103 Tasting Notes

95
drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
103 tasting notes

DANG! This tea makes me want to go all James Brown and yell “Excuse me while I do the boogaloo” or “Jump back and kiss myself!” No secret that I’m a big bold tea lover. This one goes directly and immediately without stopping into my deep dark pantheon along with Zhi Gong Fu Black, Mandala Black Beauty and even my beloved Special Dark.

I made beer a few times and this reminds me very very much of the smell and taste of the dark crystal malt that I chewed like candy to the point that I had to buy more to make beer.

This is round and malty and grainy and sweet and smooooooth. I made an error by only buying 2 ounces but that will be corrected immediately. According to Verdant’s website, this was an autumn harvest. I know there is discussion about one not being quite as wonderful as the other – and I don’t know which one of those this is – but if there is an even more wonderful one than this – I want to taste that bad boy.

Mr. and Mrs. He of Laoshan Village – rock on with your bad selves and thank you for making this tea so I may enjoy it.

Flavors: Malt

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100
drank Special Dark by Mandala Tea
103 tasting notes

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drank Decaf Earl Grey by Harney & Sons
103 tasting notes

I love a good Earl. I have been searching for some decent decaf teas for nighttime as I have sleep issues. While this particular one is lighter in body (expected as it is decaf), it is fairly flavorful and not too bitey even with a 5 minute steep. I love the aroma – it seems a little extra lemony than a lot of the Earls and lightly floral. It’s nice. Very palatable for a decaf and I am happy to have this as a nighttime tea. I’m always looking for suggestions for other decafs that might be good.

I have samples of H&S assam and ceylon decafs as well but have been avoiding them as I don’t really care that much for the caffeinated versions of either. The base in this tastes and feels like ceylon, but the bergamont helps.

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95
drank Black Beauty by Mandala Tea
103 tasting notes

My oh my! This tea is just lovely. I’m a huge Keemun fan and this definitely reminds me of a nice Keemun. I find a malty flavor very pronounced in both the the aroma and the sip. There is also a succulent winey/almost grapey flavor that is oh so appealing to me. This tea is silky smooth but almost sprightly at the same time. This is a happy tea. My yoga this morning was really smooth and easy and this tea complemented it beautifully. I think I will always have some of this around.

I am starting my day in a perfect place.

I am editing this to add: I think for my first cup, I may have slightly underleafed this. Which, judging by how much I enjoyed it was likely a happy mistake – I loved it that way! For the second round, I added more tea. This is a more grounded version. Deeper with more bass, but still that lovely malty thing that I love so much. I really enjoy it both ways and am likely to prepare it more often slightly underleafed. Love this!

Terri HarpLady

This tea really is delicious!

Flowery

Yay! So glad you like it.

MzPriss

It is delicious. I am generally a “too much is always better than not enough” kinda gal, so I’m really surprised at how much I like this just a little underleafed. It wasn’t very much underleafed, but it was so completely different and I really loved it both ways. It’s really good tea.

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I was offered this tea after a massage today. Instead of hem making it in a paper cup with almost hot water from a machine, I took the tea bag and brought it home. I am not generally a flavored tea person. This tea isn’t going to change my mind. Like someone else noted previously, I don’t taste much almond – this was very coconutty to me. I don’t need to own any of this.

Flavors: Coconut

Terri HarpLady

I’m with you. I like my greens ‘pure’, for the most part. Of course, there are occasional exceptions, but they are not common.

MzPriss

I most especially don’t like artificial flavors and they seem especially bite-y with greens to me.

Dustin

More for me then! I love this tea,

MzPriss

I did think the (apparently) hand-tied bag was cute though…

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100
drank Special Dark by Mandala Tea
103 tasting notes

Yes, again! I woke up ridiculously early (in fact, it is still ridiculously early) and headed out to my deck for a bunch of sun salutations. In the dark.It is already 64 lovely degrees and will get into the low 80s later. Right this minute, I love Texas weather. Ask me again in mid-July though. Today will be a very indulgent day for me. I SHOULD clean my house. Instead I’m doing yoga and going for a thai massage with a friend and trying a new restaurant later.

I got a whole bunch of new tea in the last week and I had every intention of trying something different this morning. And yet. Here I am sipping on a huge steamy mug of deep, dark, chocolately awesomeness with my dogs curled up in the bed. Because this is my indulgent day and THIS is what I wanted. I steeped for 7 minutes and even put in a little half and half a wee spoon of local creamed honey.

Special Dark reminds me very much of my yin yoga practice – long deep holds that you relax into. Yin is the black side of the coin. It is soft and slow and surrender.

