Mandala Tea 2011 Wild Mountain Green Raw Pu'er

Tea type
Pu-erh Tea
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Butter, Floral, Tangy, Wet Earth, White Grapes, Grapes
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Edit tea info Last updated by Jason
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 45 sec 5 g 3 oz / 98 ml

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From Mandala Tea

From the second highest mountain range in Simao comes the material we chose for this wonderful Mandala exclusive! The mao cha (sun-dried leaf) was picked from 200 year old trees growing wild and naturally. Surrounded by floral and fauna native to the area, these trees grow in a pristine and remote area, far away from roads and pollution. This is some of the highest altitude pu’er you’ll ever find.

While we certainly look forward to what the years will bring to this fine tea as it ages, we are excited to drink it now. It has a wonderful energy, partially due, no doubt, to the clean conditions it is grown in. We chose the raw material over 15 or so other mao chas from the same area because of its rich aroma with hints of camphor and orchids. We are sure you’ll find the rich flavor very enjoyable as you let this tea lie on your tongue and pick up the agave nectar notes along with a smooth grassiness. These is no doubt in our mind that we will source more tea from this same village for more raw pu’er pressings in the future. We are impressed and know that you will be, too. May we share a cup together soon!

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15 Tasting Notes

5 tasting notes

I work with Garret and Sarah at Mandala Tea so I won’t be doing a rating – just personal reflections and a “check-in” on this young sheng.

Method: 7g in gaiwan, boiling water, rinse followed by two infusions of 30 seconds, then five 1 minute infusions and one 5 minute infusion.

After the rinse I poked around in the material and noticed a number of dark reddish leaves and a nice grape-like scent. All infusions brewed up a relatively deep amber/yellow color. It’s a perilous term, but what I think of as a pleasant “sour” in tea is present. It seems to refresh, awaken my tongue and mouth. No smokey smell or flavor, which allows me to enjoy some subtle grape and mineral action as the sourness fades. This stuff feels velvety as I sip.

There is great Qi with this high altitude wild picked stuff. I’m accustomed to it from the Mandala Wild Monk and it is strong with this cake, too. Long after I drink a cup, there is a coolness in my mouth as I draw in breath and my chest feels opened. The sweetness that lingers long after the last cup is just a bonus.

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835 tasting notes

While I have never ordered from Mandela, I take everyone’s word about how good their teas are. This tea produces a smell similar to the yellow pu’erh cake I have; which is intense. On my tenth steep right now as I write this and I think I have a grasp on my feels for this tea. The first few steeps were a bit stronger and bitter but then I started to flash steep instead of using my 10s steeps for sheng. This helped out a lot. Unfortunately, it just isn’t as smooth as I would like it to be. What makes this appealing is that I do want to keep steeping it. I will continue to steep this tonight and be thankful that this sheng isn’t another that loses my interest after steep 6 or 7.


You picked a good one here!

Liquid Proust

I think the advice I was given by a few people to drink older shengs has been the best advice so far. I pick up bitter taste much easier than anything and do not like bitter… I’ve been told the older the less astringent a tea is.


Agreed, the older is less bitter but sometimes more ‘earthy’ depending on storage. This one with some years under its belt is getting easier to drink. Give me a few years and we should see how my storage is coming along.

Liquid Proust

: ) I find storage of pu’erh with research and experience behind it quite fascinating.


Remind me to send you some things in a few years. I am trying to dial the storage thing in. So far seems to be working. ;)


Mandala has a controlled vault set-up so they can literally improve the flavor in tea.

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195 tasting notes

A nice smooth sheng. I really enjoyed this one opposed to some other shengs that I’ve tried recently. It has a great build up of buttery, vegetal notes.

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192 tasting notes

This is a fantastic tea. It has a touch of bitterness coupled with some sweet grassy notes. it is aging nicely, I’d say.


A year from now we will swap samples on this. I have one aging in the old pumidor.

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863 tasting notes

This was my very first raw pu’er. I needed something to soothe an aching stomach and even though I didn’t necessarily want to fuss with the gaiwan and steep times, I managed. For the tea.

