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96

I experimented a bit with the steep time while brewing this tea so it’s probably a bit crazypants because it jumps all over the place. I think I will follow Garret’s suggested steep times from now on because it worked brilliantly with the Bu Lang Gong Ting.

1st Steep- 1 minute
Very mushroomy and earthy. It was pleasant in its earthiness and not at all overpowering. I think this may be the first earthy shu that I’ve liked.

2nd Steep-45 seconds
Still a bit earthy but with a nice leathery note. Very smooth.

3rd Steep-2 minutes
Yet again the third steep is my favorite. This steep was buttery with a bit of roastiness to it. I don’t know exactly what to compare it to but it brings to mind breakfast.

4th Steep-3 minutes
Still very buttery with a touch of honey. Perhaps a bit more intense than the 3rd steep.

5th Steep-1 minute
This was my final steep and it was lovely. It tasted like molasses. So very good.

I had to stop with this tea after the 5th steep because I tend to drink tea late at night. I know that’s probably not normal but I’m generally a not very normal person.

I loved Four Leaves. Perhaps not as much as Bu Lang Gong Ting but I think that one may be my benchmark tea. I really enjoyed the earthiness of this tea. If I was going to replace my morning cup of coffee—which I still need to be human—-this would be the one.

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

I’m not normal either!

graceatblb

Ha! I have a feeling normal is a bit overrated :)

Garret

Normal is what 95% of the population is. Sisters, you don’t want to be normal :) And I, for one, am glad that you’re not! Thank you!

Bonnie

I need to find an old dude like you Garret with a stash of PU who appreciates the odd eccentric female.

graceatblb

Ditto. I need to find a man with a stash of tea, a love of hockey and the ability to deal with my obsessions. Such a man does not exist.

Garret-I am going to break into the Phatty Cake tonight. Is it acceptable to use a sharp letter opener to break the cake? I completely forgot to buy a breaking pick.

Garret

Bonnie… did you just call me an old dude? :) I do have quite a stash, for sure!

Grace… can’t wait to hear of your Phatty Cake impressions. Sharp letter opener should work just fine on the cake… Just go slowly in order to keep the leaf as whole as possible. Also… check the MandalaTea FB page status today :)

graceatblb

I am going to give the letter opener the good ol’college try. If I don’t post my review tonight, it’s likely because I stabbed myself. It’s antique and sharp.

And thank you for mentioning me on Facebook. Made my day all bright and shiny.

Bonnie

Do you think of yourself as an ‘old dude’ Garret?! Har…I think you’re a youngster! I said, “I need to find an old dude…‘like’ you not you ‘are’ an old dude.” Otherwise, why not just stalk you! And I’m not a cougar, sooooo, you need to drink more puerh evidently and chill out today Garret! I’m going to have to break down and buy some tea from you one of these days. I’ve been getting samples of your tea from my buddy in Virginia, but I want MORE!

Garret

HI Bonnie!! :) Actually, at 46, I feel younger than I ever have in my life. The tea, the running, working out, meditation, qigong, yoga, good food has me feeling my best ever. As far as you not being a cougar, wouldn’t you have to be older than me in order to earn that moniker? I hope you are feeling wonderful today, my dear! Smiling and laughing and dancing and singing…

Bonnie

Oh brother…what a smooth line! Hahaha I’m almost 65!(Like you didn’t know…hahaha!) I feel great when migraine/fibromyalgia are not active and I eat well but can’t exercise other than walking or I end up in the ER with extreme pain. Lots to be thankful for!

graceatblb

Yeah. The letter opener didn’t work. I had to use a coring knife. Looks like I will be ordering a pu’er pick very soon.

Garret

A pu’er pick rocks. Get my favorite one: http://shopmandalatea.com/tea-wares/tea-accessories/fine-breaking-pick.html

I used one of these during my last buying trip in China and brought back many of them. They’re great. You’re great. We’re all so freakin’ great!

