Toasty tea with long leaves that impress as they brew.
Flavors: Mineral, Musty, Toasty
“Toasty tea with long leaves that impress as they brew.” Read full tasting note
“Boom, I found my sheng! Either that or I really figured out how to brew this one perfectly. 195 degrees 5/5, 7/7, etc. Took down the temps and steep times a bit. This tea is delicious. Lots of...” Read full tasting note
“It is February 18, at 9:30pm it is 69 degrees here in KC. The very first push of Spring and it is bringing with it an energy and excitement that I would imagine humans around these parts have been...” Read full tasting note
“This tea is where it’s at! This brew was a deep and resounding brew for me. The dry leaf had a strong white grape and wet wood scent. The colors even remind me of an autumn day. The cake has...” Read full tasting note
The fragrant mountain leaf
extends its song.
My kettle adds the harmony.
It is with great joy that we unveil a most magnificent raw pu’er. Our Autumn Song 100 gram sheng cake was pressed in March of 2014 using meticulously picked and processed mao cha from early October 2013 outside of Da Hu Sai village. Grown without pesticides, this tea tested 100% pure and is from trees that are between one and two centuries old.
The tea gardens on Da Hu Sai are at an elevation of and above 6500 ft (2000 meters). The mao cha used to create these cakes is comprised of 3-to-1 and some 2-to-1 leaf to bud ratio. Long, broad, gorgeous leaves weave together like silver thread in this handsome and tasty cake.
In our experience with both the mao cha and the pu’er, we discovered that this potent and pleasurable tea can take whatever we throw at it water temperature wise and in steeping style. In Da Hu Sai, when younger leaves are used, the villagers will frequently use water temps around 195 F in the beginning of a session while increasing the temperature in later and longer infusions. But there are no rules in tea brewing so we recommend trying this at full-boil from the beginning as well. Just make it your cup of tea.
Soft and slightly citrusy, with hints of vanilla and crisp white tea are evident while super-clean essences of grain and spiciness also make themselves known. No smoke present, just refreshing and sweet sheng pu’er flavor.
Energy wise, this tea sharpens our focus and heightens the senses. Several of our yoga teaching friends and customers adore the way this tea opens up the chakras and gets the qi flowing. Let the Autumn Song be sung through you!
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I found my sheng! Either that or I really figured out how to brew this one perfectly. 195 degrees 5/5, 7/7, etc. Took down the temps and steep times a bit. This tea is delicious. Lots of fruit characteristics and no bitter qualities whatsoever. Don’t think I’ll need to order any other Sheng cakes besides these ones for a while! Another great offering from Mandala!
Flavors: Apricot, Pear, Vegetal, White Grapes
It is February 18, at 9:30pm it is 69 degrees here in KC. The very first push of Spring and it is bringing with it an energy and excitement that I would imagine humans around these parts have been familiar with for centuries. The first sign that the end of the cold season is at hand. I was hoping to sit down to a tea that had a similar sort of energy and this one has lived up to that hope.
So far I have steeped it for 5s, 10, 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 seconds, and still it shows no signs of slowing. Most of the flavor I am getting out of it is a combination of apple, grapeskin, pear, and dry wood. It has a powerful astringency that combines all of the notes together and finishes sweet. This is one I would definitely consider buying.
Flavors: Apple, Apple Skins, Dry Grass, Pear, White Grapes, Wood
This tea is where it’s at! This brew was a deep and resounding brew for me. The dry leaf had a strong white grape and wet wood scent. The colors even remind me of an autumn day. The cake has long strands of light brown, gold, and muddled green. I warmed this up in my brewing vessel. The aroma of maple syrup and apple trees came inside. I washed this treat and began my brewing. The steeped tea gave off a bitter green scent, but it had a sweet graham cracker crust undertone. This tea was surprisingly juicy. The huigan was thick and lasting. This brew gave me a strong mouth feel with slight fruity tones. This soothing liquor was all covered with a light oak tone. The qi was smooth and steady. I enjoyed this thoroughly. The scent, colors, and all around feeling from this tea is of an autumn day. This will be perfect for an October sunset in the future.
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Graham Cracker, Maple Syrup, Sweet, White Grapes
This tea came very, very close to beating Wild Monk as my favorite offering from Mandala Tea. The notes of vanilla and mega floral sweetness were a real surprise after an astringent first couple of steeps. Definitely worth checking out!
Flavors: Asparagus, Citrus, Floral, Green Pepper, Vanilla, Vegetal
Gongfu, 1 tbsp, 200. 30-45 secs. The last time I reviewed this tea it was a few months ago, and it was one of the first shengs I had ever tried. At the time, all I could taste was seaweed. Fast forward a few months, and dozens of teas later, 2-3 a day, every day, all kinds and my palate has completely changed. It’s crazy. I have no idea how the heck I ever tasted seaweed. This tea is sweet; the first steep very much so, I taste white grapes, citrus. Later steeps get a tad bitter and dry. It’s amazing how much a person’s palate can change in such a short amount of time!
a nice and mellow tea! :D
when I smell the leaves dry, it smells floral.
when I smell the leaves wet, it smells like spinach.
when I smell the brewed tea, it smells lightly like spinach then after it has sit a little while it smells like flowers
when I taste the brewed tea, it tastes like honey with just a tad hint of flowers.
many thanks to mrmopar for this amazing tea!
Flavors: Floral, Flowers, Honey, Spinach
This was the last untasted sample from my Mandala Sheng sampler!
Unfortunately I did not take good notes as I drank it all day at work, but I did enjoy this one. Definitely some sweetness here, not too much bitterness, some light floral/fruit notes. Not as bold and brassy as some young sheng can be.
Brewed with a gaiwan. 10 second rinse. Steeping times: 10, 10, 15, 15, 20, 30, 60, 90, 120.
I don’t have a palate for sheng, hence no rating.
A dry aroma of plums, grapes, lettuce an licorice. The wet aroma evolves: from green peppers to grapes to apples and honey. Sweet and juicy – I enjoyed this aroma throughout the session.
Early on and late into the session, the liquor is the color of grape juice, and in the middle of apple juice. Full-bodied, thin textured, clear, and crisp. The first infusion is too light in flavor, tasting of dried grass and grains. It is also unpleasantly sour. The flavor fully develops at infusion two. It is still grassy, though no sourness anymore. A little sweet now. The third infusion has more vegetal notes in addition to grass: zucchini and a reprise of green peppers. The grass lessens in the fourth and fifth infusions, which are also much sweeter – reminding me of grapes – with a hint of citrus.
Back to dried grass thereafter. The sweetness also slowly disappears. Lighter flavor. I’m left with a peppery aftertaste at infusion seven. This, too, goes away. The last infusions are very light and grassy, no peppers at all, and they have an airy mouthfeel.
Flavors: Apple, Dry Grass, Grapes, Green Pepper, Vegetables, Zucchini
My last sample from the raw sampler. This one tested my patience. That artichoke vegetal bitterness I usually get in sheng started on steep two and lasted for a bunch of steepings, rather than the usual 2-3. Once it faded, there were some nice citrus and green bell pepper notes, as promised by the description, but pretty mild in flavor overall. The texture was nice and smooth. I’m glad I got to try it, but again, I think Heart of the Old Tree wins out.