Featured & New Tasting Notes
So Dexter3657 drank this yesterday and got me thinking about it, and since they don’t need me at work today it is TOTALLY the right choice to drink this one today while I can enjoy it. (Aside from the sick hubby and toddler who need attention. :P)
I’m taking a Special Dark break!
The first time I had this I followed the instructions and steeped it for 30 seconds, but this time I went right for 4. Maybe next time I will go for 8. I didn’t realize this one couldn’t be oversteeped but you can’t blame me for being hesitant! If I did this to one of my favourite blacks it would likely be too bitter and strong at the end.
This, on the other hand, at 4 minutes is quite rich and dark. And yes, very chocolatey. I almost want to rip open my 85% emergency-use-only chocolate bar just to compare the different types of chocolate, but I’d better save that for an emotional pick-me-up. This cuppa has made me happy enough already!
Yes. This is complete proof that Puerh ISN’T something to be afraid of! I can do it! I can enjoy it! Also, this makes me want to put in an order at Mandala to see what else they can do with Puerh!
Flavors: Cocoa, Earth
An incredibly caring Steepster friend is concerned that all I’m drinking are samples from other people, and that I should take some time and enjoy some of my favorite teas. I’m searching for the great teas, but not enjoying the one’s I’ve found. I’ve decided to “sort of” take that advice.
I have sent samples of this out to several people, and assume that it is going to be amazing, but I’ve never actually drank it. So tonight I’m taking a ME tea night to explore the dark side.
I threw about 2.5 tsp of this into my gravity steeper, gave it a quick wash and then let it steep – I’ve read lots of review that say that this is AMAZING if steeped for a long time. I’m watching and waiting, and it’s getting darker, and darker, and I chicken out at about 4 minutes. OK 4 minutes is a LONG steep for pu’erh – at least for me…
Wow this is crazy – unlike any other pu’erh I’ve tried. There really isn’t any of the musty/earthy typical pu’erh taste – it is just deep dark chocolate – maybe a hint of “pu’erh” in the back but it’s just adding depth to the chocolate. OK I’m a believer.
I add another couple of tsp of new leaf to the old leaf (I don’t care it’s my tea night I can do what I like) – gave it another quick rinse and let it steep for NINE minutes.
OMG – this is unsweetened cocoa from a fine chocolatier. I add about a tsp of sweetener and just a splash of milk – just enough to change the color. This is my new favorite chocolate tea. I love this.
Now what do I do? I think I’m going to take the leaves and toss them in the fridge to cold steep. If anyone hasn’t tried it – cold steep pu’erh is crazy good.
As always, thank you Mandala for another amazing tea experience.
Omg omg omg….ok. This is SO GOOD RIGHT NOW. Like wow. At first I was like hmm strong bergamot..but then it was all like BAM MARSHMALLOW. And fluffy. And creamy. And toned down just enough by the bergamot and black tea. Very good base for this tea too, not overpowering or too weak. I am just enjoying this to the max on this Monday afternoon at work. Not even sure how long I steeped it for lol, probably around 2 minutes. Yes, I really like this, not even filtered water used! Rating now added, although if I come to my senses and this one isn’t as epic, it might go down haha.
Flavors: Cream, Vanilla
Kamyria’s review yesterday about the forest inspired me to go have a long walk today and write this review.
By now, you probably know that the forest is my backyard. I’ve written many times here on Steepster about my little adventures and how lucky and privileged I feel when I look outside my window or go for a walk, it never gets old.
This lifestyle is Nature’s gift to me, and that gift keeps on giving as long as I care for it in return. It’s pretty simple and yet, I wish more people could fully grasp that concept. The tea I’m reviewing today also keeps on giving…
I tell you, my snow shoes really get a run for their money this winter. I made my own trail and I try to go as often as possible. There’s a spot that we always stop at. It’s on top of a small hill and a huge rock stands there, under the trees. it is shaped as a loveseat, I call it my rocky chair.
