Phatty Cake II: The Sequel

Tea type
Pu-erh Tea
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Campfire, Earth, Leather, Maple Syrup, Tobacco, Caramel, Mushrooms, Ash, Clay, Ocean Breeze, Wood, Fruity, Smoke, Wet Earth, Dark Chocolate, Sweet, Molasses, Oak wood, Vanilla, Mineral, Fig, Hay, Honey, Plums, Spices
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Edit tea info Last updated by Jason
Average preparation
Boiling 1 min, 45 sec 5 g 6 oz / 186 ml

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From Mandala Tea

The follow up to our very popular Phatty Cake. We used the same material, but added grade 3 leave to the mix which gives a more interesting gongfu experience.

Save money by ordering a tong. Traditional “case” size for pu’er tea is seven cakes (beeng). The hand-tied bamboo sheath wrapper is a beautiful addition to your tea collection. A full tong purchase saves you $35. You’ll be drinking cup after cup of delicious, classy ripe pu’er for under $3 per ounce and gifting cakes to your friends who still think pu’er is that weird, fishy stuff from the Asian market. Score!

About Mandala Tea View company

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31 Tasting Notes

97 tasting notes

I’ve been a bit absent from Steepster lately. I have a good excuse. I sprained my wrist and typing is a big ol’ pain. To make it even worse, I steam burned the same hand so now I have second degree burns and a sprained wrist. I’m not whining, I swear. The only thing that has kept me from being a big baby is tea. So, I guess, there’s that. My form of pain management is drinking copious amounts of tea.

Steep 1- 15 seconds
Kind of mellow. Sweet. A little bit smoky yet creamy. Very interesting in a completely non-aggressive kind of way.

Steep 2-30 seconds
It’s asserting itself a bit more. Still smoky and sweet but where the original Phatty Cake asserted itself in a smoky way, the Sequel is all about the creamyness.

Steep 3-45 seconds
It’s getting a bit nutty…literally. It’s reminiscent of Amaretto. Call me a bit insane but I may even prefer this to the original Phatty Cake.

Steep 4-1 minute
It’s a tiny bit woodsy but it’s kind of reminiscent of vanilla extract without the alcohol kick. It’s vanilla in that sort of woodsy way and not totally pastry-like or sweet.

Steep 5-1.30 seconds
Vanilla bean with a touch of figgy fruitiness. Winner! It’s light but it’s very flavorful.

I’ve been craving some iced tea lately so I decided to stop brewing this hot and try an overnight iced tea steep. Oh my dear tea gods. It was amazing. This is going to sound crazy but it’s like I took a Napoleon, mashed it up in a blender and drank it. It’s vanilla and custard and even a bit pastry-like. I wish I had made more than a glass worth of it.

I am not going to go so far as to say that I love this more than the original Phatty Cake but I love it for different reasons. Since hockey season is getting close, I am going to use a hockey comparison. The original Phatty Cake is the flashy forward. The guy who scores all the goals, gets all the credit and is all “Look at me!!! I’m so talented” but the Phatty Cake Sequel is the hard working third liner. The guy who does everything well but stays out of the way. He’s also the guy that scores the goals when the flashy forward is in one of his cold streaks—-or decides to retire to Russia…I’m bitter. I think on most occasions I’d prefer the more mellow Phatty Cake Sequel to be honest but I think the Sequel with gain some strength with age. Hopefully not too much because I like the gentler aspect of it.

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec

Awesome! Thanks for this grace….love the review :)


Welcome back !


My dear, I am so glad that you are enjoying this. Given that the steaming/pressing took place so recently, look for some big changes in complexity over the next few months. This was pressed on 4/25/2013… I’ve detected big changes already. I am SO HAPPY you like it already. Thanks for writing this review and providing me with whole new ways of looking at pu’er :)


“Thanks for writing this review and providing me with whole new ways of looking at pu’er :)”
Given Garret’s experience with Pu’er, I imagine he hasn’t given such a compliment to too many people! Way to go!

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8160 tasting notes


I had this in the afternoon since i REALLY need to drink up some of my smaller puerh samples instead of accumulating them all. I still think that while i could live with having most of Mandala’s puerhs in my cupboard, there are a few that i MUST have…and this isnt’ one of them. it’s delicious, but not something that i’ll be wishing for often, now that it’s gone.

