drank Special Dark by Mandala Tea
2373 tasting notes

Sipdown!!

So I really don’t like pu’erh teas. Perhaps one day my tastes will develop enough that I grow to enjoy them but so far that has not happened. Nonetheless, Cavocorax was generous enough to share a sample of this with me so I figured it was at least worth trying it.

When I first sniffed the dry leaf, there was nothing offensive about the smell so that was comforting. I boiled the kettle, rinsed the leaves for 30 seconds, and that brought out the fishy pu’erh scent that I hate so nerves kicked in. I then steeped the tea for 30 seconds and the result is not as bad as I anticipated given the smell while rinsing. Luckily, there is no fishy taste in this cup however, it is not the cup of liquid chocolate that so many others seemed to experience either. Instead, it is a little bit mushroom and a little bit of dark chocolate and I don’t know about you guys but chocolate-covered mushrooms seems like a weird snack. Ultimately, though this is far more tolerable than other pu’erhs I have tried, I just don’t think I am a pu’erh fan. I am very grateful to Cavo for the chance to try this out though because it has received so much love on steepster lately that I was actually a bit curious. Plus, if I can’t enjoy this one, I feel it is safe to say that pu’erh is just “not my cup of tea” (sorry for that :P).

Marzipan

I’m the same way, it makes me feel like something is lacking me somehow, but maybe with time…

VariaTEA

Maybe. I mean, I never thought I would outgrow my flavored black stage but more and more I find myself reaching for straight blacks so perhaps pu’erh will come with time. Though, tbh, it is nice being able to completely overlook a type of tea when shopping.

Marzipan

I am in that same place, starting to want straight blacks more and more.

OMGsrsly

Mmm, chocolate covered mushrooms. ;) I think the earthy/mushroomy taste is super neat, but it’s not something I crave often. I drink the flavoured bready puerh teas way more frequently.

whatshesaid

I got mushrooms too. But I like it with cream :)

Cavocorax

I tend to steep this for a long time – like 8 minutes? It brings the chocolate out, but I can’t say if it enhances the mushrooms or not…

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Marzipan

I’m the same way, it makes me feel like something is lacking me somehow, but maybe with time…

VariaTEA

Maybe. I mean, I never thought I would outgrow my flavored black stage but more and more I find myself reaching for straight blacks so perhaps pu’erh will come with time. Though, tbh, it is nice being able to completely overlook a type of tea when shopping.

Marzipan

I am in that same place, starting to want straight blacks more and more.

OMGsrsly

Mmm, chocolate covered mushrooms. ;) I think the earthy/mushroomy taste is super neat, but it’s not something I crave often. I drink the flavoured bready puerh teas way more frequently.

whatshesaid

I got mushrooms too. But I like it with cream :)

Cavocorax

I tend to steep this for a long time – like 8 minutes? It brings the chocolate out, but I can’t say if it enhances the mushrooms or not…

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My cupboard has grown exponentially since joining this site and I have a lot to share. Feel free to snoop through my cupboard and message me if anything interests you – I am always happy to swap!

For me, flavored teas are definitely my sweet spot. I will most often reach for black teas and rooibos or honeybush blends but I do keep some flavored whites and greens around for when the mood strikes. I have a few herbals/tisanes but most of the time I find myself disappointed by them as they often smell deliciously sweet and then end up tasting tart/sour. I have a little bit of an aversion to pu’erh and oolong teas. I am also wary of florals, earl greys, and chai teas. I do not like overpowering citrus flavors nor do I usually like hibiscus, licorice or chamomile. I love dessert teas – caramel, vanilla, toffee, cookie, cream, and other sweet flavors make me smile. Fruits like strawberry, peach, mango, and pineapples will often catch my attention as well.

I have also realized that although I really enjoy adding frothed milk to some of my teas, if I do not like the tea with zero additives (just in plain water without milk or sugar), I probably won’t drink it. The one exception is flavored matchas which I will happily drink in cold milk if I do not like it mixed with hot water. My theory is if the tea can’t stand on its own then it is not for me and I will more than likely try to swap it out for something else.

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