I take a break as I watch my dog Dexter chase squirrels, his favourite sport. They like to tease him and sometimes, I think they’re playing with him, knowing full well he’ll never catch one of them!
The day is magnificent, sunshine coming at me from all directions, immaculate snow everywhere you look at, pine trees with heavy arms from all the snow weighing on them…
When I got back inside, I was freezing and seeking warmth, I love that feeling. My head still felt clear and peaceful from all the beauty I had just laid eyes on, and of course, the right tea amplified that feeling and made it linger a while longer.
I was waiting for a special moment to choose this sheng pu’erh, sent to me by the generous and wonderful Dexter3657. She read on a post that I wanted to experience more with shengs, and offered to send me this one. She wrote that this tea is the highest rated on Steepster, so I read nothing about it, not wanting to be influenced by other reviews.
I used 7g, 5oz yixing pot. The piece of cake is tight and compressed. Quick rinse. Already the aroma brings me somewhere, but I don’t want to go there yet, I want to take my time with it.
I pour the very light coloured liquor, close my eyes and smell, have my first sip.
Sweet sugarcane is what I notice first. Then, a feast for the senses. The smell that comes out of the pot can’t be ignored. I can describe it easily, cause it’s leading me there. If you’ve done camping in your life (most of us did), you have to think about the next morning, when you get out of the tent.
The smokey scent from the firecamp is still in the air, but it’s just a shadow of what is was the day before. It mixes with fresh morning dew, humid grass and moss. Earthy and smokey tones, fresh menthol. Take all these “ingredients”, gather them in a cake, and later, when you hit it with hot water, the memory trap is released and you experience that moment again.
I choose not to describe more. As it happens when I drink something really special, I give in to the tea, not wanting to think anymore but just be in the moment and feel the pure energy. Cha qi. The best thing that can happen. I’ve had these moments before, but not often enough. I plan on having a lot more in the future…
Thank you so much Dexter3657 for wanting me to discover how special your beloved Mandala truly is. You were right :-)
(Cough, Implacinganorderscrewthehiatus, cough, cough)
I decided to finish what was left of this tonight. I might grab more in the future as it is definitely a delicious blend however I have a lot of the chiffons left and I think I would need to get through those before I can justify buying some of this. Thank you MissB for sending me this to try. It is lemony and creamy and just a very pleasant cup.
On another note, why is “cannabis”, “green bell peppers”, “asparagus”, etc. flavor options but there is no “lemon”, “mint”, etc.? I find this very, very strange.
I took this one out of the GCTTB when I had it last month.
Banana, walnut bread? Really? That’s what this is suppose to be? To me this is chocolate coconut. I actually quite like it, but I’m not getting any banana, not getting any walnut, not getting any bread.
That’s why I’m not filling in the “flavors” at the top of the tea page – I don’t want to give anyone bad info because of my OPINION – they see that first and have to scroll WAY down to get the official discription. I don’t want anyone to think this is a chocolate coconut tea, because I’m nuts…. :))
Oh my, this is decadent and dripping with luxury. TGY, why do you have to be so tempting and appealing to me?
Why do you have to be such a tease and so cruel by being so delicious and knowing full well that you are a sipdown and that I have no longer access to your splendour?
Oh, I do know what you are, and I can tell you what you are not: modest! No you’re not. You’re such a Diva, wanting to show me all your nuances and complexity at once…
Giving me sweet vanilla bean, enchanting orchid flowers, a rich buttery mouthfeel, wrapping it all in an almost minty fresh breath in the background, you possess all the attributes to exude such confidence, you are absolutely fabulous and luxuriant.
Wish I had a better vocabulary to describe you…
I must admit that despite your obnoxiousness, you are good to me this morning in your last attempt to seduce me, you are giving me many re-steeps by being so potent. I will cherish every moment I have left with you on this quiet Sunday, and tell you this:
Until we meet again! Cause we will TGY, yes we will.
