Mandala Tea Silver Buds Raw 2011

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Pu-erh Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by Dexter
Average preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 45 sec 2 g 4 oz / 118 ml

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From Mandala Tea

From the same village that we procured our 2008 cake from, these silver buds are fresh and just as wonderful!

2011 spring picked leaves in a 250 gram cake!

We hear from both raw tea afficionado’s and newcomers to raw tea, alike and are so excited by the feedback and the sales of this tea that we will commission another pressing of this.

This has become a favorite tea for many brewed in the tea thermos and tastes great even at temps well below boiling. We find the sweetness and slight smokiness of it so enjoyable and never tire of this tea. One evening, while entertaining guests, I prepared this tea gong fu style in a gaiwan and used a gallon of water before we called the tea exhausted! That’s a whole lotta tea value – cup after cup after cup.

Not sure about buying an entire cake? Opt for the one ounce sample and give this tea a whirl.

About Mandala Tea View company

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8 Tasting Notes

286 tasting notes

Not that I need another reason to make Mandala my next place to put in a tea order, but this tea has done it. Dexter3657 had generously included this in a swap some time ago – so thank you Dexter3657 for introducing me to Mandala! And thank you Mandala for providing quality tea’s…can’t wait to place my order!

This is a lighter pu’er but not light on flavour. The flavour profile is deliciously smooth, earthy and nutty. I have a silver tip pu’er from another company…not nearly as tasty as this sample.


Glad you are enjoying Mandala. Always love to share good teas with others. (I’m going to put a couple more of their teas in the mail to you….). You introduced me to Tao, trying to return the favor.

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998 tasting notes

Rambling for a minute first then will get to the tea. I’ve been trying to get my sample box under control. Sip down all the bits and pieces that I have. Was wanting to continue that tonight, but not in the mood for flavored “candy” tea. This was in that box. Garrett from Mandala generously included a sample of it with my last order. Have I mentioned how AMAZING, AWESOME, INCREDIBLE their customer service is? I’ve dealt with a lot of good, even great online customer service from the various tea companies, and Mandala stands out even from those great experiences. If the rest of the teas I ordered from them are anything like this one, I’m going to be a regular customer for a very long time.

I’ve never drank a plain raw pu’erh before (I know there are several in my cupboard, I just ordered a few to see what I thought and hadn’t gotten around to trying any until tonight).

OMG!!!!!!!!!! I don’t have the words/vocabulary/palate to explain how good this is. I didn’t really have any idea how to go about steeping it western style, it looked like a green tea to me, so I did 80C for 2 minutes. Either I got lucky or this tea could be even better than this (nahhhhhh that’s NOT possible). I like the ripe pu’erhs that I’ve tried. They are earthy, musty, bold, kind of in your face. This has the same flavor profile but is much more delicate and subtle. I LOVE this.
If you are nervous about all the nasty things you’ve heard about pu’erh or if you have tried a shu and couldn’t get past the “dirt” taste, I recommend you find something like this. Great Great tea.

EDIT: I just wanted to add that steeps 2,3, and 4 of this were equally amazing. Not much difference between 1,2,3 steep 4 has lost some of the Pu’erh earthiness and is more mellow, but still good. I’ve had a really good night with this tea.

Mandala Tea

Thank you, my friend, for taking the time to write about your experience with this tea. I am also extremely grateful for your kind words regarding our customer experience. I truly appreciate. We will do whatever we can to help make anyone’s tea experience a great one. All the best!!

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288 tasting notes

From the unflavored TTB.

The main reason I signed up for the unflavored TTB was the hope to try a number of pu-erh teas. Up to that point, I had had a few, but none struck me as very good, and I was hoping to taste some of the highly rated Mandala teas. Though I enjoyed some of them, I was mostly disappointed.

There were only two raw pu-erhs in the box. When I expressed great disappointment with wild monk sheng, kimquat suggested that I had made a mistake by brewing it at 200 degrees, and said I should treat it as a green tea. There wasn’t much wild monk left, but I took a small sample of this tea to try later, which turned out to be today.

I absolutely love the tea. I only have 2 grams, so I am doing 1 minute steeps of 3 oz. I also skipped a rinse (though was prepared to do so if the first cup tasted off).

