843 Tasting Notes

95
drank Special Dark by Mandala Tea
843 tasting notes

WHOA! I did a long several minute steep on this one, because my water is a bit under boiling here at work, from the fancy water filter/instant water heater dealie in the break room. Anyway, this tea is INTENSE! But super good! As others described, very much like unsweetened cocoa powder, but not at all bitter. WOO I got a huge caffeine jolt from it too, heh. I ate a piece of pumpkin spice cake with my first steep and it was SO good together. Both were so rich :)

This is going on my shopping list for sure. Thanks so much Kimquat for letting me try this one! :D Next time I want to try it as a sweetened latte ;)

One of my favorite puerhs I’ve tried so far! YAY

kimquat

:D This one wasn’t to my tastes as much as other Mandala shu’s, but I’m glad you liked it.

Garret

Pumpkin spice cake? Do you deliver? That would rock with the Special Dark! Right now, my biz partner is serving up some of the special dark to a very picky customer who travels to China quite regularly. This is his first time in the shop and when he tasted the first 20 second infusion he said “this is exactly what I am looking for!” Yes!

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drank Northern Lights by DAVIDsTEA
843 tasting notes

Sample sip down! I need to start working through some of my smaller samples. Really hoping I get accepted into my first traveling tea box soon! Occasionally I crave herbal teas with peppermint, I dig this one tonight for that reason :)

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88

Well this is interesting. It has a creamy straw/hay flavor like a white tea, with a hint of green vegetal flavor, and a slight maltyness like a black tea. Also a hint of floral aroma. It is good, but hard to describe! Smooth and mellow and somewhat sweet.

Thank you Little Red Cup for providing me a sample of this unique tea for review! :)

BrewTEAlly Sweet

Mmmmmmm I’ll have to try mine soon!

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91

Thanks very much Little Red Cup for a sample of this tea for review!

This reminds me of a stripped down version of one of my favorite green teas of all time- Laoshan Green. There is no soybean creaminess, but the sweetness and GREEN vegetal flavors are there. I would also compare it to Spring Twist by Butiki, but less sweet and delicate. If you are a fan of either of those teas, this might be a suitable and much less expensive alternative!

Hint of floral aroma and tiny bit of astringency. I went for extra leaf and extra steep time so I could hopefully assess everything this tea has to offer. I would definitely drink this one again :)

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92

YAY! My first Mandala tea :) I’m very glad Kimquat sent me some samples in our swap to check out so I can decide what I want to order.

Well, I messed up this one. I was a little confused about the instructions and accidentally underleafed this. SO, I steeped it extra long…nevertheless I am very impressed! I think this might be one of the first “GOOD” puerhs I’ve tried.

I will be more careful with my other Mandala samples ;)

Garret

Thanks for writing about it! I always like to remind folks that there really is no messing up with tea. It’s just a different experience than you meant to have. Tea is so much about surrendering to the moment, letting go into life and giving up expectations. Not to get all Zen on ya :) But really, any experience with tea is better than no tea experience at all, isn’t it? Dang… I love tea. Yes, I do! Let me know if you have any questions on any of the other samples you got from Kimquat. I’m happy to help. And I’m mighty appreciative that she shared some of our tea with you! Have a tea-riffic day, my friend!

Stephanie

Thanks Garret! I love tea too!!

And I still enjoyed this very much, even if it was a little weaker than I would have preferred.

I’m looking forward to trying Loose and Luscious Lincang, milk oolong, and Special Dark very soon :)

Garret

Hi! The Noble Mark is still quite young. I imagine it’ll get a little more kick to it with some age under its belt. It was moderate fermentation on the 4 different leaves which will give them an edge in the long run as far as real aging… just like the Lincang (pronounced lynn-song). That Lincang was the leaf used in the Phatty cake. Can’t wait to hear what you think of the other teas. That Special Dark is a special dark, indeed!

Stephanie

So cool, I love learning about all this stuff! :D

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drank Earl of Anxi by Verdant Tea
843 tasting notes

Thank you so much Kimquat for including this in our swap!

Since I only had one servings worth, I was very precise with my water temp and steep time. Man, this tea smells so beautiful! Floral and citrus sweet with the incensey undertone and oolong tang. But taste wise? Frankincense is SO not my thing! How can something that smells so good taste so bad?? Haha. Anyway, really glad I got to try this one, I’ve been really curious! Apparently I would prefer it as a potpourri ;)

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70

I was scared of this one based on the scent of the dry leaf. I’m very maple picky and it smelled a little artificial! Also there are large pieces of popcorn?! Haha! Anyway, steeped up this makes a decent enough sweet breakfast tea :) Kind of reminds me of french toast. Neither the cinnamon or the maple is overpowering. Not something I’ll buy but it was certainly fun to try on this dreary Sunday morning at work all by myself! Thanks again BrewTEAlly Sweet for sending me so many fun teas to try. I love trying new teas!

True Foodie At Heart

There are pieces of popped popcorn in it? That’s different. :-)

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91

Drinking this one this afternoon to compare to the David’s Pumpkin Chai I had this morning. Well, they’re really in two totally different leagues. First off, this isn’t even a chai, though it does have somewhat prominent cinnamon/nutmeg notes. 2nd of all, I can actually taste the base tea! Clean is how I like to describle this Ceylon. Also, the pumpkin is detectable and not at all artificial. Adding brown sugar really upped the brûlée notes. Sorry David’s, Butiki always wins in my book!

True Foodie At Heart

Oh, I need to try this one.

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drank Pumpkin Chai by DAVIDsTEA
843 tasting notes

Strong chai flavor with slightly artificial pumpkin undertones. Very drinkable with cream and brown sugar. Serves its purpose very well but not something I personally will want to keep around all the time!

Thanks for the sample Teamore I was really glad to try this one :)

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77

YUM. As I was brewing this one, the caramel scent was driving me WILD! It is a heavy, rich and earthy puerh base, but the sugary sweet caramel overtones complement it wonderfully. Thanks very much BrewTEAlly Sweet for including this in our swap! I went on the Enjoyingtea website and am sad that the smallest amount they sell is 4oz. With the kind of stash I have, I try to buy 1oz or less of most teas.

Stephanie

Ehh, the more I drink this, the more musty the base tea seems…guess I am a little pu-erh picky!

Kittenna

This tea is available from a bunch of different vendors, and they’re all quite similar/the same :) English Tea Store and Majesteas, off the top of my head, also carry it.

Sil

yep…and for nearly all that i’ve tried, you want to drink it hot haha

Stephanie

Yeah, the more I drank it the more I wanted to lower my rating…not the best quality puerh. Earthy turns to dirty pretty quick! :P

BrewTEAlly Sweet

Glad you got around to this pu-erh. its definitely one that was not one of my favorites but I thought since our tastes were different sometimes and that you were going on a pu-erh testing I thought I would include it. :)

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Bio

Graphic artist, printmaker, lover of tea.

I love pretty much every type of tea camellia sinensis can produce. I like herbal teas sometimes but I can’t stand rooibos.

Butiki, Verdant, Mandala, TeaVivre and Den’s are my favorite online retailers so far.

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Southern Indiana

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