I hate overnight testing. It took my forever to fall asleep earlier, and then my other halfs stupid friend started texting him just after i fell asleep..which wouldn’t normally be a problem but his phone sound was on so i got woken up. Just waiting for the go ahead so that i can test and then head back to bed for a few more hours of sleep. One of these weekends i’ll get to actually sleep in both days.
Made a cup of this because my throat wanted tea but i wanted something light that i didn’t have to think to about while brewing. Love the creamy good ness of this one even after several bags :)
A sipdown, only because I’ve packed up the rest of what I had for a fellow Steepsterite that LOVES this. I can always order more!
I did however want to try it, because gosh darn it, I should try a tea before sending some out, right? Was a in a bit of a rush making this, and I did have to overleaf ever so slightly (2 1/4 tsp) just because there was a tiny bit left over. This smelled really strong as I brewed it, and I was a touch concerned. I added sweetener before tasting it – I could just tell this was going to be strong. And, while lovely (I definitely got the caramel and vanilla out of it) the base was too strong for me, and it ended up drowning out everything else. I ended up dumping about half of the cup, because as it cooled, the base only got stronger. :(
Flavors: Caramel, Vanilla, Wood
This is another tea MissB dropped off tonight (yay!!!), and is the only reason I have not fallen asleep in my chair yet. Oh, it was so good. I just steeped it in water and had it plain. Yes, it’s quite thin, but I really liked the flavours. I made my BFF try it, and she liked it too. Might have to give her the rest of MissB’s sample, since I do have a reblend coming my way (again, through MissB. She’s amazing, yet SUCH an enabler.).
Attempting at a sip down. Attempting being the key word here. This as a cold brew fooled the pants off of me.
When I went to take the first sip, I initially thought that this worked way better as a cold brew. The questionable underlying floral note is virtually invisible, and I get mostly cherry. But give it just a few seconds.
Then the aftertaste hit me. COUGH SYRUP. I took a bit of a break and just poured my second glass—because I’m a masochist and all—and it’s now cough syrup through and through. I feel guilty for being wasteful, but I think I’m just going to dump the rest of the 1.5 litres I have left. Why force myself to drink that when I have 2984205845 others to try.
Lowered the rating, too.
Somehow this one keeps finding its way back to me, despite my not wanting to have it in my cupboard. this was one of the three free samples from the DAVIDsTEA order sent to me, so yet another time it’s wound up in my cupboard without my actually picking it out – the other being as a Christmas gift.
It’s heavy and weak in flavour, and just all around costly. Plus side? It’s easy enough to sipdown, so it never really sticks around long. This one has that going for it.
EDIT: I just checked out the DT site to see the new tea of the month, and am admittedly relieved that it’s not something I feel compelled to go buy. It’s another green…
I have lots of Hot Lips which sounds similar enough to me for me to pass (but I’ll try it once I’m out of Hot Lips). Although, the lack of ginger in the new one is a little compelling – also because I really like cloves.
Thank you, VariaTEA. :)
Tea of my childhood. I can’t believe I used to steep this forever and put in heaping spoons of honey. Holy moley. It is SO sweet. Cinnamon-vanilla-spice tea.
Definitely off my shopping list at this point, but I’m so glad I had an opportunity to try it again! :)
Tony took me out for my Birthday dinner tonight. We went to the same fancy restaurant as last year, the kind of place where if you order a steak, you get a fillet that is roughly 2 inches in each direction, with a velvety sauce, & the side of veggies are really more like a garnish. It’s not a great amount of food, just enough so that I’m hungrier when I get home than I was when we got to the restaurant, but every bite is the best tasting, most succulent, tender meal you’ve ever had.
Earlier this evening, while I was waiting for Tony to come pick me up to go to dinner, I enjoyed this tea, steeping 1 TB + 8oz X 3min/resteep 5min.
This tea is so satisfying, really just perfect.
