Special Dark

Tea type
Pu-erh Tea
Ingredients
Not available
Flavors
Brown Sugar, Cacao, Chocolate, Cocoa, Dark Chocolate, Dates, Drying, Earth, Fig, Milk, Raisins, Smooth, Dark Bittersweet, Malt, Cherry, Cookie, Stonefruits, Mushrooms, Cherry Wood, Oak wood, Sawdust, Wood, Caramel, Leather, Bitter, Grain, Hay, Plums, Baked Bread, Honey, Stewed Fruits, Cream, Nuts, Coffee
Sold in
Bulk, Loose Leaf
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by looseTman
Average preparation
Boiling 2 min, 15 sec 6 g 10 oz / 301 ml

Available from 1 seller.

From Our Community

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43 Want it Want it

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56 Own it Own it

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143 Tasting Notes View all

  • “This tea has been comforting me during the ice storm today. Hope all my fellow Midwestern Steepsterites are warm and safe! I’m going to go build a fire now…seems appropriate :)” Read full tasting note
    95
    paradigmamnesia 1113 tasting notes
  • “I haven’t felt much like drinking tea lately, and even less like writing about it. My dog of 14 years passed away over the weekend and the days leading up to it were pretty tough. I’m...” Read full tasting note
    93
    TastyBrew 361 tasting notes
  • “This is delicious! The first steep was a little light…hint of dark chocolate powder. The 2nd steep was deeper, richer, like putting a pinch of gourmet dark chocolate powder on my tongue &...” Read full tasting note
    terri-harplady 3240 tasting notes
  • “I saw Terri Harplady steeped Special Dark for like 7 minutes and I totally needed to try it! I tasted it at 5 minutes and WHOA THAT IS Read full tasting note
    95
    awkwardsoul 1213 tasting notes

From Mandala Tea

Per Garret: Special Dark Offically Retired 7/2/15
A Very Sad Day Indeed! :-((

We call this Special Dark for good reason. This decadent tea is hand crafted in small batches within cotton bags, and fermented more extensively requiring great attention and intention. Creamy, rich, dark, and smooth. This cocoa-y indulgence is one of our most unique pu’er teas. An excellent change-up from the norm for you lovers of the shu.

Pu-erh that is more lightly fermented can hardly be oversteeped in early infusions, but this tea should be approached differently. We suggesting easing in with quick infusions before experimenting with the full power of the Dark Side.

About Mandala Tea View company

Company description not available.

143 Tasting Notes

84
1117 tasting notes

So after about a 2 month break from caffeine, I have decided to slowly re-introduce it because I truly have a passion for tea and I miss brewing my good stuff :) so today I am having a western brewed cup of this lovely tea. 20s rinse and a 20s steep. Smooth, creamy milk chocolate flavor with a hint of mushroom today. I so missed my puerh!

Hopefully I don’t get too anxious reintroducing caffeine, and gone are the days I would have a ton of cups of tea a day, but my health has to come first. See previous notes on this tea!

tigress_al

How did you do with the caffeine?

Indigobloom

Welcome back! I’m glad to see you around again :)

MissLena

@tigress_al – so far so good! I didn’t finish the full cup as I had to go out of the house for a bit but nice and tired tonight and I also had a decaf espresso today and am still good! I just won’t overdo it

@Indigobloom – thanks! It’s good to be back writing notes, I’ve still been lurking but happy to be back in the swing of things :)

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95
3 tasting notes

Mandala Tea sells several excellent loose leaf puer teas, and this one is my personal favorite of the bunch. Can be made strong but still remains perfectly smooth with no overpowering flavors. One of my current favorite teas ever, and maybe the best one I currently have in my rather extensive tea drawer. Leans quite far towards the dry & woody side of the puer taste spectrum rather than damp & earthy taste that is more common. An awesome tea if you prefer this flavor profile.

Flavors: Cherry Wood, Oak wood, Sawdust, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 9 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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85
1549 tasting notes

Today is a sad day. A childhood family friend who I used to play with during summers at my Aunts cottage died in a snowmobile accident. He was my age (32). Since I stopped hanging out at the cottage so much, I saw him only once every few years or so… in truth I didn’t know him well at all in adulthood, but my Aunt and cousin consider him a second son. They are family. I always regarded him fondly.
This is all so surreal. Larry was a good kid, he’s been riding since before he could walk! He knew all the rules and always took care to be safe. He never partied or anything like that. I’m so confused…

The tea: I need to try this again, preferably in my gaiwan. It was a little too thick for me and left me feeling unsettled- backlog from yesterday

Fjellrev

I’m so sorry, Indigo. :(

Lala

Sorry to hear about your loss. Sending you and your friends family prayers.

