Menghai Tea Factory(obtained from mandala tea)

Recent Tasting Notes

88

Yummy yummy. Menghai makes some good tea.

I tell you what, I think this might be the best Shou I’ve tasted so far. There’s different kind of Shou for different kind of folks.

For me, this is what I like. No funkiness, very little wood, slight hit of sweetness, smooth and creamy.

Wet leaves are just like freshly polished shoe leather. You get a little bit of that in the flavor. Cake is real tight but I got off a nice couple chunks with a knife.

This is all good and a quality product from Mandala.

Flavors: Creamy, Leather, Raisins

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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93

YUM! boychik has sent me some of the best shus!

This one is smooth and SWEET. It is lightly earthy and has a dark fruity note floating around. I did a long-ish steep and I’m really enjoying the bold flavor :)

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Thanks to mrmopar for this sample. It’s a mellow and woody tea with a hint of cinnamon. The liquor is rich and dark, like coffee. There is some earthiness there, and no off flavours at all. I would say that this is a very comfortable tea to drink, and I have been very comfortable drinking it since yesterday.

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I believe Bonnie wrote the definitive tasting note on this one two years ago. As I was writing my own review for my blog I kept noticing how nearly identical my experience was to hers – minus the sexy dating analogy (wow, hot stuff). For me this was a necessary session to overcome yesterday’s over indulgences. Way over did it. This one helped calm the stomach and left me with a pleasant calming peace that was remarkable spiritual like. I have never thought to actually use puerh in my private devotion time but maybe I will give it a go one day soon. Anyway, starts mellow with mineral, cedar, and horse tack notes. Blossoms later with bold flavors of browned cedar and horse tack. Then drifts back into more mellow but pronounced mineral and cedar, and ending with pleasant leather notes. Excellent cha qi.

TheTeaFairy

Inspirational.

mrmopar

Yum Yum!

gmathis

1 Timothy 6:17 …. the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy. Pu-erh counts!

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i enjoyed this tea for 2 days.
100ml gaiwan 5g 212F
Rinse, rest, 5/5/10/10/15/15/20/20/ etc
Wet leaves smell of prunes and apricots. this tea is very clean, burgundy clear, no off taste . It is sweet with some spice notes,maybe like cinnamon. had a tingling sensation. Also this tea is very creamy. call me crazy but i can compare all those notes to plum pudding.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Stephanie

Sounds wonderful :)

DeliriumsFrogs

Did you say Plum Pudding!? Yum! This sounds absolutely fantastic!

boychik

i think i’ll buy the whole cake.

DeliriumsFrogs

Yeah, this is definitely going on my ‘wish list’… I’m just staring at it on the site right now. lol

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88

I’ve been working on this one all day – most enjoyable with good flavor in every cup. Boiling water; (2) 5 second rinses; 30s steep; another 10 seconds added for each steep after the first. Earthy then buttery then creamy. I’m going to order another cake so that I can keep this around for a long time.

mrmopar

Oh yes this is a good one!

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93

This is my first tea picked by my homemade randomizer. It was one of the ones I was hoping to squirrel but the randomizer picked it and I am a slave to the system. I also didn’t take detailed notes about each steep because I am lazy.

I absolutely loved this tea based completely on the superficial. It’s adorable. It’s so tiny and pretty and the box is purple. The look of it made me happy. Brewed, it’s just magnificent. So sweet and creamy. There are times when I sip this tea and it’s just notes of caramelized dates with that smooth creaminess and it was just perfect. Pure perfection. This is one of the smoothest ripe pu’ers I have ever tried.

I don’t think this will be an everyday tea. Not because I don’t love it to bits and pieces but I want it to last. I am tempted in a big way to buy another one of these and a Red Rhyme.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec
Terri HarpLady

I need to pull this one out, it’s been awhile since I drank it!

mrmopar

This is a good one! Had this myself a while back.

MsWhatsit

I’m a sucker for pretty tea boxes. Glad to hear the tea in it is good too.

mrmopar

Yep the tea is superb in this pretty little box. The have one called “Red Rhyme” that is superb also!