The first few steeps were a middle of the road brew that was smooth and delicious, while also not being out of this world. Later steeps brought out hints of woodsy vanilla. I’ll have to see if i can cold brew the rest of this over night just to see how it fares after a number of steeps hot brewed :)

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3254 tasting notes

I drank this all evening, on & off.
I was busy, so I don’t really have any notes to share, but I wanted to drink it, since I drank the original Phatty Cake yesterday. I can’t really give a comparison of the two…but I love them both. I think the original is sweeter, but they are both tasty.
What I can say is this was a wonderful bold & rich contrast to the last couple of steepings of the Huang Zhi Xiang Dancong I was drinking all afternoon. The Dancong had me so dopey & mellow, & the Phatty Cake woke me back up a little. I drank several steepings before dinner, & several more after.
Yesterday I put the leftover leaves in a jar of water in the frig. I added tonight’s leaves to the same jar, as I didn’t really feel like the water had absorbed much flavor. I’ll drink their fusion tomorrow.

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50 tasting notes

I thoroughly enjoyed this tea. I steeped it western style with 5g of tea and about 8 ounces of water. After an initial rinse I steeped each infusion for about a minute. The aroma was very reminiscent of warm compost and dirt. The taste is of sweet dirt. The second infusion brought the slightest astringency and bite in the mouth.

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7 tasting notes

Really interesting tea. Received as a sample from Garret with my noble mark purchase. Different flavors arise with each steep. A little bitter here and there, but very enjoyable. Fits perfectly into a nice evening tea for me. Tobacco, leather, earth, and campfire are prominent in almost all of the steeps and picked up a bit of maple syrup(ish) flavor at the 7+ steep mark. Really enjoyed it and picked up a cake!

Flavors: Campfire, Earth, Leather, Maple Syrup, Tobacco

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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17 tasting notes

Phatty cake, phatty cake how I love saying phatty cake.

I had a sample of this from the time when Mandala was having its shou sampler set (In 2014 IIRC). Unfortunately for me this one was forgotten and neglected in its plastic baggie at the back of my tea box. After surviving through two moves and an equal number of years in a ziplock bag the flavors were slightly muted. I still get whisps of the wonderful flavours other reviewers have described but I definitely should have tried reviving it first by reintroducing some humidity. Still a good tea, but I wish I had enjoyed it sooner.

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2148 tasting notes

After dusting off my gaiwan I spent a good part of the morning enjoying this tea and ignoring the mile long to-do list I have sitting on my counter. I gave the leaves a quick 15 second rinse, discarded the water, and began with a 30 second steeping. The flavor was light, with hints of leather and molasses. Each time I steeped this tea the flavor deepened and the notes changed. What started out as leather and molasses moved into dark chocolate and slowly became sweeter. The later steepings reminded me of the Mexican vanilla beans I bought last year, they tasted of wood and vanilla.

You can read the rest of the review on my blog:

Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 4 g 4 OZ / 118 ML


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12 tasting notes

My first review on Steepster :)
Who knew dirt could taste so good? The earthiness of this Pu-erh is unlike any I have ever had, in the best possible way. I am typically turned off by earthy or grassy teas, but this one completely changed my mind on the former. Garret at Mandala Tea included this sample with my first order from them and I am very grateful. Will definitely pick up a cake of this after I finish the others I purchased from Mandala.

1st Steep(45 sec): I tend to start pretty short on steep times so I can be sure it doesn’t come out too astringent. My first thought was mushrooms covered in dirt, and I realize that may not sound tasty but it was exceptional.
2nd Steep(1min30sec): This one came out a bit more rich but just as smooth as the first. Started to catch some hints of toasted caramel on the finish.
3rd Steep(3min): Richness started to fade but the sweetness started to come through even more. This is where I started to taste something more akin to leather than earth.

Flavors: Caramel, Earth, Leather, Mushrooms

Boiling 0 min, 45 sec 4 g 8 OZ / 236 ML




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291 tasting notes

This Puer starts out very strong and in-your-face, with notes of wood, cork, and cigar ash. In later infusions notes of ocean spray and clay emerge and in even later infusions it becomes more mellow and sweet with notes of tobacco.

It’s very dynamic from one infusion to the next, but I don’t think it’s really my tastes simply because of how pungent it is at the start. I used flash infusions and it was still rather intense from the get-go.

Flavors: Ash, Clay, Ocean Breeze, Tobacco, Wood

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

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19 tasting notes

Tasted smooth with a fruity lingering mouthfeel.
Very enjoyable! No fishyness detected but lots of good earthy tones.

Flavors: Earth, Fruity, Smoke

Boiling 8 min or more 7 tsp 20 OZ / 591 ML

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