Mandala Year of the Dragon Ripe Pu'er -2012

Tea type
Pu-erh Tea
Ingredients
Not available
Flavors
Fig, Mushrooms
Sold in
Not available
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by graceatblb
Average preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 4 oz / 108 ml

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13 Tasting Notes View all

  • “This is a sample that *Garret* sent with a recent order. Thanks you SO MUCH, Garret! I never drink as much Puer as I'd like to. I just don't have time to do multiple short steepings all the...” Read full tasting note
    Terri HarpLady 2863 tasting notes
  • “Yes, it's Oolong Owl Black tea week, but I need some shu pu'er while I do Operation: Clean House for Thanksgiving. Good time to crack open some pu'er samples too! I found this pu'er to be similar...” Read full tasting note
    90
    awkwardsoul 1019 tasting notes
  • “I just got my new glass mug from Mandala and I figured that I should pick a sample that I haven't tried in a long time to break it in. I chose Year of the Dragon because...well, it's the first one...” Read full tasting note
    97
    graceatblb 92 tasting notes
  • “I received this a while back from Garret at Mandala with an order. This tea is the exact tea you should give a first time puerh drinker. This tea has the smoothness and creaminess noted in earlier...” Read full tasting note
    90
    mrmopar 189 tasting notes

From Mandala Tea

2012, the Year of the Dragon!

We are excited to offer yet another Mandala Tea exclusive pu’er tea! When we first smelled and tasted this ripe tea in loose leaf form in early winter of 2011, we knew we wanted to buy the entire lot and that we did. This cake is the result of our excitement!

The raw material was picked on Jing Mai mountain in early spring of 2010 from 40 to 50 year old trees that are now growing wild as the plantation had been abandoned. In 2011, the leaf was fermented over a period of 46 days in Menghai town of Xishuangbanna at a small pu’er workshop.

The pressing of this Mandala Tea exclusive was done on 3/1/2012. Once steamed and pressed, the cakes were moved to a special drying room where the humidity was slowly lowered in the cakes in order to remove any moisture in them. We then had them moved to a special warehouse in Kunming for another 50 days before they were custom wrapped and shipped to us. One can tell from the photo of the partially picked beeng that the integrity of the leaf is the same on the inside and the outside of it.

The result is an incredible cake of ripe pu’er tea, one that is aging perfectly in our humidity and temperature controlled vault.

Spring-picked, wild arbor ripe tea is extremely rare and not at all easy to come by. We have been wishing to make a cake like this happen for a while and we are ecstatic over the deep, rich aroma and flavor of this offering. Our pickiness over raw material and our patience has paid off. We make wishes that you enjoy this Mandala Tea offering as much as we do. We appreciate the opportunity to make teas like this available in the West to our fine customers!

About Mandala Tea View company

Company description not available.

13 Tasting Notes

2863 tasting notes

This is a sample that Garret sent with a recent order. Thanks you SO MUCH, Garret!

I never drink as much Puer as I’d like to. I just don’t have time to do multiple short steepings all the time. My solution is to go with 7Grams steeped 3 minutes in my mug. When it comes to Shu, this almost always results in an amazing cup of tea. I resteep adding a minute, & again adding another minute, etc until the tea has nothing left to give.

So, that’s what I did. I’m on the 3rd steeping now & it is still rich & dark, sweet, & delicious!! The sample is generous enough that I’ll get to try it again using shorter steepings, & I promise I’ll give a much more detailed report then, but for now I can say that I’d like to pick up a cake of this, plus I’ve been eyeballing another yixing pot on the mandala site, & some other things, LOL. It’ll probably be another month before I can afford to buy anything (well…there is the Butiki order that I need to finalize tonight…but after that, I need to go back to the Hiatus Group, cuz I’ve been bad!).

Sil

I think I ordered this one… So yay on that!

Terri HarpLady

There you are! Where you been all day, working? ;)

DigniTea

I feel you on the being bad but frankly the good sales on high quality teas have been too good to pass up!

Terri HarpLady

yup, it’s just so hard!