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81

I am digging this one. I’ve been drinking steeps of this over the morning in an effort to hold to my goal of getting through the samples that terri sent me of a variety of puerhs! Initial impressions, so that i don’t lose that is that this is a very creamy puerh. I’m going to toss the leaves to cold brew once i’m done with them just to see how that works but overall impressions of this so far is that this is just delicious!

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Finishing off my sample of this, swiped from the Here’s Hoping teabox!

Man, being sick sucks, but my yixing pot is loving it! I’ve been steeping pu’er for like 3 days and the pot isn’t flavor sucking now. My yixing pot is having a grand time spending time with me, with the other pots getting all jealous.

Man, this is good, I could buy more of this pu’er. Maybe next Mandala order!

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Oh man, this is good!

I snagged this tea out of the Here’s Hoping Teabox. This pu’er is really mellow with a sweet cedar taste end of sip. There is a lingering aftertaste of earthy that is really good. No fermentation taste, not mushroomy or smokey. I could be convinced to buy a cake of this, crap, and I just did a Mandala order too. Oh well, next order then.

My husband (he doesn’t like tea) said this one tastes like overly strong chinese restaurant tea. LOL

mrmopar

I just started on a brewing of this Friday and on a cup now. Is there a government conspiracy or something I need to know about? LOL!

mrmopar

The 2010 version of this tea got me started into puerh.

Awkward Soul

I’m still working on this pu’er, it just keeps going with just slight changes to flavor. Yeah, for my first shu cake I was eyeing all Menghais – this one, the purple rhyme and a yellow 100g one, and I ended up with the yellow one, kinda wish I got all 3 lol! (I still need to try the yellow one)

Terri HarpLady

I’ve been eyeing the 3 pack… And the patty cake II … And….

mrmopar

Menghai is pretty good tea. They take a lot of steps to insure their product is not “forged”. If you need any tips or help hit me up I have a small puerh stock and may be able to direct you to some good ones.

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100 Grams is really not a very big tea cake, however at 5 G per session, it will make tea 20 times, & of course each session will make many cups of tea to savor. I weighed it, & it actually weighed in at 92G, but my guess is that it was originally 100, & lost weight as it aged.

I started with a rinse, which admittedly, I drank, savoring the gentle essence of semolina & vanilla cake. The wet leaves smell of Kugle. What’s Kugle? It’s a dish made with buttery noodles & custard, which can be made either sweet or savory. I used to make it for my kids when they were young, everyone loved it so. In this case, I’m thinking of the sweet kind, with vanilla.
Here’s my impression of the steepings:
1. 10 sec: It’s so creamy & sweet, & it’s Kugle!
2. 15 sec: Even creamier & sweeter!
3 – 5 at 20, 25, & 30 sec were combined into a pitcher, to enjoy while I was teaching a student, & the flavors continued.
6. 45 sec: the butteriness is replaced by a golden sensation, as if my tongue were covered in a sleeve of pure thin gold. I know that sounds weird, but it’s the only way I can describe it. Still sweet.
7. 1 minute: It feels like I’m drinking cream. The flavor is of a brown crust of WW bread.

I had to leave for awhile, but when I got home, I ran through several more steepings, & could probably continue, but I have somewhere to be, so maybe tomorrow? This is a very nice tea!
7.

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I want to thank Bonnie over and over again for saying she puts her puerh leaves in the fridge to cold steep after she has had some hot steeps of it. I did that two days ago and just let it sit in a big pitcher. I am finally drinking it today and I have to say it is one of the most refreshing things you could possibly imagine.

I posted a link to the recipe for Ent Draught last week, but to me, THIS is what Ent Draught would taste like. It is so perfectly light, refreshing, and clean, clean, clean, while at the same time tasting of purest earth. I think I could actually gulp down the whole pitcher in a very short time, and it is so cooling and uplifting. There is not even a tad of sugar in it. It doesn’t need it.

Ent Draught is supposed to be clear, thus the distilling process, but this is the taste it should have! The color of the cold brew puerh is gorgeous – so orange and clear. It looks like really good Southern sweet tea. I would much rather have this, though.