So, 4 g. (half my sample) in my little Midori and a 15 second rinse, then a first steep of 15 seconds. I didn’t get much smell from the dry leaf, maybe just a vague earth scent . The taste is surprisingly tangy, and also buttery and green. It reminds me strongly of a green oolong, actually. The exception is a small fermentation taste as well. It’s not fishy EXACTLY – I’m thinking its what happens with age to the fish notes in less aged pu’er. Fascinating! And towards the end of this steep I’m also getting notes of florality. So far I’m liking this a lot more than any pu’er I’ve had before!

Steep two: 30 seconds. The leaf has become more earthy in scent. This steeping is much more fruity and astringent. It reminds me of the taste/texture of grape skin, actually. Sweet but also very drying on the tongue. The note of fermentation is gone from this steep.

Steep three: 45 seconds. More buttery and florality has returned to the tea, and the fruity astringence is gone. This pu’er changes very dramatically from one steep to the next. I’m glad that the astringence is gone though – I was worried I’d done the impossible and over-steeped a pu’er! I’m still amazed at how very oolong-y this all is.

Steep four: 1 minute. Nothing remarkably different about the flavor profile here. Still a light green tea and pleasurable to drink but I didn’t notice anything from the other few steepings. I’m keeping this around to finish up with dinner tonight because there’s a lot of life left in these leaves, so I’ll be back later to update this!

I will say that I think this pu’er may have shown me the light. It’s done wonders for helping my stomach feel better, too….

Flavors: Butter, Floral, Tangy, Wet Earth, White Grapes

205 °F / 96 °C 4 g

A gongfu session with this will really allow a much different experience. I tried both and like the gongfu method best.

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315 tasting notes

Second one to try from the sheng sampler. Method: gongfu with gaiwan. 10 second rinse. Steeping times: 10, 10, 15, 15, 20, 30, 45, 60, 90, 120.

It was difficult to make the dry leaf aroma, though it pretty much smells buttery. The wet leaf aroma changes as the leaves cooled and as the session went on: dried grass, cooking herbs, grilled vegetables, and apricot and grapes.

Overall, the broth is clear, full-bodied, a little thick, and bright. A livening effect on the body. Later, an alcohol kind of buzzed sensation.

Infusions one and two are light in flavor, not quite there. Buttery and vegetal, with a tart aftertaste. These invoke a mental scene of dark earth after a light rain, of water droplets slowly dripping from the very tea tree this pu’erh was processed.

The third infusion tastes of sweet grass and hay, and the aftertaste is more citrus-like. Tingly on the tongue. The fourth infusion has indescribable notes – this is probably the camphor, which I’ve never tasted. Infusions 5-9 come back to the sweet grass and tartness. The texture is more smooth.

Lastly, the tenth infusion has the same notes only lighter in taste. Buttery, with a creamy texture.

200 °F / 93 °C 7 g 3 OZ / 88 ML

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1113 tasting notes

Another great sheng!!!

I steeped this semi-western, which is my habit when making sheng at work. Steep #1 was a little on the weak side, but steep #2 was GREAT! Lovely huigan, and bright grassy flavor. Just enough light sweetness and pleasant bitterness to make it interesting. The name of this one is really apt. It really reminds me of a green/sheng hybrid.

So glad I got the Mandala raw sampler :)


What is semi-Western steeping?


Somewhere between Western and Gongfu. Larger amount of water than gongfu, and longer steeping time, but not quite long enough to be western. I usually do like one minute.


Okay. Thanks!

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278 tasting notes

I was going to bust this open tomorrow, but when MzP said it was her fave sheng, I decided I couldn’t wait!!!

Method: 3.5 g, 3 oz, rinse, 10-15-20, 205 degrees, ru kiln gaiwan

Aroma: apricot, plum!, spinach, a little floral

Flavor: This is buttery and sweet, smooth and a little fruity. It tastes a teensy bit vegetal, too. This has a light bitterness on the end of the sip. Not too much. It has a pleasant aftertaste. This tastes a little brothy on some sips, sweeter on others. I’m into it. Shengs are totally my jam. :p

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 3 OZ / 88 ML

This is a dang good one!