I have an insanely stressful job and this is helping me hit the re-set button. This tea is all bottom. Like J-Lo, Kim Kardashian kinda bottom. Big, round and and full. This tea is Barry White singing Love Serenade – its alll about the little bit of naughty slow jam: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qj1QRbhEmlU

TeaBrat

Sounds like a great day! I love yoga and hope to get back to it some day!

looseTman

“I got a whole bunch of new tea in the last week and I had every intention of trying something different this morning. And yet. Here I am sipping on a huge steamy mug of deep, dark, chocolately awesomeness …” Sounds wonderful! Garret should be very very happy!

MzPriss

@TeaBrat – I promise you that I am not exaggerating when I say that for me, yoga was/is absolutely life changing. There are so many kinds that you can find one that works for you and makes your life better, even if your life is just fine the way it is.

@Tman – Well a whole bunch of the new tea that came was from Garret :) – but he strikes me as a pretty happy guy in general anyway. I need to get on trying all of my new Keemuns.

looseTman

It’s looseTman as opposed to Tbagman :-)

MzPriss

@TeaBrat – I read your post about yoga wrong. You want to get back to it – not start it. I think its naptime.

Garret

I am happy LooseTman :) tea and yoga! Yoga is amazing. Yoga is life. So happy to know more tea heads who are into yoga.

looseTman

Garret,
The Steepster community appears to truly enjoy your teas. I look forward to the Mandala Tea experience. Congrat’s on your success!

Garret

Thanks a ton, Tman! We are the epitome of a small business. 3 people trying to make this whole thing go so it is very gratifying to be able to feel the love, that’s for sure. I began importing tea back in 2005 but since selling my wellness center and focusing only on tea (opened this new shop exactly one year ago in Rochester, MN), it is actually happening for us. Hard work, countless hours, but more and more joy to be experienced all the time. Have a great day, my friend!

looseTman

You’re welcome! May you also have a great day Garret!

Jude

Oh yeah, after a session of yin I feel like a bird flying … so wonderful… and only discovered it in my 4th decade of life after 20 years of other types of yoga! Other styles of yoga are great but yin is different. So if this tea is like yin, I am going to have to try it.

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100
drank Special Dark by Mandala Tea
103 tasting notes

MMMMM breakfast tea. mmmmmmmmm

mrmopar

This stuff will get ya hooked!

MzPriss

Its just ridiculous how good it is. And if you like this you really should try the Zhi Gong Fu if you haven’t. Its really fine.

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95
drank Gong Fu by Zhi Tea
103 tasting notes

I thought I had already done a note on this tea. This is my morning tea today and I’m oh so glad. This tea is scrumptious!!! It is dark and slightly cocoa-y and keemun-y tasting. Very rich and I would imagine if you put a little honey in it – it would taste like dessert. I usually have a couple of drops of cream in my breakfast tea. Am not sure this needs it and will try the next cup nekkid. There is no bitterness here – just smooth rich goodness. This tea is earthy and grounding. I can see why this is Zhi’s best selling tea. There will always be some of this in my tea cabinet. If my beloved Special Dark is like a big deep double bass – this is the low notes on a cello. Full of win. This tea is like Lou Rawls singing “Youll Never Find Another Love Like Mine” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCW1i5HQ0o0

Flavors: Chocolate

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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90
drank Kashmir Rose by Simpson & Vail
103 tasting notes

Wow! This tea!!! I like this tea just a whole lot. I also love that the samples from Simpson & Vail are HUGE so I have enough to have it several times. It tastes almost like an Earl Grey chai thingie. Rose and cardamom, my very favorite spice. This is really smooth, not bitter at all. It is even good cold as I got on a phone call and forgot to take it to go and left. When I came home, it was cold and still very very delicious. The rose isn’t obnoxious – this is just really nice tea and I will likely keep this one stocked. As I tried to add the flavor notes from drop down below – I was interested to see that cannabis is a choice and cardamom isn’t which made me LOL.

TeaBrat

this IS nice :)

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100
drank Special Dark by Mandala Tea
103 tasting notes

Just steeped my first cup of Special Dark. I’m groggy from approximately zero hours of sleep (its South By Southwest y’all!) and normally I would put in all sorts of chocolatey, depth, complexity, etc notes. I’m exhausted. This tea was freaking awesome so I’m gonna leave this note at holy shit! This is GOOD tea and go have another cup.

keychange

good enough for me! get some sleep though!

MzPriss

Yeah I need to, but there id all this music I want to see, and friends from out of town and things I want to do start at 1 pm and after two cups of this outrageously good tea – I won’t be sleeping. I will likely hit the wall tonight and not stay out til 5 am.

Garret

This review had us all cracking up here at the tea shop!! Way to wake us up after a yoga sesh! We were out late last night listening and dancing to some New Orleans musicians who were in town last night. Rock on, my friend!

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Profile

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/

I am always up for swaps, so stalk my cupboard and hit me up if you see something you want to try.

Black/red Chinese teas 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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