I am almost looking forward to our sticky summer weather just so I can drink gallons of this!

Bonnie

Someone actually did this! When I made the note I doubted that anyone would make it. (Being a puer after all) I live in a very arid zone at 5000 ft. and hydration is important. The chilled puer IS refreshing and calms your stomach.

ashmanra

This isn’t the first time I have done it since I first saw it in one of your posts, but everytime I do this I think of you! It is the most refreshing thing I think I had ever had. It tastes like the purest water on earth, infused with the flavor of pristine earth and trees! I really want to try to make it as a clear Ent Draught sometime!

Terri HarpLady

I will be trying this soon!

Em

Sounds like something I’d be interested in trying. How long do you let the leaves steep?

Bonnie

For all my cupboard stash, what you don’t see is how frugal I am. My bins are salad containers, half my stash are samples from friends and trades. I don’t throw out tea leaves that still have goodness in them that can be used for cold brewing. My budget has been $15-$20 a month for tea and sometimes I’m down to nothing for months other than going for tea in town which is about $4 a week. It’s my only entertainment outside of TV, so I think people who complain about prices can have lots of tea for less probably if they plan for quality not just quantity. You should explain Ent Draught so others know what that means. We all learn from each other! Maybe when the weather gets warm, we can have a cold tea thread and share what we do!

Bonnie

Oh- I use that bottle top thing that the Tea Spot invented to filter the leaves. What do you use?

ashmanra

Em: I let this steep for two days so far, but I will keep it going in the refrigerator until I drink it all, even if that is a few more days. It was ready to drink probably six or eight hours after putting it in, since it had already been heated once, so the leaves were “open” and saturated and ready to give up their flavor! I also use a glass container because it conducts temp so well and the tea is so very cold.

Ent Draught was a drink described in The Lord of the Rings. The Ents were the ancient tree shepherds and looked like trees themselves. When the Hobbits drank the crystal clear draught, they grew instantly taller. There were two different times it as served to them, and each time it tasted different. I had posted a link to a site where someone had tried to create their own versions of Ent Draught using tea and herbs, but since it was described as being clear they distilled the tea on the stovetop! If I find the link again, I will post it here,

ashmanra

I found a couple of Bodum iced tea pitchers with filter in the lid at TJ Maxx a while back for a really good sale price! That is what I use for cold brewing.

ashmanra

http://foodthroughthepages.com/2012/12/18/ent-draught-the-lord-of-the-rings/
There it is! The description from the book as well as the recipe to imitate are here, but I really truly feel this is a description of white tea for the first, perhaps infused with flowers like jasmine or osmanthus, and jerk tea for the second drink that was given to them.

cryptickoi

cold shu is great…a little citrus(yuzu) in it is good too…

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I drank one steep of my Southern Season puerh and then put the leaves in the fridge to cold brew a pitcher of iced tea. I was feeling unsatisfied, puerh-wise, so I decided to treat myself to several steeps of Purple Rhyme.

I love the box it came in, the careful wrapping of the paper with such beautiful, uniform folds, the stamp that holds the paper tight. I love the care used to present this product to me.

The tea is really dark, because I love strong, smooth puerh and I let it steep longer than most people do. The taste is fresh and so clean.

Bonnie

Pour me a cup!

ashmanra

Come on over! Do you like to make cards and dance with the dog?

K S

Are you setting her up for a bad date?

ashmanra

Nope, for a good time! :D

Bonnie

I can think of a better time than dancing with the dog! I’ll take the tea and dance with K S! (Any other offers?!)

K S

Bonnie, if I could dance it would be my honor. Can we still have puerh?

gmathis

Cutting and gluing party at ashmanra’s house! I’ll start packing!

mrmopar

Ha, I am in for that one! This is a really good pu-erh I enjoy this one a lot.

ashmanra

Woo hoo! This is gonna be the most exciting weekend I have ever had!

mrmopar

Yes but with good pu-erh there will always be a crowd!

mrmopar

The heck with the cup! Can i have the whole pot?

ashmanra

LOL! Sure! We’ll make several pots! Look what you started, Garret.

