Four Leaves Ripe

Tea type
Pu-erh Tea
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Cocoa, Earth, Mushrooms, Smooth, Spices
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Edit tea info Last updated by Garret
Average preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec 6 g 6 oz / 176 ml

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From Mandala Tea

We are proud to offer our very own ripe pu’er tea! We (and our customers) are very happy with the finished product. While we love this tea now, we can hardly wait to see what 2 or 3 more years of aging will bring to the flavor of this tea!

The four leaves used in our ripe tea are from the Jinggu Tea Factory in Simao. The Jinggu tea factory used to be part of the CNNP state-owned tea factories. They started fermenting Pu’er in the mid-70’s and was the third factory ever to produce ripe pu’er!

The leaf used for our cake was turned into ripe pu’er in 2009 and is quite ready for enjoying now. We chose the blend and had the steaming and pressing done in April of 2010.

We hope you enjoy this addition to our extensive ripe pu’er selection. We think you will! And be sure to try our very own Mandala Silver Buds raw style pu’er cake, too!

About Mandala Tea View company

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12 Tasting Notes

807 tasting notes

Full review on on the 12th of November 2012.
This is a great young pu’er.
I feel it could mature more but a great starting point with notes of leather and berry.
There is also a buttered toast element growing here.
A great starter Shu!


i have a sample of this garret sent me i think it will be in a cup this weekend!


MRM.. had you got the cake sample or the loose leaf sample? I can’t remember which I sent you or Azz, either. Whenever I do a ripe pressing, I usually set aside 20- 50 lbs of the material to sell as loose leaf. Interesting how they age differently.

MRM.. had you got the cake sample or the loose leaf sample? I can’t remember which I sent you or Azz, either. Whenever I do a ripe pressing, I usually set aside 20- 50 lbs of the material to sell as loose leaf. Interesting how they age differently.I did not have enough material of the “year of the dragon” tea to have as looseleaf and pressed it all into cakes. However, I did get over 200lbs of the material for my latest pressing (pressed last week in china) and saved 50 lbs for loose leaf after pressing almost 400 250gram cakes. Haven’t named the new one yet. i wait until it’s pressed, have a few mindful session with it and let it tell me what it should be called. Can’t wait to have you both try it.


Hi Garret – Mine was loose leaf. :)


ahhh… ok, thanks! Yes… the cake has aged much differently, more speedily when it hit the 2 year mark. I’ve got one customer out in CT who buys 4 of the cakes every month. it’s the only tea he says he’ll drink until they are gone :) He brews it super dark. Kicked coffee almost two years ago because of it. glad I got lots pressed… I just counted them the other day, I have only 60 of the 250 gram cakes left :(


Haha sounds like he better make a big purchase soon! :)


Amen to that, Sister! I have held back two tongs of it just for my personal stash. I should also have you try the golden gong ting that I have. I bought all I could in ‘07. It is from ’05. Delicious. I have another very very small batch ripe tea coming in soon that is very close in quality, just younger (2011)… good heavens where am I going to keep all this? The vault that we store our pu’ers in is getting cramped. Smells like heaven though. It really is a vault. Our biz is in a 1970’s built bank and we can keep just the right humidity and temp in the vault for optimal storage. Now we are going to have to build another suitable place for storage!!


That actually sounds quite neat and perfect for temp! I imagine finding another location won’t be easy but its nice that your business is growing so much! :)


Very nice! Actually, we are moving our headquarters to a different city and should open there in mid-january. The woman who purchased our wellness center is going to continue having a tea shop located here in Winona (as well as a food co-op and several coffeeshops) so we’ll actually have a 2nd shop! Our new shop is where we will be building a whole new vault for storage. We get to build the new shop to our specs so that’s fun… And I have a place to store alot of my teas in China, as well, so we won’t need to build our vault super huge. I don’t know how this all happened, all I wanted to do was drink tea. then I wanted to share tea. And now… well… here we go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Dang! Way to go! I didn’t realize you sold your wellness center. It sounds like this is a big evolution for you! Kudos!


Yes… I have been doing bodywork/wellness consulting for 16 years now. It is strange to let go of this part of my life and the wellness center, too. But the woman who is taking over is super perfect. She will do very well here and we are happy that she is the one who has the place now. And she is into tea so this really helps all our customers in this city that they will still be able to purchase here!

