92 Tasting Notes

73

I brewed my last bit of this one today. I’ve been craving pu’er in a big way and I missed it and I have been slacking with the tea brewing. I just did one steep so far and, for some reason, this time the brew is very weak. It’s very lightly woodsy and a bit nutty but a bit bland. I am going to try a longer brew time for my next steep. Maybe the leaves have to open up a bit more.

Flavors: Nuts, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec 8 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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94
drank Fired Up Fennel by DAVIDsTEA
92 tasting notes

I tried this one before and loved it. I am a fennel and licorice fan. I made it iced this time and the sweet and spice of the chili pepper really work well together with a bit of honey and orange zest. I am pretty much the only one who liked it though. There are apparently few fans of fennel and licorice in my life. It’s odd considering my Grandma made us all drink a tea similar to this when we were sick.

I also just discovered—I’m so behind in tea and everything else—that Davids doesn’t make this one any longer. I am going to have to try to blend it myself. Now to find bulk fennel seed, licorice root, star anise and dried chili peppers.

Flavors: Fennel, Licorice, Spices

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Sil

Yay! Love it when old friends pop in :)

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96

I just drank my last bit of this fine tea. I didn’t really want it hot for some reason so I decided to make it iced. I’ve never really tried that with a sheng before but it turned out perfectly. I took it on a run with me and the minty, slightly smoky kick was just what I needed. Managed to run to the library and then run home with an overstuffed bag of books—they were having a book sale and I am weak. I blame Wild Monk not for my book hoarding but for the energy to run home with a 10+lb bag of books.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 5 g 16 OZ / 473 ML
Sil

mmmm so good…

graceatblb

It is. I have to get a cake of this one. I’ve heard that Mandala orders come in bunches right. That’s an excuse. I think.

Cheri

Any excuse for a tea order, right?

Sil

caaaareful grace lol

Dexter

Love this one, working on my second cake of it….

Jiāng Luo

I bought a cake and wild monk loose maocha because I didnt want to break off any of the cake, are they fairly similar in taste?

Garret

Soooo very happy you are enjoying this! It is perfect tea for before a run. I had a joyful 6 mile run this morning after being fueled by the mao cha from this same farm this morning.

Jiang… the current Wild Monk cake is from spring material I bought from producer in 2012. The mao cha that is available right now is autumn-picked 2013. Definitely similarities, but the cake is taking some interesting turns in flavor/aroma as it ages. Both are nice. We are awaiting the arrival of the new wild monk cakes that I had pressed using the autumn 2013 material. I hope you enjoy it! Big difference between sheng and shu pu’er. I like both styles.

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98

I just ordered more—darn sale— so I decided to finish off the last of my sample. It’s like seeing an old friend again after a long time. You miss them, you know they are there if you need them but you just never get around to calling them. That’s how I feel about this tea. I love it so much and I know I have a cake waiting for me but I feel better waiting to drink it. Does that sound crazy?

It’s still my favorite gentleman’s shu after all this time. It’s creamy milk chocolate with a nutty background. There’s also a heavy cream-ish taste in the background. So nice. Like hot cocoa. I’m totally okay with having bought 4 more ounces of this. So okay.

Flavors: Chocolate, Cream, Nuts

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML
Dexter

Awesome…. that’s exactly how I feel about some of my favorite teas. Nice to know they are there, but you just don’t get around to “calling” them as often as you should.
You introduced me to this one, and I still LOVE it – thank you.

mrmopar

I went for the shou sale and got a lot of sheng to go with it! looking forward to my order from Mandala!

Garret

YES! I just packaged up your order, my dear and shipped it out! John, you should see yours soon, too! I’ve got a few new pressings in the works that I am quite excited about. It’ll be a few months before we see them (they have to be pressed, dried, sit for a while before shipping to US) but I look forward to sharing them with y’all when they finally land stateside!

Thank you each so much for spreading the word of our humble company. It truly means so very much. We are proud to have friends like you.

Grateful,
Garret

graceatblb

Dexter: A part of me thinks it’s my tendency towards hoarding. If I don’t drink it, I know its there but yeah buy more so I can hoard that too. It’s a vicious cycle. I am so happy that I could introduce you to Noble Mark. Although it doesn’t take much convincing with this one.

mrmopar: I have to load up on sheng one of these days. I am stocked up on shu for the next decade or so but I haven’t found a sheng that I love that much. Aside from Wild Monk that is.

Garret: I can’t wait for the new blends. I kind of fell of the wagon with coffee but now I am all teaified again.

Terri HarpLady

I keep thinking I should start a business called, “Terri’s Tea Library”. I could invite people over for tea, take a love donation, offer to sell them a bit at a reasonable price. OR Do a local subscription thing, where they have a small container that I fill once a month with the tea of their choice. I already do that with a couple of my harp students, I gave them a little tin for HoliDaze, & they can bring it & refill it. It only holds a couple of T worth, but that’s enough to try something out.

Anyway, I’d never really make a real profit, but maybe it could be a non-profit thing. The catch is I’d get to deduct all of my tea & teaware purchases when I do my taxes!! :")

mrmopar

Grace I agree about the shouQ Sheng is where my next direction is. I am trying to get some good stuff now to age in the pumidor. We will discuss some shengs in the future, you should join our discussion on puerh of the day.
Garret I am jumping for joy. I should have my box from you tomorrow!
Terri, can I join you in this venture or have you seen my cupboard lately! ACK!!