This is her FAV sheng? Really – better than cowboy? Better than Wild Monk? I need it to cool off here so that I can try it. I have a sample here from one of my orders, but I haven’t tried it. Need to do that SOON – especially now that I have my sheng pot reseasoned….


I’m on my 4-5-6 steeping blend now and it’s way less sweet and more brothy. This one really has a great variety of flavors to offer!


Then this one might be under rated, or under noticed. I haven’t really heard much about it. Will pull out that sample as a reminder to try it soon. Just WAY too HOT here tonight.


Give it a try when ya can. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts!!!


It’s kind of funny that I’m reading this just now…I just placed a new order with Mandala and grabbed one of those cakes…when I read the description on their website, I thought “heck, why didn’t I order this one before??”


It’s my favorite of the moment – possibly because it’s the one I’ve been drinking lately (and I need more). Frequently Wild Monk is my favorite and I haven’t tried the Hot Cowboy yet, or the Misty Peak ones I got recently or the Tea Urchin sample I got from Stephanie … but yeah, right now I’m loving this. It’s got this really yummy grapey flavor that I LOVE and it makes me feel witty and brilliant – though I could be confusing witty and brilliant with buzzed sheng-head motormouth. I REALLY like this.


It’s definitely a win for me, too. I wish I had brought some to work today. People are already pissing me off and it’s been less than an hour. I could use a nice sheng buzz

Also, auto correct tried to change “pissing me off” to “pudding me off”. I wish someone was pudding me off, autocorrect!!!!!!!

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562 tasting notes

I haven’t been having many shengs lately because there’s so many infusions with them and I’ve been trying to cut down on my caffeine. Then someone here mentioned that the first few infusions are usually not the best anyway; to take a few sips and throw it out. I tried that this morning with this tea. Although I felt terrible throwing away good tea because infusions 1-4 were still good, I tried that. At infususion 5 it really was better! So mellow, lighter, silky mouth feel, buttery. And the best part? My lungs were all congested this morning and it’s really cleared them out. I think I need to buy a cake of this and have it daily.

My doctor is planning on giving me puffers once I get al the tests in but I hate those things. I was trying the Candida diet to help clear the lungs and it helped a bit but I fell off the diet. So back to square one and back into my life comes this tea, which I’ve had before and forgot all about. I think a tea purchase for this sheng is excused because it’s for my better health.

Also enjoying the calm energy from this tea.

Flavors: Butter

0 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML

Hey, if it helps, use the puffer. Not being able to breathe is awful and limiting. Fell better!!! And this tea sounds awesome. Now that I’ve fallen off the tea buying hiatus wagon hard, I’m thinking about placing a Mandala order and these wild mountain shengs sound great.


I wonder if real kefir could help? It is a yeast and bacteria culture but it is a non-candida yeast and I have read that it may displace candida.


I’ve read a lot of things about candida diets, mainly that the mainstream medical community doesn’t believe in them… I had a friend who was on one and it seems very difficult!


Cheri, I know what you mean. I’ve fallen off the tea buying hiatus wagon too!

Ashmanra, that kefir sounds interesting but I’m pretty sure it’s dairy which is one of my major food sensitivities. Thanks for the idea anyway.

TeaBrat, the beginning of the Candida diet is a killer but there’s 3 stages and the last part of the diet isn’t too bad. I know the medical community doesn’t believe in the Candida diet but I know from doing it before it works.


So what shengs do you recommend from Mandala? I have had Wild Monk which I quite liked and I’d order that. But I’m not sure what else is good….


Heart of the Old Tree is good also.


Sorry about the health issues but happy the sheng helped :-) i also love this one.

And I second what mrmopar said, love Heart of the Old Tree! Recently, I also tried a sample of their Jade Dew and fell in love with it. I just bought a cake.

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155 tasting notes

I need Sheng! This and Wild Monk are my default shengs and there is a reason for that. Hot damn this is wonderful!