Bonnie

Hey,if Garret’s coming he can bring another beeng! I’ll bring snacks!

Terri HarpLady

Ooooh, purple rhyme! Yum, I got me some a few weeks ago!
And I will dance with the dog!

ashmanra

At this rate, we’ll need another beeng! And Terriharplady: I will tell Mr. Samwise to practice his steps!

Bonnie

We really do need a steepster cruise or vacation event!

Terri HarpLady

We should plan our own Steepster convention… July anyone?

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Another Christmas tea! Yay!

I started this one last night. I used Granny Stella’s tomato knife to work a chunk about the size of a teaspoon off of the brick. I notice this is called an iron cake. I haven’t heard that term before, so perhaps Garret and/or mrmopar will enlighten us?

My husband and son joined me drinking this one. They would have bailed on me if there had been any fishy odor. This tea has none.

I steeped this for forty seconds at first, increasing to sixty seconds for the fourth and fifth steeps, which is where I am right now.

The color was deep at first but not inky black. This is a medium strength flavor, not knock you down powerful but not subtle either. It has the horsey profile I like.

I am such a newbie at puerh that I have trouble distinguishing between the good ones. I can tell a bad one easily enough! I am trying very hard to learn to distinguish between cedar, mushroom, earth, leaves, and wood.

The main thing that came to my mind as I drank this was “nature.” Not wilderness nature but perhaps a large farm bordered by woods with fields of grazing horses. There is the horse farm scent to this, but added to it are leaves crunching underfoot as you walk, breathing in fresh, clean air. Sometimes I get a hint of caramel in this one. Steep four had a little cedar oil richness coating my mouth. Steep number five is still going strong so I will probably continue working with this teaspoon of leaves, and soon I will try it with more leaf and shorter steeps.

Of the three teas I have tried from the Mandala order, they are all very good and I would not be able at this point in my puerh education to tell them apart if I were drinking them “blind.” But I can say with certainty that I enjoy drinking every one of them and look forward to sharing many cups of these teas with family and friends.

Sil

What matters is that you’re enjoying your journey into puerh! I look forward to reading your reviews for when i decide to start down that path :)

K S

Like you, I can’t tell the good ones apart. I did recently revisit some of the first that I really liked and found them now to be lacking. I guess there is hope for us.

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91

My first whole pu’er cake! Woot woot!

This cake is gorgeous! Dark reddish brown in color, nice and tightly pressed. There is a nice, not overly powerful dirt/woodsy smell coming from the cake. Yum.
Carefully broke off a bit of the leaves with my pick; this one flakes apart pretty easily and is nice and dry. The sound the pick makes as it goes into the cake is so relaxing (maybe that’s an odd thing to say, but I couldn’t help thinking it). Love that sound.

Once I brewed this one up, it produced a dark red-brown liqour. It smells sweet, cedar-y, and woodsy with hints of a rich soil. I think I’m really going to love this one (good thing, too, since I have a whole cake!).

Yum. This one is sweet (not fruit sweet, but the kind of sweet you get from chewing on a popsicle stick – if that makes sense to anyone), with wood notes (again, I want to say cedar) and a nice mellow “dirt” taste. This has a thicker mouthfeel than some other pu’er I’ve had recently – it’s nice and smooth. There’s a bit of a zing at the end of the sip, slightly spicy on the back of the tongue. Don’t know how to describe it, but it’s a nice effect.

Glad I took the plunge and bought a cake of this one. I’m really enjoying it! Can’t wait to share with my twin sister when she comes home. She’s really into pu’er…it seems to be the only tea I can get her excited for! She’ll totally love this one. Thanks for providing this cake Mandala Teas!

I want to try this one in the gaiwan next time around.

Off to resteep. I’ll update in a few.

UPDATE: Second steep at about 6 min. A little thinner (not by much, though) than the first steep. Still has a wonderfully woody/sweet flavor with the added bonus of a slightly leathery flavor! The zing at the end of the sip is dialed down a bit, but still present. I’m loving this pu’er!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Kittenna

Mmmm, chewing on a popsicle stick! Memories of early elementary school trips to the local zoo!

