100
drank Special Dark by Mandala Tea
92 tasting notes

I’ve been going on and on about Special Dark pu’er. It’s probably gotten quite annoying. I am happy to say that it lived up to every single one of my expectations. I like it better than the Phatty Cake and Bu Lang Gong Ting and they are my benchmark pu’ers.

1st Steep-30 seconds
Garret said it would taste like chocolate but, honestly, I was a little skeptical. Dry it smells a bit like cocoa powder. I am not kidding about that. Not even the Hershey kind but the expensive Valrhona powder. And the most amazing thing is that it tastes like cocoa when brewed too. I didn’t put any sugar in it at first so it tasted like unsweetened hot cocoa with a really rich cocoa. I added a touch of raw sugar and it really brought out the chocolate flavor.

2nd Steep-45 seconds
Still very chocolaty with a creamy finish. Almost like a good chocolate mousse.

3rd Steep-1 minute
Milk chocolate. Some spice is coming through but not much yet. Is it sane to say a tea is completely blowing my mind?

4th Steep-2 minutes
Suddenly it’s back to dark, dark chocolate again and there is cinnamon on the finish. Mexican hot chocolate? Yes, please.

5th Steep-3 minutes
And just like that, the chocolate has left the building. It’s sort of butterscotchy. The chocolate isn’t gone really. It’s there in some sips but the butterscotch is really dominating.

6th Steep-5 minutes
Honey and maybe a bit of brown sugar. Still so smooth and tasty. So happy I have 4 oz of it.

7th Steep-Overnight
I know. Overnight sounds crazy and it is. I dropped the leaves in my tea thermos and left it to steep overnight. Can’t say that the result was bad. It tasted like whipped cream and caramel. Not bad at all.

This is the smoothest, tastiest, loveliest pu’er I have ever tried. Pu’ers are typically earthy but this has none of that. It’s starts out smooth and sweet and it finishes that way. Seriously, put a blindfold on and you think your drinking hot cocoa or, at least, chocolate flavored tea. It’s really one unique tea.

And this tea also proved that “tea drunk” does, in fact, exist.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec
Sil

This makes me want to get some to try! I’ll have to see if I can squeeze time in this weekend to try the others you sent me :)

graceatblb

I can’t wait for you to try them. Especially the Yong De. This one kind of reminds me of it but the Yong De starts out a bit earthy.

Tealizzy

Wow, that sounds awesome!!

Awkward Soul

OOoooh I need to try this! DROOOOOOOL

Mercuryhime

This sounds amazing! I can’t see it on their site. Where do I acquire some?

graceatblb

They haven’t put it on the site yet but Garret let me order some. You can email him and ask :)

Mandala Tea

I thought you might adore this one!!! We are crazy busy right now with the new shop and haven’t even had a chance to get this pu’er up online yet. But, as our dear friend, Grace said, I would be happy to help you to acquire some of this in the meantime. Just shoot me an email at: [email protected]. I have a feeling we’ll be hoping we had bought a whole bunch more of this crop. It was expensive because of the super small batch ripening, but we thought it totally worth it. Tea ya!!!

pyarkaaloo

wow…thank you for this lovely review! what a description, this tea sounds marvelous…my only experience with Pu’erh is Chocolate pu’erh by Numi… have yet to try a cake! from what i understand, pu’erhs have an inherently earthy quality to them, but this sounds like a very special one

Sil

this one is wonderful Pyarkaaloo! Garret has a number of wonderful puerhs!

pyarkaaloo

thank you, Sil :) who is this famed Garret i keep hearing about on here? he’s practically a legend…everyone is always thanking him… it is perhaps, a rite of passage, to being on this site! ;p

graceatblb

Pyarkaaloo: Sorry it took me so long to see this. Best Buy was holding my computer hostage for repairs today. Special Dark is one of the great loves of my life. It tastes like one of those fancypants dark chocolate bars. I just had a bit with honey at a 7 minute steep and it was perfect. It’s so special and when Garret runs out, I will cry.

Garret is the man behind Mandala Tea. He is singlehandedly responsible for my love of pu’er. He’s pretty awesome :)

Dexter

pyarkaaloo – I agree to all of this – graceatblb helped me discover Mandala – and Garrett – yep amazing pu’erhs. I can’t believe I haven’t tried this one yet – but if it’s half as good as most of the ones I’ve tried it will be amazing. Garret + Mandala + pu’erh = an amazing tea experience. :))

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Comments

Sil

This makes me want to get some to try! I’ll have to see if I can squeeze time in this weekend to try the others you sent me :)

graceatblb

I can’t wait for you to try them. Especially the Yong De. This one kind of reminds me of it but the Yong De starts out a bit earthy.

Tealizzy

Wow, that sounds awesome!!

Awkward Soul

OOoooh I need to try this! DROOOOOOOL

Mercuryhime

This sounds amazing! I can’t see it on their site. Where do I acquire some?

graceatblb

They haven’t put it on the site yet but Garret let me order some. You can email him and ask :)

Mandala Tea

I thought you might adore this one!!! We are crazy busy right now with the new shop and haven’t even had a chance to get this pu’er up online yet. But, as our dear friend, Grace said, I would be happy to help you to acquire some of this in the meantime. Just shoot me an email at: [email protected]. I have a feeling we’ll be hoping we had bought a whole bunch more of this crop. It was expensive because of the super small batch ripening, but we thought it totally worth it. Tea ya!!!

pyarkaaloo

wow…thank you for this lovely review! what a description, this tea sounds marvelous…my only experience with Pu’erh is Chocolate pu’erh by Numi… have yet to try a cake! from what i understand, pu’erhs have an inherently earthy quality to them, but this sounds like a very special one

Sil

this one is wonderful Pyarkaaloo! Garret has a number of wonderful puerhs!

pyarkaaloo

thank you, Sil :) who is this famed Garret i keep hearing about on here? he’s practically a legend…everyone is always thanking him… it is perhaps, a rite of passage, to being on this site! ;p

graceatblb

Pyarkaaloo: Sorry it took me so long to see this. Best Buy was holding my computer hostage for repairs today. Special Dark is one of the great loves of my life. It tastes like one of those fancypants dark chocolate bars. I just had a bit with honey at a 7 minute steep and it was perfect. It’s so special and when Garret runs out, I will cry.

Garret is the man behind Mandala Tea. He is singlehandedly responsible for my love of pu’er. He’s pretty awesome :)

Dexter

pyarkaaloo – I agree to all of this – graceatblb helped me discover Mandala – and Garrett – yep amazing pu’erhs. I can’t believe I haven’t tried this one yet – but if it’s half as good as most of the ones I’ve tried it will be amazing. Garret + Mandala + pu’erh = an amazing tea experience. :))

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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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