Sipdown no. 47 for the year 2014. 50 is in sight! I should definitely make it over the weekend, maybe even by the end of the day.
Under the light of my desk lamp, where I ordinarily sit when on the computer, the liquor today is redder than it looked in sunlight yesterday, closer to the way I described the liquor of the Double Bergamot. I think there must have been a steeping fluke on my first tasting that resulted in a lighter, yellower liquor.
In any case, though my Earl Grey pantheon is full, I will enjoy this while it lasts.
Weird. I’m happy I got a sample of this from VariaTEA instead of buying it because I am not a fan. Nope, nope nooooooo.
I thought I would be too, but it’s just too … huh. I’m not even sure how to describe it. It’s like rotten banana – with that sort of liquorish odor, and it’s thick and woodsy and not chocolate. I’m just going to dump this. (155)
For some reason I had it in my head that green rooibos would not be as rooibosy as red. This cup is proving that not to be the case. Though it is not immediately recognizable as rooibos it is definitely there. And there is a tint of caramel but it is not sweet like I anticipated it would have been. Honestly, I am not sure what I am tasting. It is like really weirdly artificial. Mostly it just tastes like something is missing. This won’t be a restock and I think I will send the last 1-2 tsps to Roswell Strange so she can try it out.
Taiwan Ginseng oolong! I love you I love you I love you. You are delicious. You are addictive. When I make you, I make a lot of you, and I drink and drink and drink.
Tonight I served you with homemade lomein.
Now I asked if there is licorice root powder in this and was told no, and I am sure whoever it was doesn’t know it is there, but it HAS to be there. I taste it, and I have never seen a ginseng oolong that didn’t have at least a bit. I don’t care. I love it.
I tried another ginseng oolong and it was nothing compared to this one. I scoff at it. Buy this one.
OK call me crazy – it’s ok, I don’t mind….
This is Neapolitan ice cream. When it’s melted and all the flavors are mixed in the bottom of your bowl – that’s what this is. It’s more Neapolitan than the big name one that’s out there. This is good – it’s really good. Chocolate, strawberry, creamy – awesome. Maybe a hint thin on the mouth feel, but I can over look that.
Thank you so much VariaTEA for sending this sample my way.
Thank you, Courtney, for sending this surprise to me in our swap!
This is really tasty! The aroma is soft and lovely with spice and vanilla, and it tastes very much like carrot cake – sweet and delicious. I added cream to my cup, and it was so good – a perfect treat!
So very glad that I’m having more of this tonight! Holy moly, what a different steep does to this tea.
I’m getting maple, I’m getting creamy, I’m getting pecan, I’m getting sweet. It’s really fantastic – so much so that my 6-year-old took a sip, and asked if he could “have as many sips as I want”. I said no, because it is caffeinated, and made him some of Tea Desire’s Sweet Toffee (rooibos) instead. He says it’s “ahhh.. makes me feel better – tea”.
Anyway. This is delicious! Upping the rating significantly.
I hate it when a picture is missing from a tea, so I always try to do a screen capture and add one. This time, it seems a bit messy. (Boo). Hopefully when Frank gets a chance he can change it.
Anyway. This is my second attempt at steeping one of Frank’s SBT blends. I really, really wish they came loose so that I could parse out the amount I wanted, as there are few 2-quart containers in my neck of the woods. I will definitely message him to share this, as I think I’d buy more if I could measure it, instead of getting one huge tea bag.
Anyway. Steeped it exactly as shared on the bag: 3 minutes, then added cold water to fill my Teavana glass pitcher. I found it a bit weak, and am going to let it sit in my fridge overnight to really cool. I did notice that as the small amount that I poured for myself cooled, the black base was less apparent, and the orange took over. Initially, all I got was cream and black base.
Also, a question for all you experienced SBT-ers, or at least those experienced to cold steeping: should I leave the tea bag in the water overnight, or use it again for another steep?