Sil

Terri….13hr days yesterday…came home at 8:30 and passed out on the bed. Didn’t eat etc… working from home today but i’m still swamped so not sure how active i’ll be today :(

Dag Wedin

Thats good advice. I usually skip puer when i don´t have the time to set up gon fu brewing. will try some western brewing!

Garret

So happy that you enjoyed this one! It is really beginning to open up and develop now. I really look forward to one to two more years of aging on this one. It is not easy (or inexpensive) for me to find this wild arbor spring tea for pu’er so I bought as much as I could to have pressed into these cakes. Usually when I do a pressing I have 20 to 100 lbs left to sell as loose-leaf, but because of the small quantity I could get my hands on, I had the entire purchase pressed into these cakes.

While my preferred method for most any tea is gong fu, there are times when that isn’t gonna cut it. For instance, before a workout or a run, I’m not going to sit around and drink 1 ounce servings of tea. No sir! I’m gonna brew it up loud and proud in a 16 ounce pot so I can really hydrate and just go with longer infusions.

Tea… when I go to bed at night, I have a smile on my face already excited about the first tea of the morning. Where there’s tea, there’s hope, right?!

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90
1019 tasting notes

Yes, it’s Oolong Owl Black tea week, but I need some shu pu’er while I do Operation: Clean House for Thanksgiving. Good time to crack open some pu’er samples too!

I found this pu’er to be similar to Yunnan Sourcing’s 2012 Dragon on Jing Mai (my review http://oolongowl.com/2012-dragon-jing-mai-puer-yunnan-sourcing-oolong-owl-tea-review/ ) as it has similar abrasive clay and campy notes in the first few steepings with a gorgeous deep orange red colour. They are also jing mai tea mats, which I didn’t know until sitting down to write this, hoot!

However, I much prefer Mandala’s Year of the Dragon as it is much more mellow, no fermentation weirdness and creamy notes in mid to later steepings. The creamy notes are fantastic and this tea just gets better and better each steeping. I’d say Mandala’s pu’er is more of a cuddly mother dragon one whereas the Yunnan Sourcing one is more of a scary bite first ask questions later dragon!

Preparation
Boiling

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97
92 tasting notes

I just got my new glass mug from Mandala and I figured that I should pick a sample that I haven’t tried in a long time to break it in. I chose Year of the Dragon because…well, it’s the first one I saw.

I am going to try something a bit new. I am going to use the same brew time throughout. I’ve settled on 15 seconds.

1st Steep-
I may be a bit in love with this tea based on first impressions and I am deeply regretting not buying a cake. Very creamy and absolutely no earthiness. The only comparison I can think of is dates. Dried, dark yummy dates that I wait for at Christmas time and hoard them.

2nd Steep-
It’s getting to be more of a prune flavor. I don’t want to say that because most think of prunes as unappetizing but that’s what I’m getting with this steep—dried prunes. And it is yummy.

3rd Steep
Still tastes like a cross between dates and prunes…can’t decide which one. But it’s delicious.

4th Steep-
Still with the prunes but kind of candied because there is almost a burnt brown sugar aftertaste that you get with candied prunes.

5th Steep-
It’s starting to lighten a bit. Not much but enough that it doesn’t look so much like coffee. It’s lightened to the taste of raw figs. Oh boy.

I am now upping the steeping time to 20 seconds.

6th to 8th Steeps
Still figgy. A bit of candied fig taste with a brown sugar background.

I upped the time to 1 minute

9th to 12th Steeps
Still figgy but less so. Some vanilla notes peeking through at various levels of intensity.

13th Steep-5 minutes
Tastes like vanilla extract without the alcohol. Can’t say it’s not pleasant.

14th Steep-15 minutes
I think this tea is done. Tastes like hot water.

I love this tea. It hit every single flavor profile that I found appealing. Figs, prunes, dates…that’s like heaven to me. I’m a weird one I know. And as a bonus, I loved my new mug too. It’s adorable. It’s short and chubby and looks like it should be wearing a bow-tie. No, I am not crazy…I named it Stuart…maybe a little crazy.

P.S. This tea experience was completely different from my first time around with this tea. Just realizing that now when reading my tea note.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec
Sil

oh good….i’m excited to get this now :)

Dexter

LOL will just add it to the list……

Terri HarpLady

I think I ordered a sample of this one

Garret

Terri, you did :) Grace, your package shows out for delivery today on the shipping software.

