Valley Peak (Ding Gu Da Fang)

Tea type
Green Tea
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Butter, Creamy, Nuts, Roasted, Cream, Floral, Honeysuckle, Vegetal, Grass, Honey, Seaweed, Sweet, Chestnut, Grain
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Edit tea info Last updated by Jason
Average preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 45 sec 10 oz / 285 ml

Available from 1 seller.

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From Mandala Tea

Like many of China’s famous greens, this tea also has a rich history. Known in China as Ding Gu Da Fang (Valley Peak Da Fang), it was named after the Buddhist monk who originally grew the plants on Huangshan (Yellow Mountain) centuries ago.

Da Fang cared for the plants and served its elixir to scholars who would visit the monastery. His tea became famous and people would come to the temple just to sip his tea.

He gave tea plants to local farmers and while the crops flourished, the farmers became prosperous and named the tea in homage to Da Fang and it’s growing region.

It is said by many tea scholars that this tea is the ancestor to the now very famous Longjing (a.k.a. Dragonwell).

Grown not just organically in this pristine nature reserve, the farmers here use biodynamic growing methods – it is like homeopathy for the land and the growers pay very close attention to everything in the soil and environment to keep all of its life in balance.

If you enjoy Longjing green, you are sure to relish several steepings of this great tea! Mellow and delicate with a lovely sweet after taste and a slight hint of nuttiness. A treat for any lover of green tea. And if you’re not a green tea lover to begin with, this one may very well make you a convert!

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27 Tasting Notes

2784 tasting notes

This came as a free sample from the people at Mandala Tea who also seem very nice, thanks for the sample, guys!

The shape and smell of this one does remind me of a dragonwell, but I’ve been very underwhelmed by dragonwells in the past. I was not too stingy with the leaf here and steeped it at 180 F for 3 minutes, regular infuser mug method.

I did like this one! It brews up to be a very light yellow color in the cup. I was expecting it to be wimpy but it really isn’t. The flavor is quite delicate but there is a also a delicious macadamia nut like richness about it with a sweet finish. yummy!

This is a beautiful cup to be savored and now it goes on my shopping list… heh heh :)

180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

Yay! Nice to see some other folks trying Mandala. Sincerely nice.


Amy, how much tea do you use?


@Scott – for…. what?


For this tea. Approx 1 tsp? more? I was just curious because you said you weren’t to stingy with the leaf………


It was a tablespoon I am guessing…


HI Friends!! I will be visiting the growers of this particular tea during my tea buying trip in April! The growers brew it 1-2 minutes for 5 or 6 brews. The other day during a tea session, I did one minute steepings over and over again and adored the flavors. As far as amount, customers are using anywhere from 2 tsp to over a tablespoon in 8 ounces. 3 grams of this is over a tablespoon. So… up to you as far as amount.


helpful info Garret.

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382 tasting notes

thanks much to jamie at mandala for this great sample.

i would say that green teas are the ones i am least familiar with so really this was an excellent sample to send.

to me this is a complicated simple tea, lol. very mild smelling, quite beautiful to look at— as though jamie had it pressed just before shipping it off! the flavour is where it becomes far more complex.

steeps very light. a nice natural sweetness. i found no cling with this tea…. not from caffeine or from any aspect of the taste profile. it left my tongue clear. there is a taste coming from the green side of nature that is neither grassy, nor vegetal nor floral… honestly, i think the closest approximation may be comparing it to the scent of fresh bamboo. there is the merest suggested marine note…. like the smell of warm dried nori, but not overpowering and absolutely not fishy.

very nice! i’ll take your challenge jamie, i’ll go green with mandala.

very nice indeed.

and thanks, did my first test at school today and i’m fairly certain i aced it! i won’t be trying any of the other teas from my mandala order until all of my other teas have been halved….. but samples don’t count, do they? this was better than cake =0)i’ll be getting into my mandala treats right around midterms as i see it!

190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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121 tasting notes

Got this as a sample from Mandala with a teapot I ordered

This is pretty darn good! Similar to dragonwell, which usually isn’t my favorite, but I really enjoyed this tea. It has a nice nutty taste, more like macadamia than chestnut, which lingers for quite a while and gives a strong, pleasant tingling at the back of the throat. Its smoother than a dragonwell, kind of like a light oxidation oolong.

The leaves are nicely pressed and unbroken, and open up fully when brewing. This is a very light colored green tea, almost looks like a white or yellow.