Emily M

Ah…childhood memories. =)
Glad somebody else knew what I was on about.

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34

Brick

Appearance: woody black pu-erh chips off a larger brick
Aroma when Dry: sweet, nutty cocoa earthy, floral notes
After water is first poured: tart, sour, earthy,
At end of first steep: sour, peaty
Tea liquor:
At first?
At end of steep: hints of clay red
Staple? No
Preferred time of day: unsure
Taste:
At first?: bitter, metallic tang, earthy notes
Additives used (milk, honey, sugar etc)? No
Lingers? Yes, metallic notes

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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90

just had this one after drinking the 2009 version last night. this tea has really added a depth of flavor with another year under its belt. this cake is drier than the 2009 cake. much easier to break apart. not really much of an odor. no off smells on the dry cake. almost a dusty dirt road aroma. gave a 15 second wash. poured the first cup after a 15 second steep in the yixing. the color went from light to very dark at the end of the pour. the whole cup ended up looking like a strong cup of black coffee. rich and woody in the mouth with a sweetness at the end. very enjoyable on a cold windy winter night. very warming. second brew as dark as the first,yummy. now excuse me please i am off to enjoy the second cup and it looks like this will give at least 6 infusions as the 2009 did. gotta go tea awaits.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec
Bonnie

Nice late cup for you, must be staying up late!

mrmopar

yeah watching the tech game.

Bonnie

AH, priorities!

Garret

That means we drank the exact same batch of tea on the exact same day, my friend! That was my pre-meditation tea this morning!!! NICE!!!!

ashmanra

Sounds delicious!

mrmopar

garret that is awesome, and i drank mine to wind down and end the day!

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90

Thank you mrmopar for this Pu-erh sample

With Steepster down, I had time to reflect on some things that have been on my mind.

My writing has been slushy. You know…when I try to write and for whatever reason I just don’t sound like myself. I haven’t been able to figure out what’s wrong.

Sunday, I was invited to be in a Google+ live video tea group with people in various parts of the World. I was the least tea educated person, the dumb one in the group but ready to learn. Most of the others spoke Chinese, owned tea companies etc. As we discussed the tea of the week, I became sicker and sicker and almost had to sign off early. Something was wrong with me.

The rest of that day I had a terrible migraine that felt like the flu.
Monday came and Steepster was down. I had the flu-like symptoms still hanging on, coming and going with body aches and nausea.
What had caused my illness?
Light!
When I was on the chat Sunday I was sitting by a window with the curtains closed. However, there was still enough bright light outside that even though I was wearing my dark glasses, the light made me sick! Isn’t that crazy?

Why am I telling this story?

I was thinking last night about this time of year and writing about tea. I remembered that in the Winter when the barometer changes setting off my migraines almost every few days, I write more from the heart.
I see clearly, listen better, appreciate my time with tea in a deeper way. Life is more precious.

Could this be why I haven’t been myself? Did I need this malady to write better?

Embracing what is ahead with all it’s difficulties far outweighs the pain. My experience in the quiet places where there is true beauty, is why I began my journey with tea in the first place.

There’s no place to hide from difficulties in this life, it’s how we use what we go through or have gone through that matters.

I’m glad to return to the place of struggle even though I’m sure to complain now and then.

Tea Review

Timing and prep.
Gaiwan 4oz. 30 sec. rinse and 30 sec. steeps.

Wet leaf scent changes! Here’s what I like to do.
First, I put my nose over the rising steam and breathe it in and out, deeply.
Next, I put my nose closer and almost hyper-ventilate, then back away and come closer again.
Finally, I pass the leaves side to side at a distance of about
7 inches to catch a lighter scent.
I smell the leaf aroma hot, warm and cold.

These particular leaves smelled like Nilla Vanilla Wafers and Camphor then later like light Leather, Bread and Earth, then Light Leather and a Sweetness which is where it remained.

