This isn’t bad, but it’s not as good as I hoped. I like Special Dark a whole lot better.
“I haven’t been drinking much puerh lately, but I think that will be changing especially now that the rainy season appears to be upon us here in San Francisco. I don’t tend to drink much...” Read full tasting note
“Somehow, I drank green & white teas almost all day. A couple of Dragonwells, some white, & before I knew it the day was nearly gone. I realized around 6:00 that I really wanted something...” Read full tasting note
“My first time using my yixing pot (after a seasoning). I sat with my Zojurishi (sp?) and enjoyed multiple steepings which were seamless with that wonderful machine from Mandala!...” Read full tasting note
“I still love this one. It’s just easy to drink, not fussy, not finicky – let it steep for 6 minutes on your desk and it just gets deeper with out anything nasty happening. Honestly...” Read full tasting note
We totally scored with this find! We have sampled so many different ripe teas over the years both in China and here at our shop. Samples are continuously sent here from various tea merchants and most of the time, we find them ok at best. But when we tasted this gong ting (imperial court quality, smallest leaf) tea, we immediately had every last bit of it shipped to us so we could share it with our customers not to mention drink it ourselves!
Hailing from Bu Lang mountain in Menghai, this is an expertly crafted tea. Rich and sweet, hints of dark chocolate and slight nuttiness with a creamy aroma becoming more pronounced as the post-fermentation smell quickly becomes a memory. We are sure that this gong ting, given a bit more age, will easily rival our favorite Golden Gong Ting from 2005. We are extremely pleased when all the conditions come together to create a memorable tea and this, my friend, is one of those teas.
Brewing Recommendations: Gong Fu Cha Method
Company description not available.
2009 Bu Lang Shan YunYunnan Sourcing
Bulang Gong Ting Shu 2009Mandala Tea
2009 Bu Lang Small Cake ShuLife In Teacup
2009 Guan Zi Zai "Jing Xuan Bu Lang" RawGuan Zi Zai Tea Factory
2009 Menghai Dayi "Gong Ting" Ripe Pu Er (901)JK Tea Shop
2008 Lange Tea Factory "Gong TIng Grade" Ripe Puerh Tea of MenghaiYunnan Sourcing US
Yi Wu Shan Da Ye Sheng Bing Stone-Pressed (Yiwu Mountain Green Puer Cake) 2014Misty Peak Teas
Wild Monk Sheng Pu'er (2012)Mandala Tea
2009 Late-Winter Budset YabaoVerdant Tea
Special DarkMandala Tea
2011 Menghai Dayi "100 year" tribute cakeMenghai Tea Factory (berylleb on ebay)
Pear TreeAutumn Hearth
This is one of those teas that I’m glad that I was able to sample before committing to buying it. It’s was actually really good on the first steep and pretty good on the second steep, but after that I found it difficult to get a good amount of flavor out of it, even when steeping for several minutes. So while it does taste nice, I prefer my teas to have a lot more stamina than that so I doubt I’ll be purchasing this one.
Its not a first time try. I wonder why i didnt log it. I thought i did.
Anyways, since its not a new tea i made it in my Yixing. i decided to use more than usual because i think my Yixing “steals” some flavors.
its great tasting shou and its really hit the spot.
Brewed this western style this morning. This is another winner of a loose ripe puerh from Mandala Tea. I did not realize I had already written a tasting note on this one. This has notes of chocolate and is very creamy in texture. It is sweet. Evven brewed western style in the first steep there is almost zero bitterness, just a barely perceptible amount. Adding a little sugar to this makes the chocolate notes taste like hot chocolate. This is good.
I brewed this once in an 18oz teapot with 6.2g leaf and boiling water for 30 sec.
Sample from an order from who-knows-when. I’m not very good at keeping track of samples— they just sort of turn up in my tea trunk when I’m not expecting it.
Just on my first steep (about 30 seconds), I swear I can taste banana bread with a hint of dark chocolate chips. Glancing through others’ notes, I don’t think anyone’s mentioned anything about bananas, so I’m a bit baffled as to where that came from.
I have no idea what’s going on with my tongue, but I’m definitely enjoying this shu so far!
MzPriss’ Unflavored Tea Box – Tea #14
I could be wrong but I think I’m starting to taste that the high quality pu-erh has a mellower, sweet flavor than the lower quality pu-erh made with tiny leaves that has a very dark deep flavor. I like both types of pu-erh and I’m actually glad that they are different but I REALLY like the deep dark (I guess low quality) pu-erh. I could have been using too many leaves then though. Of course, I’m not finding any of that darkness with any of Mandala’s pu-erhs. Even with Special Dark that I tried months ago, I was surprised that I wasn’t finding it as especially dark as some other pu-erhs I’ve tried. Of course it’s a delicious pu-erh, but not necessarily dark. I’m just glad every pu-erh is slightly different from the next!