As we get the new place up and running, I will still do one or two bodywork sessions a week, I’m sure. I love to do bodywork so much and can’t imagine life without it. and of course, my passion for health, wellness, healing, meditation are going no where, I will continue to help no matter what I am doing. Life is one big experiment, tweak a few variables and check the outcome.

What a wonderful opportunity to be able to have a body and see what we can do with it. Oh yes, and a wide-open heart, too :)


hi garret you gave me a cake sample.

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3181 tasting notes

I came home from my errands & made a pot of soup, using parsnips, carrots, onion, garlic, & broccoli from my garden, plus one of the last store purchased japanese sweet potatoes. I say one of the last because sometime in the next few weeks I’ll dig up all of the sweet potatoes in my garden. I’m keeping an eye on the weather, because they do not like a frost at all. I’ll never forget the year my sons & I were out there in the dark, as it quickly got colder, digging in what was gratefully a nice loose bed, groping with our hands to find them all. Hopefully it won’t be quite like that this year!

Cool damp weather requires delicious nourishing soup! It also lends itself to shou, & this one has a nice earthy & nourishing feel to it as well.

carol who

Will you be sending all of us some of your soup? It sounds wonderful! Imagine a Traveling Soup Box…


Mmmm soup, mmmm shou. Two excellent choices;)

Terri HarpLady

You guys will just have to come visit St. Louis, & we’ll have a bowl while you’re here :)

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92 tasting notes

I experimented a bit with the steep time while brewing this tea so it’s probably a bit crazypants because it jumps all over the place. I think I will follow Garret’s suggested steep times from now on because it worked brilliantly with the Bu Lang Gong Ting.

1st Steep- 1 minute
Very mushroomy and earthy. It was pleasant in its earthiness and not at all overpowering. I think this may be the first earthy shu that I’ve liked.

2nd Steep-45 seconds
Still a bit earthy but with a nice leathery note. Very smooth.

3rd Steep-2 minutes
Yet again the third steep is my favorite. This steep was buttery with a bit of roastiness to it. I don’t know exactly what to compare it to but it brings to mind breakfast.

4th Steep-3 minutes
Still very buttery with a touch of honey. Perhaps a bit more intense than the 3rd steep.

5th Steep-1 minute
This was my final steep and it was lovely. It tasted like molasses. So very good.

I had to stop with this tea after the 5th steep because I tend to drink tea late at night. I know that’s probably not normal but I’m generally a not very normal person.

I loved Four Leaves. Perhaps not as much as Bu Lang Gong Ting but I think that one may be my benchmark tea. I really enjoyed the earthiness of this tea. If I was going to replace my morning cup of coffee—which I still need to be human—-this would be the one.

Boiling 1 min, 0 sec

I’m not normal either!


Ha! I have a feeling normal is a bit overrated :)


Normal is what 95% of the population is. Sisters, you don’t want to be normal :) And I, for one, am glad that you’re not! Thank you!


I need to find an old dude like you Garret with a stash of PU who appreciates the odd eccentric female.


Ditto. I need to find a man with a stash of tea, a love of hockey and the ability to deal with my obsessions. Such a man does not exist.

Garret-I am going to break into the Phatty Cake tonight. Is it acceptable to use a sharp letter opener to break the cake? I completely forgot to buy a breaking pick.


Bonnie… did you just call me an old dude? :) I do have quite a stash, for sure!

Grace… can’t wait to hear of your Phatty Cake impressions. Sharp letter opener should work just fine on the cake… Just go slowly in order to keep the leaf as whole as possible. Also… check the MandalaTea FB page status today :)


I am going to give the letter opener the good ol’college try. If I don’t post my review tonight, it’s likely because I stabbed myself. It’s antique and sharp.

And thank you for mentioning me on Facebook. Made my day all bright and shiny.


Do you think of yourself as an ‘old dude’ Garret?! Har…I think you’re a youngster! I said, “I need to find an old dude…‘like’ you not you ‘are’ an old dude.” Otherwise, why not just stalk you! And I’m not a cougar, sooooo, you need to drink more puerh evidently and chill out today Garret! I’m going to have to break down and buy some tea from you one of these days. I’ve been getting samples of your tea from my buddy in Virginia, but I want MORE!


HI Bonnie!! :) Actually, at 46, I feel younger than I ever have in my life. The tea, the running, working out, meditation, qigong, yoga, good food has me feeling my best ever. As far as you not being a cougar, wouldn’t you have to be older than me in order to earn that moniker? I hope you are feeling wonderful today, my dear! Smiling and laughing and dancing and singing…


Oh brother…what a smooth line! Hahaha I’m almost 65!(Like you didn’t know…hahaha!) I feel great when migraine/fibromyalgia are not active and I eat well but can’t exercise other than walking or I end up in the ER with extreme pain. Lots to be thankful for!


