tangy sensation about halfway up my tongue. It doesn’t taste like pineapple, but it feels kind of like pineapple. A few steeps later my tastebuds all feel like they are wiggling around. I’ve got a good skull shining going on now, Good energy, time to go play my harp for awhile. I’ll continue to sip into the evening.
Just as everyone else has said -this tea is fabulous!! I love oolongs and this didn’t disappoint. I bought 2 oz. and went back to the website to make sure I could get more and low and behold its sold out!!!! When is it going to return????
This is sweet and mellow as straight black teas go, with that trademark Chinese smoothness and caramelized sweet potato thing going on. Something like chocolate and the smallest tinge of smoke too. Very pleasant and easy-going. I can see the resemblance to keemun and how people might prefer this as it’s a little sweeter and smoother than the keemuns I’ve tried so far but still has hints of those smoky intense chocolate notes. It’s a nice tea that doesn’t kick you awake rudely but does the job in a friendly, kinder sort of manner.
This is gonna sound very weird. I woke up this morning and in my head or something in the air smelled just like this tea. Later in the afternoon I remembered this and chipped some off the cake to enjoy in my new Mandala tea thermos.
Drool sooo good! It’s like I’m drinking autumn – I progress through campfire wood and hickory smoke notes that melt into creamy stone fruit and persimmon notes. Since I just put leaves into a tea tumbler glass and sipping away at it, the flavor is getting quite strong, but its still really good. Overall better steeped gongfu style, but tea glass style is excellent too!
Hmm. This one is pretty good, but not really what I’m looking for either. The flavour is a much more delicate version of what I got from Noble Mark. Is it the fermenting? Aging? Idk, but it’s not foresty enough for me. This one reminds me strongly of Silk Road’s Golden Phoenix, a grapefruit-cinnamon puerh. :) I can see this one being excellent with a sliver of Ceylon cinnamon added to the steep.
Rinsed and steeped per package directions, I’m drinking the first 1 minute steep. I’ll try steeping it longer for the second to see if it works better for me.
Thanks so much, Dexter3657, I really appreciate you sharing this with me. So far I like the Special Dark best out of the Mandala puerhs that I’ve tried. :)
Ooo….. Cinnamon is SO GOOD in this wow. Second steep: 1:45.
Not really much to say, but that’s not because I didn’t enjoy this!
I gave the tuocha, which is really a good size & looks almost like a brownie, a rinse, & then steeped it in a mug for 3 minutes. Then I steeped it in another mug for 4 minutes. I took both mugs with me, to sip in my bubble bath. It was exactly what I needed!
After the bath, I had a bite to eat, then steeped the tuocha again for 5 min, & then again for 6 min. I’d probably give it another steep, but I’m at Tony’s now.
Thanks for the sample, Garret. When I’m allowed to order tea again, if you still have these, I’ll probably pick up some of them!
This one was also from Dexter. Unfortunately it’s one I don’t like nearly so much as the Special Dark.
The flavour was just too… something. A little honey improved it, but I ended up dumping the cup. My mom will probably like this one as its a stronger, smoother puerh with a similar flavour profile to one she has and likes.
I’ll probably try this one again, but… I won’t be too fussed if I don’t like it. There are other teas I love. :)
(I did a rinse and tried 2 1 minute steeps. Didn’t care for either.)
This is good. Thanks, Sil! Definitely staying on my shopping list. I suppose I’ll share it with my
Mom or brother. Maybe.
A great sample from Mandala—super generous!
My up-and-at-‘em pick this morning. This one funny enough has qualities like those I just described for the Tanyang Gongfu, where it’s thick and starchy-sweet and smooth but also floral, but I appreciate that it’s not quite straightforward sweet potato this time, that there’s other elements like fire (Terri is so right that it’s kind of like roasted green chiles!). There’s a quality to it where the taste evokes more astringent, dry-woody teas like Darjeeling or Zhu Rong in flavor but not actual astringency (there’s pretty much none; this is as smooth as any of the popular Teavivre black teas). A neat trick. Good morning tea and strikes that smooth-vs.-woody, Chinese-vs.-legacy-type balance in the same way I appreciate with Zhu Rong. I really, really like this. I think I’ve figured out teas that don’t tidily fit into either of those vague categories but sort of take the best of both worlds and throw in some unusual unclassifiable characteristics (that smoked chile heat!) are my favorite discoveries right now. Jerks a jaded tea palate awake in the nicest way.