The pot I ordered is very cute and has a nice pour, however the lid doesn’t seem to fit quite right, which is a little disappointing. It looks like the body of the pot was slightly warped during production, leaving the hole that the lid sits on slightly oval shaped, so it wont quite fit. Its a nice small pot though, and the lid trouble wont keep me from using it.


mandala is pretty good stuff. iam am drinking some of theirs now. i don’t think any of the yixing made by hand is perfect but the pour is all important!


They seem like the have great teas and great customer service :)

The pot I got is a small white ceramic one to replace one I broke recently that was my primary pot for non-gong fu brewing (thinking about getting a yixing for pu’erh later this year though) I think I must have gotten the last one, cause they’re not on the site anymore…


try this link on ebay they are in the us and offer a big selections of yixing fairly reasonable 261108739482 be sure to check the sellers other items to see al the pots.


Wow, those are pretty low prices. Do you have one? How is it?


i think i got the last 350cc one with the removable filter basket. i think it was 12.00 with 7.99 shipping i like it so much that i emailed the buyer to see if he had is the item i bought if ebay still has it up.380449524467


sorry its 420 on the size link still up

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6770 tasting notes

I do agree with LiberTEAs on this one…it sort of reminds me of a yellow tea! Mellow and delicate yet sweet and nutty…my fave part…it’s SMOOTH. Very nice!


Just got a sample of that from local tea shop the other day, can’t wait to try it.

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3181 tasting notes

Another sipdown from the HHTTB!
I used to drink a lot of green tea. That was before I surrendered to the Dark Side! But, the truth is, I still really love green tea. I don’t know why I don’t drink it more often.

This one is delicious! It looks like a Dragonwell to me. The flavor is nutty & green, & it leaves a wonderful fresh sweet aftertaste, especially under the tongue. There are also pleasant tongue numbing/thickening sensations.


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4833 tasting notes

In the description of this tea, Mandala Tea compares it to a LongJing. For me, though, I think I like this better than a typical LongJing! This is milder, sweeter and smoother. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good LongJing, but, there is just something special about this Ding Gu Da Fang. So sweet and light, it reminds me a bit of a Yellow Tea.


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37 tasting notes

I finally ordered a couple ounces of this tea. I first tried it as a sample that came with a previous order from Mandala.

WOW! Blown away from this batch! I had three cups this morning.

The flavor and aroma are unbelievable. Very savory like steamed green veggies with grass fed butter. A nice creamy mouth feel that lingers on the tongue with no astringency. When I drink this tea, I can only imagine it was created by a true tea master. Now I know what real green tea is. I’m in love! I highly recommend this organic tea!

165 °F / 73 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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127 tasting notes

Another wonderful offering from Mandala Tea. The aroma of the dry leaves has an alluring mix of crisp, green and nutty scents. Steeped for a few minutes, the aroma gets more complex and the flavor is really smooth, crisp and just a touch earthy. Very nice! As others have mentioned, this has some of the qualities found in better grade Longjing (dragon well) teas, but is distinctly different. Looking forward to spending more time with this tea after I place my next order.

2 min, 0 sec

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156 tasting notes

This is one of the better green teas I have had over the Summer. No harshness or nasty grassy flavors here. It passes the girlfriend test (she is hard to impress when it comes to tea)…she wanted more when the cup was empty. Has a mild pleasant taste that is hard to describe (chestnut-like maybe?). I am surprisingly getting some fleeting notes that remind me of cinnamon or nutmeg. I think I prefer this to the dragonwells I have tried, will have to drink more to be sure.

180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

Thanks for the writeup on the Valley Peak! I had the pleasure of visiting the farm where this tea is grown last April. So wonderful! Will be there again next April and will get some video to add to our site and facebook page so everyone can see how great it is. I really like to get teas from clean and pure growing areas and this one is no exception. I don’t source Dragonwell because after visiting the area, I felt like I had been smoked out, the pollution was so bad because of neighboring factory cities. This Valley Peak is grown in a whole different place… can’t wait to go back! And I’m really happy your girlfriend asked for more :) Thank you, once again, for writing this up!

El Monstro

Thanks for the background on the tea, the trips to China (minus the pollution part) sound awesome.

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142 tasting notes

When I was little, we grew corn in our small garden. One summer, we were building an addition on the house, and there was a constant smell of fresh cut lumber. This tea brings me back to an early summer evening, eating a sweetcorn dinner from the garden at the picnic table outside while smelling that fresh, sweet sawdust and the grassy smell of summer next to blooming flowers.

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