Nicole

So sorry to hear.

boychik

Sorry for your loss

Indigobloom

Thx guys. I think I’m still in shock

caile

So sorry to hear of your sad news.

Indigobloom

Thanks Caile xo

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95
253 tasting notes

This tea is so appropriately named! Finally getting around to this one from the sampler that I bought months ago and it really does taste like dark chocolate without tasting like chocolate. So that means it tastes like dark. Wait, what?

Made this is my yixing and my tea pet thinks it’s delicious!

Flavors: Dark Chocolate

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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292 tasting notes

Quick rinse and then brewed for around 30 seconds. I re-steeped this a few more times; probably a minute on the second one then much longer and finally left the leaves in for over 15 minutes. No bitterness at any point and although the last cup was considerably weaker, it was still delicious and flavourful.

Tastes like chocolate and caramel, especially at first, and has the tiniest hint of gentle earthiness. Very smooth, with a soft aroma. I am not good at describing more than that, but this has been a favorite of the mandala ripe sampler so far… I like the gentleness of it, especially the smell.

Preparation
Boiling 4 g 3 OZ / 88 ML

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91
9 tasting notes

A great Shou featured by Mandala in a limited time sampler, very balanced, smooth and mellow, easy to drink from first steep to fourth. Chocolate and malt notes, along with leather and wood in early steeps. I would recommend this to people (like me) that are new to Pu-erh.

Flavors: Caramel, Chocolate, Leather, Malt, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 7 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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97
52 tasting notes

mushroom and chocolate what could be better? That’s what I am getting from this tea. Its about to be very very hot out but for this moment hot tea is good and puer seems both hot and cooling to me. This sample from the riper sampler mandala sent out. I sent one to my sister too and so across the country we are sipping together. Once the weather cools I’ll be drinking a lot more of this! The head pains are clearing and now I’m ready for my day! Brewed gongfu style.

Flavors: Chocolate, Mushrooms

Preparation
1 tsp

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90
595 tasting notes

I have to admit. I got this tea awhile ago and have had it a few times, but never left a review. It was just one of those teas that had so many good reviews. I didn’t really get it ,and so wanted to try steeping it many different ways before doing my review. I originally tried this with short steeps. I remember it was good but didn’t get any chocolate. This morning I did a long steep – 5 min. The first 5 min going to Hubby since he’s enjoying it now too. After having some amazing black teas from WP that have a chocolate flavour, it made me appreciate this tea and how it is different. No , not like the chocolate from the black tea but definitely chocolate notes—dark cocoa more like. This tea has an earthy flavour like other ripe puerhs, but not anywhere near as pronounced. I didn’t get any mushroomy flavour from it either. Very smooth. This is the kind of tea that slowly works it way into being one of your favourite cups. It didn’t knock me over right away when I first had it; but I enjoyed the many times drinking it ,and working through the tastes in my head.

Flavors: Cocoa, Earth

Preparation
5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Stephanie

I love a long steep on this one, Mmmmmm…

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93
640 tasting notes

The folks in the chat room kept saying I should try this on. So today I finally got to. It smells like earthy dark chocolate. There is a flavour like rich, dark, slightly sweet hot chocolate, and the name makes me think of a certain candy bar.

Since I joined the Dark Side long ago, it was certainly time to try this tea.

Flavors: Cocoa, Dark Chocolate

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 15 sec

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818 tasting notes

I tried this tea out on my mom yesterday and she liked it! Yay! She’s a black tea drinker, so I think this one turned out to be a easy puerh for her to drink. She didn’t sound too enthused about the wood flavor I get in other puerhs, so this was a good choice. We enjoyed it with chocolate-dipped biscotti! Yum!

I also brought a raw puerh for comparison, but I just showed her and my dad the dry leaf, to which my dad said it smelled like chocolate….what?!!! I’ll have to brew up one of those in the future so they can smell what it’s really like….not chocolate! Ha!

boychik

yay for great experience!

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