100
drank Dark Beauty by Mandala Tea
145 tasting notes

This is my 100th tasting note! I’ve been drinking plenty of tea, but I haven’t made a formal note on them because I was saving #100 for something meaningful to me. The very first what I call “real” (not grocery store tea bags) teas that I fell passionately in love with were Mandala teas. Garret was my first tea-pusher. I realize “tea-pusher” sounds a bit questionable and unromantic for the ever so charming and graceful Garret. But I mean it in the most affectionate way possible. Good tea is like the very best kind of addictive drug and dealing with Garret is an addicting experience: beautiful tea made possible by a soulful, ethical company. I will be a lifelong Mandala customer.

I’ve mentioned drinking my Dark Beauty cocktail many times and have had a few requests to add it to the database, so violà! (that was for you TeaFairy).

You won’t find “Dark Beauty” when you go visit Garret at the Mandala site because it’s a concoction of two of my very favorite teas – two great tastes that taste great together if you will. Dark Beauty is a blend of Special Dark Loose Ripe Pu’er and the sweet, mildly chocolate Black Beauty.

Both of the teas are spectacular on their own. I have Special Dark either alone or in this mixture pretty much every morning of my life. Special Dark is very different from most ripe pu’er – there is no leather that I detect, just a deep smooth bass note of heavy chocolate goodness. Black Beauty isn’t a bug bitten tea, but it has those very sweet lychee-honey notes that good bug bitten tea has.

Here’s how I make it: I take a 16 ounce cup or teapot, I put a scant tablespoon of Special Dark in whichever infuser basket I’m using. At this point, once you’ve boiled your water, you can give the SD a quick rinse if you wish. I usually don’t bother because it doesn’t seem necessary to me for this tea – sorry tea careful tea-crafters, sorry about that. I steep the SD in 16 ounces of 212 water for 3 minutes. Then I add a big pinch of the Black Beauty, give it a stir and steep for another 3 minutes.

UPDATED to add the new, lazy, awesome method. I’ve been losing patience with what I call The Dark Beauty Two-Step, so it’s time to make it simple. Now, I’m putting both teas in at the same time (and skewing the ratio slightly more to the Black Beauty side), pouring in the water and steeping it all at the same time for 4 minutes. Works a treat and less fuss If you’re a DB fan, try it this way and let me know what you think.

Yes, that is a LONG time to steep. No, it never gets bitter or astringent. It yields the deepest, darkest cup of sweet comforting awesome you can imagine. Earthy and chocolate with an undertone of caramel lurking back there, especially noticeable as it cools a little and a lilt of the floral-lychee bit from the Black Beauty at the top.

When I’m feeling particularly indulgent, I go Terri-style with this and add a little maple syrup and on occasion, a little bit of milk or almond milk. I have insomnia and lots of stress. This is the tea equivalent to me of the heavy, snuggly quilt my great-grandmother made that I cocooned myself in as a child. This is my pure comfort tea. When I drink this, I hear pretty much everything these guys ever sang: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nedEEL37Lvw

Christina

I’ve never had anything from Mandala, but this tea sounds like it would be quite the experience. Congrats on your 100th note!

mj

Happy 100 :)

MzPriss

:) thanks y’all. Christina – Mandala is all the awesome. I especially love their pu’ers

Sil

woohoo! grats on 100 notes!

Stephanie

That blend sounds amazing!

Sarsonator

Making this tonight. I specifically bought Black Beauty so I could try this!!!!!

re super! I just adore you AND your lovely tasting notes! Have a wonderful day, HoneyBelle!!!!

Sarsonator

Stupid steepster… That said You’re super!!!

And it had a heart. Steepster hates hearts!!!

MzPriss

Awwwww thanks for the <3 Sars. I adore you right back and I think you will love Dark Beauty.

boychik

Congrats on 100!!!

Garret

Dark Beauty recipe is going to go on our site soon, if that’s alright with you, Mz Priss! Naturally, I’ll credit you as the contributor. We are changing up the site over the next few months and I think this will go on the blog that I just started there and also in a recipes section. Great stuff, the Dark Beauty!!

Sarsonator

I’m making mine now!!!! Wooo hoo!!!! 30 secs left!

Garret

And the verdict, Ms Sarsonator?

Sarsonator

Reminds me of my Nana. But probably not why someone might think. LOL. I just posted my review. Yay!

MzPriss

@Garret – of course it’s alright with me – I’m glad you like it. It’s my happy place, as Sars would say: Of Happiness.

Sarsonator

Yep. That’s exactly what I would say! I think you really did a great job with this one, HoneyBelle!

