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96

Wow, Steepsters. Just wow. Garret very kindly sent me a sample of this, and I am completely floored. This is a 2012?! I’m not getting any bitterness from this, even at 205f. I’m certainly not a puerh expert, in fact I think I barely qualify as a “newb”, but I would be very excited to try this tea again in 5 years (and 10, and 15…). It’s subtly sweet, smoky, and almost creamy. Slightly reminiscent of a vegetal green but the smoky element really sets this apart.

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

Do you know where the tea comes from? Lincang and Yiwu produce ‘ready-to-drink’ Puerhs that match your description. Sounds nice!

Garret

JC – I bought the material made in to this cake when I was touring dehong area in April 2012. Was enamored with it and for days I kept coming back to the samples of it and got continuous confirmation to do a pressing of it. It just made me feel good. Lincang was also an area where I spent several days and got the material for the “hear of the old tree” pressing that I did. I’m working on another pressing which will be a blend of several leaves from various places I visited in April. I’ve tweaked the combo of leaves over the last couple of weeks and the pressing should happen in the next week or so!

Garret

“heart” not “hear” of the old tree.

JC

Thanks for the answer Garret! That makes sense. Those areas produce very nice and ‘ready-to-drink’ Puerh. That new pressing sounds interesting!

Garret

JC… I don’t know if you are into ripe teas at all, but I am totally pumped about a ripe blend that I completed since my April trip. It is a combination of 4 leaves from Yong De (love it there) all picked and processed in 2011. The pressing finally happened and I am so pleased that pressed over 400 cakes of it. Also got 150 pounds to have as loose leaf here in the shop. I’ll have the loose leaf up online in the next week or so. The cakes are not ready to ship out of China yet so we will not see the bulk of them for some time. But… I had 10 of the cakes airmailed to me and they arrived yesterday. Fantastic! The clarity of the liquor and the lack of post-fermentation smell is boggling my mind. I am so happy about it that I am seeing if I can possible squeak anymore of the same batches of leaves to make one more pressing.

Garret

Sheesh, I get too excited, hit send and find out I should proofread… I meant to say “see if I can possibly squeak out anymore of the same…”

JC

Edit Version
Hahahaha! I was just thinking about Yong De, all that area (refering to Dehong/Lincang and vicinity) seems to produce a Burgundy ripe tea that is incredibly clean looking. I wonder if that is the reason why usually has some ‘juiciness’ to them.

I don’t have much experience with Puerh… yet. lol I’ve been drinking both ripe and raw for about 3-4 years now and I’m just amazed on how with some experience you can begin to understand the traits the tea will/might have just by knowing where it comes from. The way around as well. Puerh is a world of its own in my opinion.

JC

Same here I had to edit my comment and if I read it again I will find many other things to edit. New found and true loves are like that, they get in your brain.

Garret

In your brain, for sure, and more importantly, the heart :)

Yes… pu’er is a world unto its own… raw pu’er – one world. ripe pu’er – another world. I keep diving deeper and deeper in to each, a daily pilgrimage… you know what I mean, I can tell!

JC

You are very right indeed. Honestly, tea in general, but specially puerh has sparked all sorts of interest in me. As well as pursuit for knowledge. Puerh, in my experience so far, is very humbling. You slowly start to form an idea of what ‘composes’ the traits of a ripe/raw and then comes along a new one you haven’t tried yet to shatter (in the greatest of way possible) that ideal. It is like the teacher that presents you with a challenge and keeps you forever interested in a lesson.

Garret

Thanks to Claire for getting JC and I together in a conversation :)
Late night tea session here in MN, complimented by the musings of a fellow lover of the leaf! Tea keeps bringing great folks together!!!

JC

I drink to that! (A late night session in DC). Chá Dào

Terri HarpLady

I hope you all don’t mind my evesdropping, this has been an interesting conversation! I’m still new to Pu’er myself, but am loving it. Thanks for the review Claire, this sounds like one I’d like to sample as well. Garrett, the tea you’re describing sounds exciting, and I’m checking out your website!

Garret

Hi Terri! Eavesdropping… always an interesting word to me. And I’m glad you eavesdropped in! I’m glad you are getting interested in pu’er tea. I drink anything of camellia sinensis (if it’s good, that is), but pu’er is definitely my 75% of the time drink. Thanks for checking out the site, too… lots of changes coming for Mandala Tea as we move our headquarters to another city in a few short weeks, bring on a new biz partner and gear up for website changes, more travels to China for finding more raw material for or private label pressings and work hard to help others discover the joy of all things tea! I see you are a musician! Me, too! I have played drums and percussion and also voice for many years. Music and tea make for incredible companions!