I put 7 grams in my awesome red gaiwan, 212 water, rinse followed by two infusions of 30 seconds, then five 1 minute infusions

1st steep green and shengy with that little bit of pucker and the tinest hint of grape

2nd getting the green floral with a slight bitterness and a touch of camphor

3rd Oh hello darling – Ive missed you! Opening up into that sublime deliciousness

4th There’s the grapey lovliness I adore so much with this tea

5th – 7th Still the grapes with a stronger camphor note and the most pleasant bitterness ever. I’ve got the tongue tingle, the chi buzz, the warm feeling all through my body and THIS
is the way to start a Sunday morning y’all. I will likely sip on this alllllll day!
Garret – I appreciate you for many reasons – this sheng is most definitely one of them :)

https:[email protected]/14663283253/
https:[email protected]/14620394036/

OMG I forgot a song! How about the Zydeco Boogaloo?

Flavors: Floral, Grapes


So cute! Happy Mandala sheng day :-) I had mine yesterday pretty much all day too!!!


More grapey flavors in a pu’erh! I will note this one to try next!!! Wishlist! Wooo!


@Sars – this was first sheng and still one of my very favorite. I LOVE this one


LTF – you did the Autumn Song right? I may have to have some that later


Well I have to order from Mandala again soon b/c I have decided that I simply cannot live without the Heart of the Old Tree. I am really taking a liking to pu’erhs because I feel like I can buy them, and not drink them all right away, and that’s totally ok because of the aging!!!!


I need some of that Heart of the Old Trees. I can’t believe I don’t have any. Right now I have buzzy sheng head and seriously – better than a lot of drugs I may or may not have tried.


This sounds superb. I need to add this to my want list.


The Wild Mountain Roughage? If so, YES you need this. It’s delightful. I’m ordering the Old Trees as well :)


Love this: “better than a lot of drugs I may or may not have tried”

Yeah, I am going to order more Mandala soon. Before I do, are there any other pu’erhs that you think I simply can’t live without, HoneyBelle? I want the Wild Mtn and more Heart of the Old Tree.

How about you, TTF? Let me know!


What I love: Special Dark of course, Imperial Bulang, Noble Mark(!), the Lincang. I have more but haven’t spent time with them – just got the Old nuggets. Shengs I love: THIS ONE!, Wild Monk(!), I’ve only done one roung with the Silver Needle – but I liked it, and I’m looking forward to the Autumn Song


Thanks so much! I did get special dark. Loved it. I also just received the wild monk, but I did not try it yet. I need to get over my desire to keep it in it’s beautiful wrapper. LOL.

I will check out the other suggestions!!!


Sarsonator, I loved all the ones MzPriss just mentioned…but I also loved Imperial Dark and Temple Stairs shou pu’erh which I only got to try lately. Yesterday’s session with autumn song was also unbelievable!


Sars – you wrap it back up in that beautiful wrapper so you get to keep looking at it :)


OK… I got temple stairs, but I’ll add some imperial dark, too. Thank you both!

And MzP… I know. I just think it’s so pretty that I don’t want to mess it up! I’ll work carefully. :)


Yes you have to be sweet with it, but you can do it!


Oh! I forgot about Lincang and phatty cake!! They are a little bolder though, having lincang right now…whoa!!!


OMG – Phatty Cake! How could I forget phatty caek? Probably because my cakes are in a box and I didn’t see them…


I need to quit typing because I am not good at it.


Typing is overrated. You’re good at tea. :p


I will review lincang again shortly….YOU HAVE TO ADD THAT ONE Sars!


I’m about tmake my Dark Beauty cocktail. I told someone I would make a listing on here with instructions. I should do that today too.


Steepster ate my comment!!!

I heart you, HoneyBelle!

Lincang was added! Can’t wait!!!!

What is Dark Beauty??? Sounds deeeeelish!!!


OH well now. Don’t know about my Dark Beauty cocktail? I will (very carefully this time) tell you:

16 oz boiling water
1 TBSP Special Dark
Big ass pinch of Black Beauty (Mandala)
Steep that bad boy for a while 5-7 minutes

Hellllllllo happiness. I have it every, single. morning. Makes the world turn right.


I would like to the clarify the above statement. It makes the world turn correctly not right.


What a lovely picture of a perfect Sunday morning! I’m saving this for future use as a background on my computer. For the next couple of weeks, that place of honor goes to images of the Tour de France.


AWWWWWWW thanks Hillel – it was for Science!

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