This one is very mellow and sweet, it tasted like butternut squash but there was a crisp, bright and fresh flavor to it as well. Even though there was hint of pond scent to the dry leaves, there really wasn’t any in the flavor. The second cup was much of the same on a slightly deeper level, but not really anything like dark chocolate. Never astringent, as pu-erh isn’t usually anyway.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 tsp // few mins after boiling // 2 min
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3 min
Brewing this in my yixing, which is thankfully seeing more use than it was a week ago. Unfortunately, I realized that the glue on one corner of my tea tray has been splitting, due to the hot water, and pu’erh has been seeping through the seams. Thank goodness for a tile countertop being underneath. Still…
These infusions were very loosely timed. The first one was supposed to be for twenty seconds, but I think it ended up at about thirty. The tea is not incredibly dark; despite a rinse of a couple of seconds, I think the leaves are still awakening. The tea does not smell too rich, but there are some cocoa notes with the earthiness. It tastes very smooth, if a little less intense than I would expect, but this was only the first steep. As I sip this steep, I already started and completed brewing the second steep. The cup finishes with some dark chocolate/cocoa notes.
Steep two is darker in appearance. The flavor has deepened a bit but not quite as far as I usually enjoy. I think I will run the third steep for forty-five seconds to a minute, rather than just adding ten to fifteen seconds. This one was steeped for thirty.
Third steep for a minute – dark and delicious. Still very smooth, not super earthy.
We shall see how long this can go.
First of all. I need some moral support. I’ve only been drinking my loose pu’erhs because I can’t bring myself to break apart my new pu’erh cakes!!!! They’re just so pretty and perfect, all wrapped up with so much potential!!!
This video is making me super sad LOL
So this tea…
Method: 1tbsp, 8 oz, 30 sec (1 minute) (1 minute), 208 degrees, brew in mug strainer
Dry Leaf Aroma: Earthy, but with a chocolate note that’s very enticing
Flavor: it tastes a little musty, but smooth, and I’m enjoying the chocolate notes. I guess that earthy sort of note is just the usual for many pu’erhs?
Oh, oh, look! A new Mandala pu’erh!!
Ok, I’ve never had this one before. So I took my glass gongfu pot and decided that we were going to have our first date together.
Woah! This tea is not the shy type. It is bold an it’s taking charge.
Rich and creamy, with leather and barn notes.
I wish you could smell the wet leaves. They smell like a big pile of damp oak and maple leaves in the fall. It’s a scent of the forest and the outdoors, just can’t get enough of it.
It’s super flavourful, reminds me of Special Dark a lot but not as chocolaty and a little sweeter.
It gets richer and creamier as I steep it. I like the nuttiness in the background that develops, it’s a little hazel-nutty.
At the fourth steep, I forgot to poor…the water stayed in for almost 15 minutes. There’s a good 7g of tea in a tiny 5oz pot, but it didn’t get too strong or astringent.
I’m so happy I took advantage of the sale to hoard it!
There will be many other dates with this one, and I can’t wait :-)
I learned my lesson with Temple Stairs and gave this two rinses before doing my first steep. To me this smells like the other two Shu Pu-erhs I’ve tried from Mandala, like a pond. I’m starting to appreciate it, because I’m starting to associate the smell with the much more pleasant tastes of pu-erhs.
1st Steep 30 seconds: I’m assuming rinsing is to thank for the lack of pond water taste in this cup, for which I’m most thankful. First of, this and the other two puerhs I’ve had from mandala all have been so smooth and silky in the mouth feel. It’s very pleasant, and even with that first not rinsed cup of Temple Stairs, I appreciated it. I’m getting that flavor that I get from all puerhs, that sort of earthy flavor. I don’t eat mushrooms because the texture freaks me out, but that might be what this note is. There’s also a creaminess to it.
2nd Steep 1 minute: There’s a hint of spice hiding out in this cup! It was there on the first sip, but when I look for it I can’t find it. And then I let my guard down, and it pokes its head up. And I found the cocoa! If I loudly slurp this one I get it as I swallow (I like to slurp to aerate the tea so that I can pick up on more notes).
3rd Steep 90 seconds: At this point I got tired of getting up to go make more tea every 5 minutes (lazy, I know) so I made 3 steeping into 3 different cups and brought them all back to my room with me. This is much like the second, but with more cocoa.
4th Steep 2 minutes: I’m starting to get a nice nuttyness now. Mmm chocolate and nuts go so good together.
5th Steep 2.5 minutes: The texture is slightly thinner on this one. I’m getting honey this time, and the cocoa is more like milk chocolate. And it might just be the power of suggestion, but I’m feeling a little tea drunk. Considering I just drank 3 cups back to back its possible though.
6th-8th Steeps: Made three more at once, adding a minute each time. They were all much like the last cup. Cocoa and honey and yummy.