As far as this YOD ripe tea you reviewed, it has already gone through some very positive changes since its pressing last year. So excited to see what 2 more years will bring out in this cake. I was only able to press 25 kgs of this tea (100 cakes)… it was all I could buy from that supplier. The wild spring picked stuff is quite rare to find for a ripe tea. I’m really happy you are liking it!

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90
189 tasting notes

I received this a while back from Garret at Mandala with an order. This tea is the exact tea you should give a first time puerh drinker. This tea has the smoothness and creaminess noted in earlier tastings and a bit of a surprise to me. This tea is made with jingmai material that usually has a citrus twang to it. This is absent of any of that. I think if you wanted a good puerh to sit back in the chair and relax this is a good one. It has a good depth of flavor with no off or earthy taste to it. It has no drying of the tongue like some shou does and leaves a light cocoa vanilla taste. A well made tea in my book.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec
Garret

My friend! Thank you for the review of this tea. I’m excited to hear that you enjoyed it. It has really changed since its pressing. It will open up even further in the next year, too. The Noble Mark cake is also opening up and that is amazing stuff.

I am just nailing down the supply of this years 4 leaves for the new Noble Mark blend! Though, I will likely change up the blend a bit and rename it :) Nothing stays the same in the world of tea, that’s for sure :) Though the Phatty Cake II is dang close with just the tweak of adding the larger grade 3 leaf!

Wishing you joy,
Garret

mrmopar

Garret, you always have some of the finest teas out there! I think this is due to a lot of diligence and painstaking process to get things “right”. It is this kind of attention that keeps your customers for life! Hey on day we got to have a cup and take a spin in that old mopar thing I got!

Garret

Count me in for the spin in the mopar thang! I will always have a great love for things mopar – I know I told you about the 74 Charger, but I also had a sweet 74 Duster, 318, yellow with a black vinyl top. Golly, that was fun, too! But my first love will always be the Charger. Dang, I miss that car sometimes.

And thanks for the nice words about the teas. Man, you have no idea how that makes my day come even more alive. Life is cracklin’ with possibilities!

Garret

Correction: ’72 Duster!

mrmopar

I bet if you still had the vin number it would be VL29G2B.

Garret

YOu’re gonna have to explain that one to me, sir!

mrmopar

VL=duster, 29=2 door sport coupe, G=318 engine, 2=production year(1972). B= Hamtramck assembly plant Michigan.

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92
700 tasting notes

I received this as a sample with my last Mandala order. Thank you Garrett for including it for me.

I drank a couple of steep of it last night and thought it was a bit mild for my tastes. It was a nice Pu’er, but didn’t have enough flavor. The flavor that was there was nice and smooth, no rough edges, I just wish there was more of it. This is just a little too gentle for my tastes. Sooooo I took the leaves I was using and dumped the rest of the sample in with them added cold water and put it in the fridge to cold steep.
This is my first experience with cold steeped pu’er. OMG WOW!!! Why have I not been doing this sooner. This is AMAZING. I love it. You just get a touch of the classic pu’er flavor, but it’s refreshing and oh so good. I don’t think I would want to cold steep a big bold pu’er, but this was PERFECT. I may have to order some just to have it to cold steep.

Sil

I really need to try that soon!

JustJames

this just sounds so awesome…

Dexter

I was hesitant to try this, couldn’t imagine, but now I’m a believer. Cold steeping pu’erh is fantastic.

Terri HarpLady

I think I’ll take the leaves from the Puer I was drinking earlier & steep them over night in the fridge. I know they still have plenty of oomph left in them. :)

Garret

Hey, gang! Garret here, live from Riviera Maya in Mexico. Last-minute decision to get out of dodge before the tea buying season really starts and get some r and r… So thankful that I bought loads of tea to drink on this trip for there is nothing here save for the obligatory tea bags. The locals are fascinated by the tea thermos and a gringo who knows more about tequila than them :) New tea connections here in Mexico! It is so funny that you reviewed this tea for it is one that is here in Mexico with me, along with much Noble Mark (loose-leaf version) and some new greens. I’m sure customs saw my bag go through the x-ray and did a double take – tea gear and lots of tea taking up half my bag!

thank you for writing this review and the info on the cold brew for our friends here – good stuff… This YOD ripe is still quite young and over the next little while, we are going to see much change in this cake. Sadly, I bought all of the material that was available from that producer (I’m a stickler for spring-picked, wild-arbor teas) and was only able to press 120 of these cakes. Of course, I’m saving at least one tong (7 cakes) for myself :) Joy to all!