Taste
The first steeping was salty and tasted like a Trisket Crackers, not sweet but smooth. The finish had a little sour black current flavor.

The second steeping was strong, dark like coffee and tasted like cedar, rasins and velvety 90% chocolate. I was so intrigued by the idea of the chocolate that I sweetened the end of the tasting which didn’t mask the flavors but removed the bitterness almost entirely.

Steeping three was lighter with a salty/savory cedar flavor becoming peppery at the end and astringent. I was distracted by my own awareness of well-being. My nausea was gone and I was feeling such a great sense of gratitude for what this Pu-erh was giving to me.

Ah the forth steeping and beyond. This is where I believe the Pu-erh was at home. Lighter, sweeter with a cinnamon spicy taste and less cedar. There was so much light and smoothness here without having lost body.
At one point I added sweetening to see what would happen for those who sweeten Pu-erh and found that the flavor didn’t change
(some Pu-erh’s take on a floral or caramel taste with sweetening) but remained spicy.

A solid, recommended Pu-erh!

Personal Notes about Pu-erh:
I’ve found Pu-erh to be a faithful friend. Since my Migraines and Fibromyalgia both have chosen to attack my core more than anywhere else on my body, my stomach area is often twisted with nausea and pain. My back hurts and bones ache.
When I drink Pu-erh, the nausea and pain are greatly reduced without an upset stomach. Pretty wonderful benefit for me wouldn’t you agree!

JC

Glad to hear you are doing better. If you like jasmine or chrysanthemum you should get some of each and use it when you are not feeling 100%. Really good and fragrant.

I love smelling my tea leaf dry, wet and in later steeps and love smelling the lid of the gaiwan. I had a similar ‘humbling’ experience with a few new friends. I tend to deeply exhale and then slowly breathing in the vapors from the gaiwan. And now I slurp… LOUDLY lol.

It is hard because must cultures slurping is a bad thing or just rude. But turns out it is pretty common in Asian cultures and it is the ‘proper way’ to taste. Do you do this?

Bonnie

Yes, in the tea world, slurping is correct…accepted and encouraged to get the tea to all the tastebuds (much like wine tasting which I was familiar with already). It’s the caffeine in Pu-erh and tea in general helps migraines.

JC

Ah, well I hope you don’t have to go through that again. I don’t ever get headaches. And the only time I did it was a migraine (according to a doctor), due to excessive work, mental from (work), physical (from working out) and well lack of sleep. Not fun, I never though I would hiss at the sight of the sun. lol

Bonnie

Thanks JC I hope you stay well. Life is what it is.

Whispering Pines Tea Company

I have migranes every day…but I also drink pu-erh every day, so sadly I don’t think that’ll help me. BOO! haha. Glad you’re feeling better! Did anything come in the mail lately from my side of the country that might make you feel better? :)

Azzrian

Bonnie I am happy you figured out the source of the problem. I am so sorry you were feeling down. Much love to you! I also can relate to how you felt in that group! The thing is your knowledge far surpasses mine on here haha its okay to be around those who have more knowledge! Without YOU I would not know as much as I do! :) xo

Bonnie

You’re very kind and always supportive Azz. Thank you. My point was that the down has meaning too…when I’m sick, I see things differently than when I’m well. As far as knowledge, we all have our own set of glasses…our own view and I learn from everyone. I think that I have the luxury of time. Not everyone has as much time as I do (or age!).

Claire

Sorry to read that you weren’t feeling well Bonnie, and I hope you get all better soon.
I sympathize with the nausea problems, I’ve had problems with my thyroid since my early 20s. It’s definitely changed my relationship to food and how much I appreciate being able to enjoy things when I feel well.
I agree that it’s nice to read everyone’s different perspective and views! I love all the different posts I get to read on Steepster.

TheTeaFairy

Bonnie, I won’t say much beside what you already know: poeple here REALLY care, for the good and the bad stuff that’s happening to us all. What you said «There’s no place to hide from difficulties in this life, it’s how we use what we go through or have gone through that matters» is beyond wise… In this life, I find acceptance to be the hardest thing but it’s the beggining of all recoveries…
Having said that, no one should live in constant pain, and I wish peace for your mind and for your body…hugs xx

Bonnie

Steepster is the kindest village with the best neighbors. I wish we could have a big party and I could cook for you and invite you all for tea. You are the fresh ‘Spring Water’ that I make my tea with!

