108 Tasting Notes

98

Sipping on this extraordinary tea all morning, breathing in the heady aroma and looking forward to another cup…

Full review at http://ratetea.com/review/2790/

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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95

Warm and rainy afternoon today, so I have been having a nice session with a sample of 2011 Noble Mark Ripe Blend send by Garret with my last order from Mandala Tea. A very smooth and silky pu’erh with none of the harsh edges. Very much what one reviewer here on Steepster called a “gentleman shu” — with a tad of elegance and only a hint of earthiness below the surface.
Rich, balanced flavor with hints of cedar coming into later steepings. A really exceptional blend to introduce newcomers to pu’erh without scaring them away.

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

Brother, I am so glad that you tried and liked this tea! This has been my first tea of the day, every day, for over 6 months. I just don’t want to stop drinking it! And I guess I don’t have to! We had 320 250gram cakes pressed and 150 pounds of it in loose leaf. Just secured the same ratio of the various leaves from the same processor of this years ripened tea, too. It’ll be interesting to see how it differs. Thanks for writing it up!!

E Alexander Gerster

Hi Garret. Such a great tea! I will be putting together a new order soon, and this one is on the list… Shared a few of your teas with Alex Zorach who runs RateTea.com, and we have discussed several through Google+. He might be contacting you for samples since he really has been loving those I shared. One day I am going to have to come drink tea with you, :)

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92

Every time I make a pot of this tea, I find something else I like about it. Sweet, spicy, soothing and interesting. Loving the notes of graham cracker and saffron which jump above the slight berry nutty goodness. Finishing yet another bag of this, and still have not tried it with any milk or sweetener… just too good all on it’s own. Next time you order from Verdant tea, try some of this as a nice comforting treat to sip when the world is getting you down.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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95

Another wonderful offering from Mandala Tea. The aroma of the dry leaves has an alluring mix of crisp, green and nutty scents. Steeped for a few minutes, the aroma gets more complex and the flavor is really smooth, crisp and just a touch earthy. Very nice! As others have mentioned, this has some of the qualities found in better grade Longjing (dragon well) teas, but is distinctly different. Looking forward to spending more time with this tea after I place my next order.

Preparation
2 min, 0 sec

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93

Enjoying a new shipment of White Night this week. I was drinking it from my travel mug all week, but today had a chance to do a series of small steepings to enjoy the whole flavor and aroma.

Such a nice clean flavor. Getting more vegetal in taste after the second steep. The aroma is more of the sea in this batch, or perhaps I am just remembering the aroma as the last batch aged, getting better over time.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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97

Yesterday I finished the last of my stash of this beautiful Tieguanyin, reveling in the light delicious flavor. I prefer the Autumn version of this tea because of the way the leaves progress so nicely through multiple steepings. Creamy citrus tones become slowly sweeter, moving from orange blossom to key lime pie. A fresh lingering crispness on a creamy base. And now I see they have a bit left in their online store, so it is off to make a purchase to restock!

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 45 sec
CHAroma

What a lovely description!

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96

Amazing! Sat down to tea with this sheng pu’er tea this morning, entranced by the wonderful smoky scent of the dry tea cake. Carefully pried loose leaves from the tightly compressed leaves, loaded up my small glass gaiwan, and gave the leaves a quick rinse and watched the leaves unfurl. Sublime. Through several quick steeps, I became completely lost in the flavors and aroma: smokey, creamy, sweetgrass, dried fruit and just a hint of camphor in the background. No bitterness or woodsy flavors, just a clean green lightness reminiscent of a walk in a sunny hillside pasture.

It is remarkable how quickly this pu’er has developed such beautiful complexity. It reminds me very much of some of the better Pasha Mountain teas that I have been fortunate to taste. The leaves holdup well through many steepings, taking you on a fascinating journey of flavors.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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Bio

I have been drinking tea for most of my life, and enjoy learning about Tea Culture from all around the world. I learned early about Russian and British traditions first, since my parents came from Europe, followed by the teas and culture of Ceylon/Sri Lanka and India. Since I have been a practicing Buddhist for the better part of 25 years, I have strong ties to Asia, and have slowly been learning about the teas from each part of the world I encounter. It is a wonderful and interesting journey.

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Raleigh, North Carolina, United States

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