Pure Buds Black

Tea type
Black Tea
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Cocoa, Fruity, Honey, Malt
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Edit tea info Last updated by TeaEqualsBliss
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 45 sec 3 g 8 oz / 236 ml

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15 Tasting Notes View all

From Mandala Tea

The highest grade spring buds turned into a black tea. Amazingly smooth and slightly sweet.

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15 Tasting Notes

2863 tasting notes

This is the newest crop of Pure Bud, & I’d like to thank Garret for sending me a generous sample of it! I’m short on words to describe teas today, but this tea isn’t short of flavor, with a rich mouthfeel & the flavor of an excellent whole grain toast. It’s both sweet & savory, & the dry leaf is really pretty, I might add.

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6770 tasting notes

SIPDOWN TIME! This is a bit more “crusty” than the other cup I had…but it’s quite nice! Teas like this are making my day (as well as my many deadlines) possible!

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4323 tasting notes

I steeped this in my gaiwan and am blown away with how amazing it tastes. It has a delicious malty tone to it, sweet … but not too sweet. Very smooth, rich and robust. Notes of cocoa, but not an overly sweet cocoa taste. A fruit note in the background that is both sweet and sour. Slightly creamy, and absolutely wonderful… LOVE!

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612 tasting notes

Another generous free sample from Mandala, packed with my last order. They are so nice.

As always, the dry leaf is long, unbroken, and beautiful, a light warm golden yellow. This one’s sweet but with a light airy sort of flavor. Slightly fruity in a bright way, but also quite silky, not at all fruit-tart astringent. There’s some dry wood fuzziness in the texture, a little powdery like sawdust—might sound ick to many but I like it just fine. I think this would be a good one to enjoy on one of the first sunny mornings of spring.

205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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142 tasting notes

I like this tea. I really, really like it. I’m pretty challenged at describing black teas, since my favorites all seem to be varying proportions of ‘sweet,’ ‘malty,’ ‘smooth,’ and ‘raspy.’ And I like all of those things. I guess the trait my top three have is that those qualities are also ‘balanced.’ I’ve started my black tea explorations with Mandala, and my top three are this, Golden Needle, and Black Beauty. I think I slightly prefer Black Beauty to this because it has less astringency, though Pure Bud is gentle too. I will absolutely finish up this deliciousness, but I think one of the others will be my house black tea, at least for now.

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104 tasting notes

Tea of the evening!

First steep, 1min.
It’s mellow, “bright”, and fruity on the front end. As other people have noted it’s both sweet and slightly sour, though not unpleasantly so. There are grainy, malty flavors on the back end with whispers of cocoa and a lingering honey sweetness.

Second steep, 2min.
A little vegetal on the front end. I’m not a huge fan of it. Mid-sip, it morphs into sweet potato and finishes on a juicy, fresh honey note. Some malt and light cocoa still present (though not overly so).

I think I might have used water that was a tad hot. There is a bit of drying astringency that hasn’t been there before. Oops!

I’m not sure what it is, but something about this tea doesn’t jive with me. Maybe it’s because it’s brightly flavored without being bold, or mellow without enough malt/chocolate. I can’t figure it out. I’ve had it many times before and each time it made me feel blasé. It’s a very nice tea but it’s not what I prefer. Oh, well.

Flavors: Cocoa, Fruity, Honey, Malt

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649 tasting notes

(From the Unflavored Traveling Tea Box)

Oooh, this tea reminds me of a baked sweet potatoes with honey on it. The tea is smooth with a nice hit of malt, but the sweet potato flavor really is the star. A great tea, and one I’d love to try more of at some point.

205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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13 tasting notes

Wow…first sip exploded into my mouth with a fresh sweet creamy malt. I can’t wait to see what subsequent infusions bring.

Starting my tea explorations with Mandala may have been a mistake. It’s going to be a monumental struggle to favor one tea over another, they are all so delicious. Hey….good problem to have I guess. But this one is in the mix for a keeper.

205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

Lol, I had the same feeling after my first Mandala order. Everything I bought from Garret was just exceptional, especially his pu’erh and oolongs, so yummy!


I am in trouble then. Mandala’s oolongs and pu’ers are the two categories I’ve not had much experience with so far. I do have Special Dark slated for later today.


I drank some Special Dark this afternoon :)


Inranger, be ready to enter the “Dark Side” of pu’erh then, Special Dark is fantastic! Let us know what you think later :-)

(their raw pu’erh Wild Monk is also spectacular if you’re looking for suggestions)


WOW – bout all I can say :) My notes just posted.
Thanks for the Wild Monk recommendation. I actually had one cake of Wild Monk on hand when I decided I needed 2. One to sample here and there and one to hold onto. I think I may have been destined to pu’er before I even tasted it.


Then you have very good instinct!


I’m doing the homework, now just trying to get the experience to go with the theory. On that Wild Monk thing, looks like tea buying is part playing the horses or stock market. Yep instinct said buy. :)


BTW, done w/7 infusions. Left me in a real nice place. Not sure how to totally evaluate my first pu’er experience, but I know I’ve seen enough that I have to come back soon and take another peek behind the curtain.


Never thought of it this way, but I like the analogy of tea buying and stock market! I’m an impulsive buyer, I admit I don’t always do proper homework, but of all types of tea, pu’erh is the one that requires the most research I think…Luckily, there are also active Pu’erh experts here on Steepster (cough mrmopar) who generously offer their help and knowledge to others :-)

Glad you enjoyed your first pu’erh experience!


Mrmo is the who told me how much tea to start with today :)


The Wild Mountain Green is a yummy one too.

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512 tasting notes

Another winner! Malty, sweetish but also with a bit of sour, cocoa-y, somewhat savory. Not as deeply bready as Golden Strand or Morning Sun but still a baked kind of taste. Beautiful, beautiful leaves.

Again, I went with the longer single steep. Will resteep in a bit to see how it fares. Right now I’m wishing I’d done a 16 ounce cup instead of just 8!

And again, no rating at this point. Need to give this a shot after allergies have subsided to make sure I’m doing it justice. Also I want to try it with filtered water at work. Using my tap water at home doesn’t provide a very good review for someone else since it’s not like they can use my water! :)

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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4738 tasting notes

nom nom nom nom nom another one from dexter who is one of those awesome swapping tea friends. I hadn’t yet tried this from mandala so she sent me some to nom on. it’s deeeelicious! and also one of those teas that i just want to say YAYAYAYAYAYAY about. lol


This is an awesome tea! My fingers are twitching to place an order for this.


The list of wants from Mandala keeps growing. As soon as everything I want is in stock, my bank account is in trouble.


Awesome glad you liked it. :))


Whenever I break open the crate of this tea to bag up for an order, I get excited. The smell of the dry leaf recreates in my mind all of the best things about my wood shop class in 8th grade. The sweet aroma that certain woods gave out when cut or planed makes me so very happy and this tea has the very best of those aromas in the dry leaf. I’m really happy that are enjoying it.


Hey Nicole! What have you been waiting for as far as out-of-stocks at our shop? Maybe I can help you with some ETA’s.




Garret, I was trying to remember – maybe it was the Morning Sun or the Flowering Black Tea Cones? I tried getting to the site to check my wishlist and I can’t get it to come up today.


Apparently I just hadn’t checked recently enough. Everything was in stock. And the bank account sighs… :)


Nicole! New teas are on the way to you, my friend. Wish I could deliver them myself and then sit down for a nice tea session :) Enjoy each of them. Thank you!

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