252 Tasting Notes

83

Starting this one out with 10 grams picked off the cake and into the yixing. I hit it with hot water for about 5 seconds and let it rest another 30 seconds to open up. The aroma of the wet leaves was almost like a damp forest floor. Like you would find in the woods after hiking through it after a rain shower. The first brew was about 10 seconds as I forgot to set the timer. It brews a nice dark golden color in the glass mug. It has a slight semblance of ’smokiness" to it but only briefly. This quickly turns into a pine and honey flavor. A touch of fleeting bitter and it is back to the honey. this is one of those teas that will make the tip of your tongue slightly numb and excite and tingle the middle part of it. it give the cooling effect after drinking it.
This is a nice enjoyable sheng to those who would like the slight smokiness similar to an aged Xiaguan tea. Very solid for the first cup and afford-ably priced for a whole cake.
Second steep smoke has subsided a bit . A little more bitter turning slightly sweet and the numbing punch is still there..

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 10 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

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85

Brewed this one in the Gaiwan. Started out with 11 grams and a 5 second rinse. Did 3 short steeps of 5 seconds each poured into my 10 oz. mug. This has a nice floral scent after being rinsed. This one is nice with hints of apple and citrus. it brew very clean in the cup. It has an aftertaste wth a slight camphor touch to it. overall a pretty nice sheng.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 11 g

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86

Broke out 10 grams of this to try tonight. I did 2 rinses as this is an aged sheng and brewed with the Gaiwan. It brews a mix of oolong and tie guan yin mix for the color. This gives a light floral mossy taste. If you have had the aroma of a green moss this flavor profile kind of follows this. It has light ‘earthy’ notes that turn to a sweetness in the mouth. to be a sheng this one has no astringency or bite to at at all. It is earthy, mossy and sweet without being cloyingly sweet. It is lightly floral in scent but the flavor hits harder than the scent. Soft and sweet a nice way to wind down for the day.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 10 g 10 OZ / 295 ML
Stephanie

Ooh sounds nice

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80

This little cake is pretty tightly compressed. I broke out the needle and the flat blade to get into this one. The leaf pried off are smaller than most sheng leaves. The dry aroma is almost an oak woody scent. I did 8 grams in the yixing with a 5 second rinse. The wet leaf had an almost metallic scent to it. The first infusion of about 10 seconds yielded a dark amber color. It has a very light scent to it with a good hard hit in the flavor department. It is an upfront slightly bitter and astringent note with hints of pine and the familiar tingle of the camphor from the tea. It has a nice thick sense in the mouth. It is not an overly complex tea but it leaves a nice mouthwatering sweetness to it. The flavor notes carry on for a while after drinking a few sips of this. Nice and upfront and no beating around the bush with this one. Punchy ,upfront and drinkable to be as young as it is.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

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85

This one is giving really rich notes of bittersweet chocolate and caramel. it is really my last cup of the day and it will probably be a short note but it is really nice to wind down with.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 11 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

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70

Read a couple of taste notes before trying this one. It seems to be a little “finicky” to brew as others seem to have experienced. I used a little more leaf than usual to brew with. It brews a light yellow with a mineral floral aroma. It has some astringency with a punchy flowery type of hit. It has a little thickness to as you drink it. I think in terms of some other ones this is not a bruiser tea but a little note that lets you know it’s a sheng.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 14 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

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98

I ordered this loose maocha and a cake on the last Mandala order I got. I have put the cake away but I wanted to sample it in its current state. This tea has an assorted size of leak in it. By volume it is heavier than lots of other puerhs I have tried. I was surpised at how little it actually to to get 9 grams. Might be the thick burly leaf in it.
I got down to business with this one in the yixing. I gave a flash rinse and opened the to to smell the aroma of the wet leaf. This is spicy almost like that little burn wasabi or hot mustard can give in the aroma department.
I steeped this for only about 5 seconds before pouring.
This tea has so many notes it is crazy! You have buttery, pine, sweet, bitter ,floral.
It is velvety but strong, floral with some bitter, citrus y and lots of flavors. You will get the tongue numbing with this one!
This is a rock on dead on fine sheng. I really look forward to this one when it ages.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 11 g 10 OZ / 295 ML
Garret

Yahoooooo!!!!!!! So happy that you are enjoying this one. I love it. I love you review!

John… the mao cha you are drinking is autumn 2013. The mao cha I used to make the wild monk cake is spring 2012. The mao cha is from the same producer. I also just got done with a pressing of this autumn 2013 mao cha for a wild monk followup. It is sooo good.

I look forward to hearing what think about the 2012 cake. Heck and the 2014 cake, too, for that matter :)

Thanks for getting down with the Wild Monk, John!

Terri HarpLady

It’s been awhile since I drank the loose version of this, but I’ve been planning to get the cake for awhile. Garret, you should make a special announcement when you unveil the new monk, because I’d like to get one of each, 2012 & the new one.

mrmopar

+1 on what Terri said!

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70

Got this one out after almost forgetting about it. The tuo is tight on the outer layer but breaks easily after working the pick around. 11 grams in the Gaiwan with a 10 second rinse. the wet leaf has some smoke aroma to it. The taste is an almost pine and wood smoke with the little touch of numb that the camphor gives. It is no where as smoky as the wet leaf would suggest. It gives some drying and an almost salty after taste to it.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 11 g 4 OZ / 118 ML
Yang-chu

Is this their ripe or raw, which year btw?

Dennis Povshedny

This is Ripe one.
Year is 2012 as I see on a seller website.

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96
drank Special Dark by Mandala Tea
252 tasting notes
I only did one brew with 8 grams in the yixing and only one 30 second steep so far. This is a very rich an velvety tea. It has notes of cocoa and slight hints of bittersweet chocolate also. It left me wanting another cup and I think it will eventually morph into a sweet caramel note in the later steeps. I wish I had done another cup last night while writing these notes but I will continue later today. This one has a certain “richness” that I have found only in the highest grade shous. It is a very impressive shou.

Flavors: Cocoa

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 45 sec 8 g 10 OZ / 295 ML
Stephanie

I love this one :)

mrmopar

It’s a keeper for sure. I may buy some of this and put it up for a decade and see how it is then.

TheTeaFairy

I also thought it was impressive, and i’m so happy to have a decent supply of it. For now…nice to know you consider it special enough to want to age it :-)

mrmopar

Yeah when I can afford it and also the Green sheng I drank the other night. I just put 4 other orders in and I think I am going to be in real trouble for doing it….

TheTeaFairy

(just make sure to intercept the mailman first…to avoid the kind of troubles I think you are referring to…just saying)

mrmopar

I better “bribe” the mailman you mean!

TheTeaFairy

Haha! Now I know the extend of your troubles! Yes then, a bribe might be the only way out…(hmm, does he like good pu’erh by any chance??)

boychik

I shower my mailwoman in chocolate. And I love Special Dark.

mrmopar

I may have to pay out cash this time!

looseTman

Any SD updates?

mrmopar

I think I need to pull it out again soon.

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