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85
16 tasting notes

Very solid, high quality shou puer.

no funkiness or fishiness here. Leaves are deep brown/black. Very clean, very high quality look and feel.

Brews up real dark, real quick.

I’m getting mostly mushroom on the first waves of quick infusions. There’s an underlying dried fruit sweetness, very subtle, but it’s there. Maybe fig, or dates. Creaminess too. Real clean, leaves the mouth refreshed, but nothing lingering around.

I’m tempted to put a drop of honey in, maybe next time, just to round it out a touch. Very solid component of a well stocked tea stash.

Flavors: Fig, Mushrooms

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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309 tasting notes

This shou is incredibly smooth. I like it. Creamy and fruity, some wood notes. The brew is dark reddish-brown color and clear. I had a nice session of multiple steepings
5g 100ml gaiwan 212F
rinse/pause/ 10/10/15/15/20/25/30/45 sec etc
Perfect for beginner or lover of Puerh.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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100
4 tasting notes

So far this is my favorite Pu Erh! I just love this tea! I must, need to order more! I wish the cakes were larger because I am afraid I will go through this too quickly! I am trying to slow down and drink different pu erhs but I mindless go back to this one. I just love how smooth and full bodied it is! I have to give a better review than this later but I just had to drop by and say I LOVE this PU ERH!!

Smooth, tasty!! MMmmm…. May make more?

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 6 g 4 OZ / 125 ML
Garret

I am so happy that you are enjoying this tea, my friend! It is one of my favorites. I can’t wait to have you try the new cake that is being pressed this week in China. I’ve made a ripe blend from 2012 and 2013 material and it is named “Temple Stairs”. The loose leaf blend is already here (not up on website yet) and I had 500 100g cakes pressed along with 10,000 mini-tuochas. It’ll be the best mini-tuo on the market, hands down. Looking so forward to it. We shall have to make sure you get to try some :) Thank you for your review of the Year of the Dragon!

TeaExplorer

HellieCreed – I liked your review, and put a cake in my basket for my next Mandala order.
Garret – My latest order arrived in Palm Bay today and included a sample called “Commemorative Ripe 2013 – Not Yet Named”. Is this the loose material from the new “Temple Stairs”?

HellieCreed

Garret I am so curious about this new mystery pu erh! I know I would buy some the moment I can! So far I am in love with your pu erhs! I cannot wait for this new Temple Stairs, oh, I am so curious!

I just love this pu erh and you did a fantastic job on it! I think this was the one that just made me think, wow, this is my wow omg I must have more ripe pu erh!

HellieCreed

TeaExplorer thank you so much for enjoying this review! I am hoping to give this pu erh a more justified review in the future! I hope you enjoy this! Must let me know what are your thoughts on this “Not Yet Named” tea! Curiosity is killing me!

Garret

Hi! Yes… the unnamed tea became “Temple Stairs” after I had a chance to do gongfu with it just prior to a meditation session. I got up from my cushion after meditating and “Temple Stairs” popped right up.

I am loving the Temple Stairs and the handful of people who have tasted it have great things to say. We’ll have it in to the hands of many soon enough. I just got wind from the tea factory that this tea will be pressed this week! It will be a while before we see the cakes and mini-tuochas, but it will be worth the wait. For now, we have 40 + lbs left in loose leaf form. Tea-lish!

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100
18 tasting notes

I got this cake recently and it is my new favorite pu’er. It has a well rounded and smooth flavor with a creamy texture. It also holds up well to multiple steepings (I get a good six in my yixing, which is as much tea as I can handle in one sitting!) I would also recommend for people being introduced to ripe pu’er tea. It is a bit more well “behaved” than many other pu’er out there.

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