MzPriss

This will be my breakfast tea this morning. I haven’t tried it yet but am looking forward to it.

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100

I didn’t know this when I posted my last note about my Phatty Cake but I had hidden a piece of it from myself. My Phatty Cake is now an ex-Phatty Cake. It’s pining for the fjords and I am all sad. Still delicious though.

Flavors: Earth, Nuts

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML
mrmopar

Agreed.

Garret

You always know how to make me smile. The both of ya’s :) Happy day, you two!

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94

I am in the middle of an intense bout of writer’s block. It’s bad. Probably why I am slacking on the tea reviews. But I needed something with a gentle kick in the pants of energy so I figured Killer’s Vanilla would work. It was the perfect jolt of energy with a calming vanilla, minty and lavender accent. I also love the sort of roasty background that the guayusa adds on the finish. I did, however, finish the last of the ounce that I had when I made this iced. So very refreshing especially with spicy food.

Flavors: Flowers, Vanilla

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 15 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
MissB

Boo for writers’ block. I find that it’s been years since I’ve had an issue like that myself (I write full time for a living), probably due to my having an insane to-do writing list that’s years long, and if I do feel a bit of a stoppage, I just continue writing until it eases up. Matcha also helps! Hope the words flow quickly and smoothly again soon.

graceatblb

It’s terrible. This happens very rarely but when it does it takes months for me to kick. I am going to give matcha a try as well as organizing. A to do list is something I should probably have thought of by now :)

Sil

I miss you when you’re not around my friend!

graceatblb

I miss all of my Steepster friends when I am not around as well. I’m a lurking lurker who lurks right now because writing anything is like pulling my hair out and eating it like spaghetti.

Sil

hopefully you’ve been enjoying the reads at least haha

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94

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94

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100
drank Special Dark by Mandala Tea
92 tasting notes

I’m in the middle of my yearly Anne of Green Gables—and Emily and Pat and Kilmeny and Jane —reread. It’s my favorite series of books and I have had a reread every year since 95. I figured this time around I would accompany my reading with a brew or twelve of my favorite tea. Today it’s Special Dark’s turn and there is something special about drinking it while reading my favorite book. It just tasted better when reading about Anne’s adventures.

Flavors: Chocolate, Cocoa, Cream, Nuts

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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92

I made a terrible discovery today. All of my emails from one account were going to Spam and not getting forwarded to my main email.So I have to sort through months of emails. So, if you’re one of those people out there who has emailed me and never heard back, that’s why.

I think this may be my favorite flavored tea. Creamy chocolate, slight nuttiness, orange. Nothing overpowering but so good. The best part of this blend is the base. It’s one of the most chocolaty black teas I have ever tried. I almost feel bad that I just drank the last of this because I will miss it…I sense a Butiki order in my very near future.

Flavors: Chocolate, Cream, Orange Zest

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Anna

Aaah, spam filter horrors. I’ve had that happen to me, too, and it’s so annoying.

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Profile

Bio

Book blogger. Hockey fan. Reformed coffee drinker. Newly minted tea addict. I grammar police myself and no one else. Pu’er lover.

My favorite type of tea is pu’er. I can see myself living in a house alone with just pu’er cakes, a electric tea kettle, my trusty pu’er pick from Mandala and a thermos. I prefer ripe pu’er but love raw pu’er as well. My current favorite is the Special Dark from Mandala Tea.

Black Tea-I also love all forms of black tea. Black tea is where I started and I still love the malty loveliness of a good black tea. My current favorite is Grandpa’s Anytime Tea from Butiki.

Green Tea-Green tea is pretty hit and miss with me. I have never really developed a liking towards it. I have been dying to explore green tea more. Especially matcha and genmaicha. My current favorite is Autumn Harvest Laoshan Green from Verdant Tea.

Herbals/Mate-It depends on what’s in them. I gravitate more to herbs and spices rather than fruit flavors. My current favorite is Fired Up Fennel from Davids Tea.

I love mate (and guayusa). It helped me kick my coffee habit to one cup a day. I will try any blend with mate in it. My current favorite is Chocolate Rocket from Davids Tea.

White Tea-Sadly, I haven’t tried many white teas but I am planning on it very soon.

Oolong Tea-I have tried one or two oolong teas but in blends only. I am dying to try a straight oolong. My current favorite is Milk Oolong by Mandala Tea.

Rooibos-I love rooibos blends but they are very hit and miss with me. I love the woodiness of rooibos. My favorite is currently Oh Canada from Davids Tea.

Flavored Tea-I love flavored teas. I am willing to try just about any flavor combination and the weirder the better. My current favorite flavored tea is Laoshan Black Chocolate Genmaicha by Verdant Tea.

I am always searching for a tea with fig or chili in it.

My favorite tea companies-Mandala Tea (their Phatty Cake was my first ever “Oh My God” tea moment), Butiki Teas, Verdant Tea, and Davids Tea

Location

Staten Island, New York

Website

http://bookslikebreathing.blo...

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