13 Tasting Notes

My first experience with Guayusa – thanks Stephanie – A real nice change of pace from Camellia Sinensis. A nice soft sweetness followed by a faint hint of tartness. A very nice, very interesting blend. Worth a cupboard spot in my book.

Going to have to try this one cold brewed for a hot summer day such as today.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Stephanie

My pleasure! I’ve never tried cold brewing this one. Normally I hot brew it double strong and then dump it over ice. I also thought I’d mention that this one re-steeps quite well :)

inranger

I took this one to work with me and got multiple steeps out of it! :)

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drank Hello Sweetie by Butiki Teas
13 tasting notes

Now I understand. I can glimpse Stacy’s artistry and talent in weaving flavors not on top of, but within a fine base tea. It’s all there. The toffee, the banana, the coconut, and the Assam are all present, in a soft undulating experience that allows for interplay between all of the actors.

I have been hesitant to try flavored blends. My previous experience with grocery store flavored teas that left an artificial perfumed taste in my mouth had me convinced that I wouldn’t like flavored blends. Then there was the name of this tea, even though it is a Dr Who play on words, it made me think that this would be too sweet, too cloying for me. How wrong I was. Thank you Stephanie for including this in my sample pack. It was the perfect Butiki sample for me to start with. It abolished all of my errant prejudices regarding flavored teas. uh-oh more teas to stock now. :) And this one is #1 on my list of flavored blends to stock.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Stephanie

So glad you liked it! I bet you will enjoy the other Butiki flavored teas as well :)

TheTeaFairy

Flavoured tea is not flavoured tea unless it’s Butiki ;-)

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My first sip ever of the esteemed LB and did someone ever mention CHOCOLATE! Wow, can’t wait to see how this cup finishes, but from one sip I am a fan. Yes, this is on my keeper list.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 4 g 8 OZ / 236 ML
Stephanie

Glad it didn’t disappoint!

inranger

absolutely no disappointment, but having not read any tasting notes on it, I was totally unprepared for the richness of this tea. Quite a special tea for special occasions.

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drank The Black Lotus by Butiki Teas
13 tasting notes

My first “breakfast tea” since I discovered good loose leaf. I can see where this is in the same class of some of the old bagged tea I once drank, but that is where the similarity ends. The body is that of a familiar breakfast tea, but the flavor demonstrates so much more depth. A bright smooth tea that is a true pleasure. I now understand what bright is in a tea. :) This one may have to go on my stocking list.

Thanks Stephanie for the sample

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
mj

I love this one!

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drank Special Dark by Mandala Tea
13 tasting notes

No time today for repeated gong fu infusions yet I wanted to revisit this tea. So I did a western brew and found a totally different tea. Enjoyable but the massive cocoa flavor of the gong fu brew is now understated and present with some earthier flavors. I may have underleafed this cup but I am enjoying the different take on this tea. Guess I need to play with it to find my preferred cup of Special Dark.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Special Dark by Mandala Tea
13 tasting notes

My first foray into Pu-er and I was not prepared for the intensity of Special Dark. The first infusion and I realized that Pu-er is in a totally different taste dimension compared to where I’ve been with tea. Luckily I was once and avid coffee drinker and straight black was my preference. So after I sat up and took notice of this foundational shift I am relishing my 2nd infusion, and immersing myself in decadent chocolately bliss.

Oh my, what devilish temptations have I opened myself up to? To late now, 3rd infusion coming up. :)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 10 g 5 OZ / 150 ML
TheTeaFairy

Yes, I can totally see why this tea would appeal to any coffee lover! Used to drink mine black also :-)

mrmopar

Yay! You will find this stuff will grow on you!

Garret

I just got done packaging a bunch of this tea. There is something special about such a very small batch ripe tea like this. I’ve got my feelers out all of the time for ripes processed like this one was.