TheTeaFairy

Bonnie, I won’t say much beside what you already know: poeple here REALLY care, for the good and the bad stuff that’s happening to us all. What you said «There’s no place to hide from difficulties in this life, it’s how we use what we go through or have gone through that matters» is beyond wise… In this life, I find acceptance to be the hardest thing but it’s also the beggining of all recoveries…
Having said that, no one should live in constant pain, and I wish peace for your body and soul…hugs xx

Terri HarpLady

A big hug for Ms Bonnie, & I hope you are feeling better. I struggled with migraines & other health issues for years, & in my case it turned out to be a whole bunch of food sensitivities. Once I got my eating straightened out, the migraines, immune problems, tendonitis, digestive issues, & various other aches & pains went away. All the things we go through, especially the painful ones, strengthen us in the long run, developing our character, but that doesn’t make it any more fun when we are suffering. Acceptance is the key, along with kindness to ourselves. Love & hugs, & your blog turned out beautifully!

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95

Thanks mrmopar for this Pu-erh sample!

A day at home with rain expected in the afternoon was the perfect setting for Pu-erh sipping with steeping multiple times.

As I made my preparations, I was suspended in a timeless space with the thrill, the drama of what was to happen next?

Basic Information
Steeping times: After a 30 second rinse, the steeping for the first 3 sessions was 30 seconds, the 4th was 1 minute.

The wet leaves smelled like sweet dark chocolate, then light leather with raisen and chocolate, then faint leather and sweet.

The color of the leaves changed at the end to dark Jade Green!

The color of the liquor was light brown on the first steeping becoming dark red brown on steeping 2 and 3, dark golden brown on steep 4.

Taste
The process of discovery was like a first date. The tea flirted a little, let me get just a hint of flavor to see if I’d respond. A bit of cedar, sweetness and some slight dryness on the tongue. Nothing to write home about but not scary either. Pretty smooth.
(The tea was obviously, holding back and waiting for the right moment to reveal it’s true personality.)

The second encounter was way more flirtatious, even sexy with a baked cedar plank dryness up front becoming smooth on the finish. There was another flavor lurking in the shadows, a secret.
Peach or Cocoa? I needed more time to inquire, to explore again.

The third encounter was not revealing. I sensed that something wasn’t right. The flavor was so much lighter. Wasn’t the water hot enough? Was the steeping too short? (I always blame myself, never the tea first!)

I decided to become bolder, demanding more now that we had spent considerable time together. I felt that we knew each other well enough. My instincts told me that if I pushed a little bit, there was great strength of character just under the surface.

I challenged the timing increasing it 3 fold.
The Pu-erh held steady without a flinch but it looked different.
The liquor had changed to golden brown and the leaves to jade green.

The flavor was supprisingly very mild, dry cedar, sweet, juicy and easy to drink.

Even with the mild dryness this was a smooth tea with no harshness.
I was expecting some sort of aggressive punch with the longer steep, but that’s not what this Pu-erh was about.

It was kind and mellow, sure to keep me happy for a long time.

(For any off-the-wall people who add sugar on occasion to pu-erh, well after the 4th steeping I checked it out and the caramel flavor that appears with sweetening is very nice!)

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec
ashmanra

I really want to order from Mandala sometime! The world of puerhs overwhelms me and I keep putting it off because I don’t know what to pick! :)

tperez

I love how mellow it is! Its quickly become my “study aid” tea

Bonnie

his is mild and not hard to handle at all. 30 second rinse and 30 second steep is fine. Not too strong, sweet and smooth. You are right tperez!

Claire

Great review, made me smile!

Bonnie

Thanks Claire.

mrmopar

always great reviews bonnie! glad you liked it. i think it is a superb tea.

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Tea is quite the date, isn’t it? :D

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