Yeah. The letter opener didn’t work. I had to use a coring knife. Looks like I will be ordering a pu’er pick very soon.


A pu’er pick rocks. Get my favorite one:

I used one of these during my last buying trip in China and brought back many of them. They’re great. You’re great. We’re all so freakin’ great!

Another trick is that if you are happy with the flavor of a tea you can always steam the cake for a couple of minutes and it will loosen up. You can them lay the leaf out on a tray to air dry and then simply store as a loose leaf tea in a jar. This will pretty much stop the aging, but hey, if you are going to be drinking the cake up and don’t want to mess with prying the leaf off, this is a great solution for many!

ah yeah!


I decided to get the pick…and a couple of ripe pu-ers of course. I am weak. I got samples of Guo Zhi Yin Pu Shi 063 Tribute and Yong De Organic – 2007.

And the Phatty Cake was just…beautiful. Tea note will be posted shortly :)

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341 tasting notes

I’m becoming convinced pu-erh tea is wasted on me. It’s tasty but I can’t taste any subtly in it at all. It tastes like generic tea I used to get at Chinese restaurants when I was a child (and it probably is, in fact) so I don’t have the sophisticated palate to appreciate it.

3 min, 0 sec

Hi Debbie! Garret from Mandala Tea here, wishing you a tea-riffic day. I am wondering if it is just the ripened style of pu’er that you do not care for. Have you ventured into raw pu’er before? Two different worlds, ripe and raw. There are many lovers of sheng (raw) pu’er who absolutely despise shu (ripe) pu’er. It may be worth checking into. Perhaps starting with a silver needle raw tea to start and see where that takes you. You may find a whole new world open up to you. Let me know if I can help in any way. Have a great day!

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6479 tasting notes

seems weird that i have no tasting notes on this one…i’m sure i’ve had it before. I’ve been drinking this all morning as part of my goal to try and work on drinking some of my smaller/older samples of puerhs. This one is delicious as i recall…. initial steeps being slightly earthy but more leathery than anything…bold…deep flvours. Later steeps are more subdued..almost buttery and molasses like… overall delicious!

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735 tasting notes

This tea is smooth with little or no trace of fermentation flavor. It has a natural sweetness. I found the cocoa notes early on and even could detect, but just barely, the spice notes listed. They turned up in the fourth steeping, or at least that’s when i noticed them. I steeped this five times in a 220ml gaiwan with boiling water and just over 6g of leaf. I steeped it for 15 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 30 sec, and 1 min. I did not find a hint of bitterness throughout any of the steepings. This is good puerh. I may go back for a sixth steeping but I have already had too much caffeine today.

Flavors: Cocoa

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 7 OZ / 220 ML

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439 tasting notes

I am having this tea this morning and got Hubby to share too. He’s been trying to get off coffee and I told him he would probably really like ripe puerh. I told him all the health benefits and how it doesn’t leave you jittery like coffee. He liked it! Yay! Now I can get him to help sip down some of my tea. lol

I gave it two quick 10 sec rinses and then brewed his cup , then mine at 30 sec each. I like my tea lighter so I kept the same time. He was very impressed when I told him that both teas were brewed from the same leaves and there was plenty more cups left in those leaves. I am on the 5th infusion now. I find this tea earthy and a bit mushrooming in the first infusion. On the 5th infusion it’s mellowing out more, very smooth with cocoa notes. It goes down petty easy. I wonder if this one has a good qi? I guess I will find out.

Flavors: Cocoa, Earth, Mushrooms, Smooth

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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32 tasting notes

I took this tea on vacation with me after scoring it during Mandala’s 50% off sale! After a couple sessions, the verdict is in. This tea is delicious! Even my wife loved it, and she really doesn’t like many pu erh’s but this one was a hit! Dark and rich with creamy overtones of smooth cocoa with undertones of spice and subtle (very subtle) earthiness. This tea has really nice cha qi too, invigorating and uplifting energy. I went through about 9 steepings in a small gaiwan and could have gone a couple more… this tea gives and gives! Another gem from Mandala tea!

Flavors: Cocoa, Smooth, Spices

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 4 OZ / 130 ML

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132 tasting notes

Loose version. Lovely, all earthy, mushroomy, smoothness.

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