Terri HarpLady

Hi Garret! Nice to meet you! Music is my life, and Tea has been a big part of that life. Between gigs, students, & CD sales I manage to make a pretty good living, and have lots of free time to sip tea in the process. I even wrote a song, “TeaMind”, (I also sing), that’s on one of my CDs.
I’ve had some really interesting experiences with Pu’er, which initially freaked me out a little, but I’ve been reading a lot of things, and am developing an understanding of Chaqi. I’m not new to energy work & movement, but I had never experienced the kind of sensations I was having from Tea! I’m looking forward to sampling some of yours!

Claire

I wandered away from the PC for a few hours and came back to some great comments and conversation. I love this community!

I’ve been sipping on the wild monk for most of the night now and it’s still fantastic, very calming for me. Perfect end to a long and tiring week.

Sil

Some day i’ll need to get in to pu’ers…

Garret

Yeah, Claire, see what you started? You’re like a little tea socialite, getting people together like this :)

Sil… pu’er is great stuff, but it is not everyone’s cup of tea. I’ve got so many friends and customers who never really get into it. Pu’er tea is definitely interesting stuff, but it is no king/queen of tea. Tea is no monarchy, rather it is a democracy and each person elects their favorite each time they reach into their personal tea vault. I love that I get to hold several elections every day!

I just encourage everyone to practice joy, no matter what tea they are into. With joy in mind, any cup of nice, well-prepared tea can take us on a journey deep within, get us closer to our friends, closer to the perfect and inspire our future successes.

white, green, yellow, wulong, black, pu’er – all are merely different paths up the same mountain. Drink up and LOVE what you love :)

Best of health to each of you!

Sil

Ill have to but you when I get into them garret and see what you recommend from your store :)

Claire

I love Rayn’s little “reviews” of teas, and I forgot to add his from last night! He took a sip and said “hay…smoke”. One more sip and then “a burning barnyard”.

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Comments

JC

Do you know where the tea comes from? Lincang and Yiwu produce ‘ready-to-drink’ Puerhs that match your description. Sounds nice!

Garret

JC – I bought the material made in to this cake when I was touring dehong area in April 2012. Was enamored with it and for days I kept coming back to the samples of it and got continuous confirmation to do a pressing of it. It just made me feel good. Lincang was also an area where I spent several days and got the material for the “hear of the old tree” pressing that I did. I’m working on another pressing which will be a blend of several leaves from various places I visited in April. I’ve tweaked the combo of leaves over the last couple of weeks and the pressing should happen in the next week or so!

Garret

“heart” not “hear” of the old tree.

JC

Thanks for the answer Garret! That makes sense. Those areas produce very nice and ‘ready-to-drink’ Puerh. That new pressing sounds interesting!

Garret

JC… I don’t know if you are into ripe teas at all, but I am totally pumped about a ripe blend that I completed since my April trip. It is a combination of 4 leaves from Yong De (love it there) all picked and processed in 2011. The pressing finally happened and I am so pleased that pressed over 400 cakes of it. Also got 150 pounds to have as loose leaf here in the shop. I’ll have the loose leaf up online in the next week or so. The cakes are not ready to ship out of China yet so we will not see the bulk of them for some time. But… I had 10 of the cakes airmailed to me and they arrived yesterday. Fantastic! The clarity of the liquor and the lack of post-fermentation smell is boggling my mind. I am so happy about it that I am seeing if I can possible squeak anymore of the same batches of leaves to make one more pressing.

Garret

Sheesh, I get too excited, hit send and find out I should proofread… I meant to say “see if I can possibly squeak out anymore of the same…”

JC

Edit Version
Hahahaha! I was just thinking about Yong De, all that area (refering to Dehong/Lincang and vicinity) seems to produce a Burgundy ripe tea that is incredibly clean looking. I wonder if that is the reason why usually has some ‘juiciness’ to them.

I don’t have much experience with Puerh… yet. lol I’ve been drinking both ripe and raw for about 3-4 years now and I’m just amazed on how with some experience you can begin to understand the traits the tea will/might have just by knowing where it comes from. The way around as well. Puerh is a world of its own in my opinion.

JC

Same here I had to edit my comment and if I read it again I will find many other things to edit. New found and true loves are like that, they get in your brain.