I’ll never ever forget my first ripe pu’er. So exciting. And then I went to China and experienced raw pu’er and had a whole other experience. I love both styles. First tea of the day has been a ripe pu’er for years and years. The last two years, my first tea has been Noble Mark. Then I usually switch to raw pu’er and whatever else is being brewed up in the shop at any given time.

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drank Pure Buds Black by Mandala Tea
13 tasting notes

Wow…first sip exploded into my mouth with a fresh sweet creamy malt. I can’t wait to see what subsequent infusions bring.

Starting my tea explorations with Mandala may have been a mistake. It’s going to be a monumental struggle to favor one tea over another, they are all so delicious. Hey….good problem to have I guess. But this one is in the mix for a keeper.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML
TheTeaFairy

Lol, I had the same feeling after my first Mandala order. Everything I bought from Garret was just exceptional, especially his pu’erh and oolongs, so yummy!

inranger

I am in trouble then. Mandala’s oolongs and pu’ers are the two categories I’ve not had much experience with so far. I do have Special Dark slated for later today.

Stephanie

I drank some Special Dark this afternoon :)

TheTeaFairy

Inranger, be ready to enter the “Dark Side” of pu’erh then, Special Dark is fantastic! Let us know what you think later :-)

(their raw pu’erh Wild Monk is also spectacular if you’re looking for suggestions)

inranger

WOW – bout all I can say :) My notes just posted.
Thanks for the Wild Monk recommendation. I actually had one cake of Wild Monk on hand when I decided I needed 2. One to sample here and there and one to hold onto. I think I may have been destined to pu’er before I even tasted it.

TheTeaFairy

Then you have very good instinct!

inranger

I’m doing the homework, now just trying to get the experience to go with the theory. On that Wild Monk thing, looks like tea buying is part playing the horses or stock market. Yep instinct said buy. :)

inranger

BTW, done w/7 infusions. Left me in a real nice place. Not sure how to totally evaluate my first pu’er experience, but I know I’ve seen enough that I have to come back soon and take another peek behind the curtain.

TheTeaFairy

Never thought of it this way, but I like the analogy of tea buying and stock market! I’m an impulsive buyer, I admit I don’t always do proper homework, but of all types of tea, pu’erh is the one that requires the most research I think…Luckily, there are also active Pu’erh experts here on Steepster (cough mrmopar) who generously offer their help and knowledge to others :-)

Glad you enjoyed your first pu’erh experience!

inranger

Mrmo is the who told me how much tea to start with today :)

mrmopar

The Wild Mountain Green is a yummy one too.

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drank Green Gold by Mandala Tea
13 tasting notes

Interesting…..I’m really just beginning to discover my tea preferences and have not been a fan of green teas. I’ve had Green Gold in my cupboard for a bit and have been drinking it grandpa style just for the convenience factor. Today all of a sudden I’ve discovered that I am truly enjoying this tea and have developed a taste for and an appreciation of green tea. Uh-oh……means more tea I need to keep on hand.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 8 min or more 3 g

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drank White Night by Mandala Tea
13 tasting notes

I’ve been drinking this “grandpa style” in my thermos. Wonderful way to add tea to my routine when I don’t have time/facilities to brew other teas. It is amazing how a white tea can stand up to continuous infusion and deliver a tasty tea for hours. This tea has for sure earned it’s spot in my cupboard.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 8 min or more 3 g

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drank Black Beauty by Mandala Tea
13 tasting notes

No notes yet. Add one?

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Profile

Bio

62 yo park ranger (aspiring retiree), been a casual tea drinker all my life, but for some reason just discovered the world of tea. :)

I’m enjoying a variety of teas from white to Pu’er, discovering my tastes, and playing with the various ways of coaxing the elixir from the leaf.

I’m developing a broad appreciation for good tea. So the day will come when I can comment from a base of experience.

In the meantime I’m here to learn and I’m happy to be part of this community

Location

Spencer, Indiana USA

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