MzPriss

Thanks hon. I’m enjoying my Jabber, thinking about what to put on a tortilla for dinner

Sarsonator

Beans and hummus?
Veggies and hummus?
Veggies and SPICY hummus?

MzPriss

I have both of those things. Good idea, and maybe a cup of Black Beauty w/o SD since my Jabber is allll gone

Sarsonator

I need to try the Black Beauty on it’s own. Maybe I will do that for tomorrow’s AM tea. I got excited and went right for your blend. :)

MzPriss

I love BB. It tastes bug bitten like an OB, but it’s not. It’s yummy

TheTeaFairy

Oh, what a lovely review! You make everyone want to try this beauty cocktail…and guess what? I just got my black beauty in the mail, so tonight is the night!

Haha! And thanks for “violà” much appreciated :-)

looseTman

Congrats on your 100th tasting note! Creating your own “Special” Mandala cocktail is an awesome way to celebrate #100! MzPriss, your truly an original!

MzPriss

Thanks looseTman – I hope you enjoy it if you try it :)

TheTeaFairy

I love the new Lazy DB!!! Great idea ;-)

Sarsonator

Lazy DB FTW!!! I am on my 2nd steep at 6 min. Still good!

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Comments

Christina

I’ve never had anything from Mandala, but this tea sounds like it would be quite the experience. Congrats on your 100th note!

mj

Happy 100 :)

MzPriss

:) thanks y’all. Christina – Mandala is all the awesome. I especially love their pu’ers

Sil

woohoo! grats on 100 notes!

Stephanie

That blend sounds amazing!

Sarsonator

Making this tonight. I specifically bought Black Beauty so I could try this!!!!!

re super! I just adore you AND your lovely tasting notes! Have a wonderful day, HoneyBelle!!!!

Sarsonator

Stupid steepster… That said You’re super!!!

And it had a heart. Steepster hates hearts!!!

MzPriss

Awwwww thanks for the <3 Sars. I adore you right back and I think you will love Dark Beauty.

boychik

Congrats on 100!!!

Garret

Dark Beauty recipe is going to go on our site soon, if that’s alright with you, Mz Priss! Naturally, I’ll credit you as the contributor. We are changing up the site over the next few months and I think this will go on the blog that I just started there and also in a recipes section. Great stuff, the Dark Beauty!!

Sarsonator

I’m making mine now!!!! Wooo hoo!!!! 30 secs left!

Garret

And the verdict, Ms Sarsonator?

Sarsonator

Reminds me of my Nana. But probably not why someone might think. LOL. I just posted my review. Yay!

MzPriss

@Garret – of course it’s alright with me – I’m glad you like it. It’s my happy place, as Sars would say: Of Happiness.

Sarsonator

Yep. That’s exactly what I would say! I think you really did a great job with this one, HoneyBelle!

MzPriss

Thanks hon. I’m enjoying my Jabber, thinking about what to put on a tortilla for dinner

Sarsonator

Beans and hummus?
Veggies and hummus?
Veggies and SPICY hummus?

MzPriss

I have both of those things. Good idea, and maybe a cup of Black Beauty w/o SD since my Jabber is allll gone

Sarsonator

I need to try the Black Beauty on it’s own. Maybe I will do that for tomorrow’s AM tea. I got excited and went right for your blend. :)

MzPriss

I love BB. It tastes bug bitten like an OB, but it’s not. It’s yummy

TheTeaFairy

Oh, what a lovely review! You make everyone want to try this beauty cocktail…and guess what? I just got my black beauty in the mail, so tonight is the night!

Haha! And thanks for “violà” much appreciated :-)

looseTman

Congrats on your 100th tasting note! Creating your own “Special” Mandala cocktail is an awesome way to celebrate #100! MzPriss, your truly an original!

MzPriss

Thanks looseTman – I hope you enjoy it if you try it :)

TheTeaFairy

I love the new Lazy DB!!! Great idea ;-)

Sarsonator

Lazy DB FTW!!! I am on my 2nd steep at 6 min. Still good!

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Bio

Love that I’m living in beautiful Central Texas – land of good fun, good friends, good food, good music and good tea (Zhi – word.) Tasting great tea makes me hear music. Very often you will see a link to the song I hear for a particular tea.

I’m now blogging about tea and food at: http://atasteofmzpriss.wordpress.com/

Instagram: http://instagram.com/atasteofmzpriss

Black/red Chinese teas and pu-erh hold the key to my heart.

I don’t care much for flavored teas, especially the fruity varieties. My exceptions are chai and Earl Grey, and apparently now vanilla. Not much love for lapsang souchong either.

I sit squarely on fence with green and white teas.

If I end up in hell, my punishment will be to drink rooibos.

Location

Texas

Website

http://atasteofmzpriss.wordpr...

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