Garret

In your brain, for sure, and more importantly, the heart :)

Yes… pu’er is a world unto its own… raw pu’er – one world. ripe pu’er – another world. I keep diving deeper and deeper in to each, a daily pilgrimage… you know what I mean, I can tell!

JC

You are very right indeed. Honestly, tea in general, but specially puerh has sparked all sorts of interest in me. As well as pursuit for knowledge. Puerh, in my experience so far, is very humbling. You slowly start to form an idea of what ‘composes’ the traits of a ripe/raw and then comes along a new one you haven’t tried yet to shatter (in the greatest of way possible) that ideal. It is like the teacher that presents you with a challenge and keeps you forever interested in a lesson.

Garret

Thanks to Claire for getting JC and I together in a conversation :)
Late night tea session here in MN, complimented by the musings of a fellow lover of the leaf! Tea keeps bringing great folks together!!!

JC

I drink to that! (A late night session in DC). Chá Dào

Terri HarpLady

I hope you all don’t mind my evesdropping, this has been an interesting conversation! I’m still new to Pu’er myself, but am loving it. Thanks for the review Claire, this sounds like one I’d like to sample as well. Garrett, the tea you’re describing sounds exciting, and I’m checking out your website!

Garret

Hi Terri! Eavesdropping… always an interesting word to me. And I’m glad you eavesdropped in! I’m glad you are getting interested in pu’er tea. I drink anything of camellia sinensis (if it’s good, that is), but pu’er is definitely my 75% of the time drink. Thanks for checking out the site, too… lots of changes coming for Mandala Tea as we move our headquarters to another city in a few short weeks, bring on a new biz partner and gear up for website changes, more travels to China for finding more raw material for or private label pressings and work hard to help others discover the joy of all things tea! I see you are a musician! Me, too! I have played drums and percussion and also voice for many years. Music and tea make for incredible companions!

Terri HarpLady

Hi Garret! Nice to meet you! Music is my life, and Tea has been a big part of that life. Between gigs, students, & CD sales I manage to make a pretty good living, and have lots of free time to sip tea in the process. I even wrote a song, “TeaMind”, (I also sing), that’s on one of my CDs.
I’ve had some really interesting experiences with Pu’er, which initially freaked me out a little, but I’ve been reading a lot of things, and am developing an understanding of Chaqi. I’m not new to energy work & movement, but I had never experienced the kind of sensations I was having from Tea! I’m looking forward to sampling some of yours!

Claire

I wandered away from the PC for a few hours and came back to some great comments and conversation. I love this community!

I’ve been sipping on the wild monk for most of the night now and it’s still fantastic, very calming for me. Perfect end to a long and tiring week.

Sil

Some day i’ll need to get in to pu’ers…

Garret

Yeah, Claire, see what you started? You’re like a little tea socialite, getting people together like this :)

Sil… pu’er is great stuff, but it is not everyone’s cup of tea. I’ve got so many friends and customers who never really get into it. Pu’er tea is definitely interesting stuff, but it is no king/queen of tea. Tea is no monarchy, rather it is a democracy and each person elects their favorite each time they reach into their personal tea vault. I love that I get to hold several elections every day!

I just encourage everyone to practice joy, no matter what tea they are into. With joy in mind, any cup of nice, well-prepared tea can take us on a journey deep within, get us closer to our friends, closer to the perfect and inspire our future successes.

white, green, yellow, wulong, black, pu’er – all are merely different paths up the same mountain. Drink up and LOVE what you love :)

Best of health to each of you!

Sil

Ill have to but you when I get into them garret and see what you recommend from your store :)

Claire

I love Rayn’s little “reviews” of teas, and I forgot to add his from last night! He took a sip and said “hay…smoke”. One more sip and then “a burning barnyard”.

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Profile

Bio

I mostly drink straight tea, and some of my favorites are green teas and oolongs. I almost always have some sencha and tieguanyin in my tea cupboard (and if I run out, awesome, an excuse to buy tea). I do like some flavored teas, but can’t stand really sugary stuff so if it’s very sweet I probably won’t like it. I can’t drink milk so all my reviews are of tea without milk and sugar!
I’ve been getting into puerh the last few months.

Outside of Steepster I’m an English Lit major, and will FINALLY be graduating after the Fall 2013 semester. After that I plan on applying for graduate school to obtain a Master’s in Library Science. Currently I work as a student assistant in the Archives and Special Collections department of my school’s library.
I also like reading (of course) and playing video games when I have time for them.

I’m happy to send samples to anyone in the US or Canada. Just ask. :)

Location

San Francisco, CA

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