1st steep: Very little nose. Tastes like a white tea but with a deeper, richer finish. Very good. I don’t detect any musty or off flavors at all. By the time I got to the bottom of the cup, the rich flavors were throughout the taste, not just the finish. 2nd steep: While the flavors are similar to the 1st steep, they are much richer and more complex, like comparing an orchestra to a string quartet. Very rich mouth-feel. I’m starting to see what all the fuss is about over pu-erh. This is a great tea.

Subsequent steeps had similar flavors but not the richness or depth of the first two.

175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec 2 g 3 OZ / 88 ML

I had this one yesterday and I just loved it. I was disappointed with the amount of sheng in the box as well. I’d hoped for more, as I’ve just found sheng and I really like it.


I liked your musical simile :)

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518 tasting notes

from the (Mostly) Unflavored TTB

so a while back, Garret had a huge sale. He tried to convince me that I needed to buy some pu’er from his sale. I thought about it and politely declined. I didn’t need another tea to be addicted to.

Garret, why didn’t you push me harder?!?!?!

So now I’m drinking Mandala tea and loving it. And wishing I weren’t on a tea buying hiatus because I’m in love.

There really wasn’t even enough of this tea – not quite a teaspoonful. The directions say 1T/8oz, and I’m doing <1t/5oz. And still. And still.


yes, it is all this and so much more.

I want to keep drinking this tea for hours. days. weeks.

I’ve really only had a few shengs and jimminy crickits I’ve found a new obsession. (I guess it’s a good thing that I just got a whole bunch of samples in the mail.)

It’s weird. This is a tea I could sit and drink and obsess over all the different flavors and complexities, or I could drink it while doing so many other things and enjoy it without needing to pay attention or analyzing it.

(My husband said it’s okay, but he doesn’t like it as much as the sun dried buds one. And the way he said that it was okay makes me think he wouldn’t drink this again.)

He’s now writing up a grocery list for me. He needs me to go to the store because he wants to make his own bbq sauce for the pulled pork for dinner.


You make me sound like some kind of pusher :) So happy you are liking this tea. I am down to just a handful of the 2012 cakes I had pressed while i was in China in April of that year. The 2011 are now long gone.

I need to see if I can put together a 2014 pressing of the same material from this farm. So delightful.

thanks for posting your thoughts on it. Insofar as the pulled pork – do you deliver to MN?

Enjoy. With gratitude, Garret


You can get a sample for $5


@Garret – I believe I called you a tea pusher in my very first note on Dark Beauty. Just sayin’….


Garret, you might just be a tea pusher. I’m an enabler, so that’s okay. We don’t deliver pulled pork to MN, but I will post a tasting note. Let me tell you, the backyard smells delicious right now.


I think pepperoni and pulled pork smothered in some delicious BBQ sauce are two of the only pig products that I can eat without feel like I’m eating a human. IDK what it is with pig meat, but it tastes like what I imagine humans taste like. Bleh. My BF thinks I just had a pet piglet when I was little and my parents took him and made him for dinner and that I was so mortified that I blocked out the memory and that’s why I don’t like pork. Haha

If any og the 2012 cakes are left when I get off of my hiatus, I think I might need to get it. It sounds yummy!


Bwahaha Boychik!


(Totally a tea pusher)

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8172 tasting notes

this was my first tea of the day. I knew today was going to be a bad day so i wanted to get it started right. I managed to get in a few steepings of this while getting ready for work and it was enjoyable enough that i may be doing it more in future. I really like this one a bunch. just the hint of the smokiness if super tasty to me.

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104 tasting notes

Another sample from Garret. After the first steeping I was thinking “What is Garret thinking?” I like my pu’er dark and earthy. This didn’t look dark and earthy. After drinking steeping 5 I can tell you what Garret was thinking, it is time to blow open some doors for this guy. This is excellent pu’er, earthy but in a subdued way and the flavor is awesome. I would write more but steeping 6 is demanding to be joyfully made!

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 OZ / 147 ML

Funny…. that’s exactly what I was thinking :) Raw pu’er is a whole nuther world to explore. Started you off with an easy drinker. Raw pu’er newbies and seasoned drinkers alike enjoy this one. So happy that you are enjoying it, my friend!

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