Another trick is that if you are happy with the flavor of a tea you can always steam the cake for a couple of minutes and it will loosen up. You can them lay the leaf out on a tray to air dry and then simply store as a loose leaf tea in a jar. This will pretty much stop the aging, but hey, if you are going to be drinking the cake up and don’t want to mess with prying the leaf off, this is a great solution for many!

ah yeah!

graceatblb

I decided to get the pick…and a couple of ripe pu-ers of course. I am weak. I got samples of Guo Zhi Yin Pu Shi 063 Tribute and Yong De Organic – 2007.

And the Phatty Cake was just…beautiful. Tea note will be posted shortly :)

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Comments

Bonnie

I’m not normal either!

graceatblb

Ha! I have a feeling normal is a bit overrated :)

Garret

Normal is what 95% of the population is. Sisters, you don’t want to be normal :) And I, for one, am glad that you’re not! Thank you!

Bonnie

I need to find an old dude like you Garret with a stash of PU who appreciates the odd eccentric female.

graceatblb

Ditto. I need to find a man with a stash of tea, a love of hockey and the ability to deal with my obsessions. Such a man does not exist.

Garret-I am going to break into the Phatty Cake tonight. Is it acceptable to use a sharp letter opener to break the cake? I completely forgot to buy a breaking pick.

Garret

Bonnie… did you just call me an old dude? :) I do have quite a stash, for sure!

Grace… can’t wait to hear of your Phatty Cake impressions. Sharp letter opener should work just fine on the cake… Just go slowly in order to keep the leaf as whole as possible. Also… check the MandalaTea FB page status today :)

graceatblb

I am going to give the letter opener the good ol’college try. If I don’t post my review tonight, it’s likely because I stabbed myself. It’s antique and sharp.

And thank you for mentioning me on Facebook. Made my day all bright and shiny.

Bonnie

Do you think of yourself as an ‘old dude’ Garret?! Har…I think you’re a youngster! I said, “I need to find an old dude…‘like’ you not you ‘are’ an old dude.” Otherwise, why not just stalk you! And I’m not a cougar, sooooo, you need to drink more puerh evidently and chill out today Garret! I’m going to have to break down and buy some tea from you one of these days. I’ve been getting samples of your tea from my buddy in Virginia, but I want MORE!

Garret

HI Bonnie!! :) Actually, at 46, I feel younger than I ever have in my life. The tea, the running, working out, meditation, qigong, yoga, good food has me feeling my best ever. As far as you not being a cougar, wouldn’t you have to be older than me in order to earn that moniker? I hope you are feeling wonderful today, my dear! Smiling and laughing and dancing and singing…

Bonnie

Oh brother…what a smooth line! Hahaha I’m almost 65!(Like you didn’t know…hahaha!) I feel great when migraine/fibromyalgia are not active and I eat well but can’t exercise other than walking or I end up in the ER with extreme pain. Lots to be thankful for!

graceatblb

Yeah. The letter opener didn’t work. I had to use a coring knife. Looks like I will be ordering a pu’er pick very soon.

Garret

A pu’er pick rocks. Get my favorite one: http://shopmandalatea.com/tea-wares/tea-accessories/fine-breaking-pick.html

I used one of these during my last buying trip in China and brought back many of them. They’re great. You’re great. We’re all so freakin’ great!

Another trick is that if you are happy with the flavor of a tea you can always steam the cake for a couple of minutes and it will loosen up. You can them lay the leaf out on a tray to air dry and then simply store as a loose leaf tea in a jar. This will pretty much stop the aging, but hey, if you are going to be drinking the cake up and don’t want to mess with prying the leaf off, this is a great solution for many!

ah yeah!

graceatblb

I decided to get the pick…and a couple of ripe pu-ers of course. I am weak. I got samples of Guo Zhi Yin Pu Shi 063 Tribute and Yong De Organic – 2007.

And the Phatty Cake was just…beautiful. Tea note will be posted shortly :)

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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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