Autumn Song

Tea type
Pu-erh Tea
Not available
Floral, Flowers, Honey, Spinach, Apple, Dry Grass, Grapes, Green Pepper, Vegetables, Zucchini, Dried Fruit, Raisins, Rice Pudding, Camphor, Citrus Zest, Menthol, Sweat, Fish Broth
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Edit tea info Last updated by KiwiDelight
Average preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 45 sec 5 g 7 oz / 204 ml

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12 Tasting Notes View all

From Mandala Tea

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!

About Mandala Tea View company

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12 Tasting Notes

259 tasting notes

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

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 7 g 25 OZ / 750 ML

Granted! This is a good one :-)


This is a nice one Kirk for sure!


it was awesome :D


I don’t know if you have tried the “wild mountain”green from them but it is pretty bang up too. Next swap.

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1059 tasting notes

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.

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201 tasting notes

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

205 °F / 96 °C 7 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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718 tasting notes

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.

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187 tasting notes

This is by far my favorite of the Mandala Sheng puer I have tried (which are the four that came in their recent sampler).

The initial steeping is very light and creamy with a taste that reminds me of golden raisins and something creamy like plain rice pudding (not the spiced kind). A couple steepings in the dried fruit flavor is more prominent while the creamy quality backs off. There is a very nice clean mouthfeel to this tea. In the third or fourth infusion there is a very noticeable vanilla note in the aftertaste.

Of the four samples in Mandala’s recent Aged Puer sampler pack (Heart of the Old Tree, Wild Monk, Wild Mountain Green, and this one) I may end up purchasing a brick of the Autumn Song to age. It seemed the most delicate of the bunch. Very smooth. I really enjoy it.

I flash infused this in a gaiwan, using only around 7-10 second steepings until around the fourth or fifth, at which point I started adding a few seconds each time.

UPDATE: Five months later, I finally had the extra money to buy one. I imagine myself having trouble saving this to age it. At only 100 g I’ll have to be careful to use it sparingly… or I could just be totally indiscriminate and buy another one for aging later, this one for drinking now. :P

Flavors: Dried Fruit, Raisins, Rice Pudding

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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149 tasting notes

I got this tea in a swap with a Pu-Erh expert, and it was my first dip into the lot, so perhaps I am grading this one a little too harsly.

My first notice was the large amount of sticks. I actually had to break some up to get them to fit into my cup. (like 3 inches long. I don’t even know how they fit into the bag).

Unfortunately I’m not a fish fan, the only sushi I can do is fully cooked, so the fish broth taste didn’t really work for me. There was a caramel menthol sweetness to it, and a smokey ness.

Reading the blurb on the website, this is a tea I would love to love, but unfortunately I can’t really see myself ordering any more in the future.

Updating my ranking to my new system.

Taste = 65
Price = 52.38
Representation = 75

New score of 64.12

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277 tasting notes

Well, good morning to YOU, too, pretty tea.

First, I would like to say that I put my big girl pants on and broke into this cake yesterday, after hemming and hawing around for several days. It does seem kind of a shame to break up such a lovely and perfect thing as a tea cake, but I got some great advice from my tea friends about starting from the indentation in the back of the cake. This made it easy, and I used extra care, so the cake still looks perfect on the front. It’s all carefully wrapped back up now.


Method: 3.3 g, 3 oz, 198 degrees, 10 sec rinse, 10-15-20 seconds, ru kilk gaiwan & Dr. Who mug

Dry Leaf Aroma: This smells clean and pleasant. A little foresty, but not really earthy. More like trees after a rain.

Brewing Aroma: This has a distinctly apricot smell, like I found in the Heart of the Old Tree 2012, also from Mandala. There’s also a mineral note and a very slight hint of seaweed, but only when I sniff really hard. It’s mainly fruit and fresh tree smells.

Flavor: The 3 steeps indicated above were combined into one mug.

Maybe I will only drink shengs for the rest of my life. I really haven’t had enough of them to say that, but I don’t care. I just love this. There are so many flavors all up in yo face. Being a novice, it’s hard to pick them all out, but I’m having a great time making the attempt.

There’s fruit, then a little bitterness, then a little sweetness, then a little dryness.


200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 3 OZ / 88 ML

Welcome to the wonderful world of being a sheng-head



I’m creating a new tea classification called “Magic Mood Teas”. To qualify, the tea must improve my mood or in some way provide a noticeable pleasant physical effect. This one makes the cut. So. Much. Happy.

Cameron B.

Heart of the Old Tree is such an epic name…

And I feel like I would like sheng puerhs, just from the flavor descriptions and such. Someday!


I think you will, Cam! I’m going to hold off on my shous for a little while. I think shengs have been easier for me to start with. So dang good!


shengs are great like that :) definitely magical!


I want to drink them ALL!

Jamie Groth

Garret set up us the bomb!


well Cameron yes, Heart of the Old Tree WAS an epic name. Too bad we ruined it by changing it to Hot Cowboy.


Hahaha Jamie!!!! Too funny!!!!


I just combines steeps 7,8,9 and am settling in with those. I overstepped 8 & 9, but this is still yummy!!!

Lady Gaga arrived, along with the LBCG. Life is good!!!!!

Cam: your tea is packed and ready to send out!!!!!

Cameron B.

Hooray, can’t wait! :D You’re the best.


No, you are :p


Jamie’s comment is killing me.

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1109 tasting notes

OOOOOH YEAH new pu’er from Mandala Tea! Love the name of this tea!

Very smooth! Also very interesting notes of lemon curd, fresh mint, bell pepper skin and floral – with a nice creamy body. Later on, a dry cheeked astringency appears which might be a little much if you aren’t into dryness or new to pu’er. No smokey notes.

I did a low temp at first, and followed what others did and ramped up the temperature at the 11th infusion.

Mega invigorating too! So much tea drunk going on here!

Full review on my blog, The Oolong Owl

185 °F / 85 °C 7 g 4 OZ / 125 ML

Far out! What a treat to log in to Steepster and find this post. You are right, super young tea. But… good news is that I’ve had this tea in the hands of several, shall we say, sheng purists and they have all agreed that this is going to age like a champ. Considering the pressing was just done in March, things are coming along pretty nicely with it.

I’ve been sipping the mao cha alot in my tea thermos at yoga classes and it does the trick! Namastea!

Thank you for taking the time to write this up, my friend. One of these days, we shall sip the same tea, on the same day, at the same time, in the same room, from the same pot. It’s true.


I have a sample of this sitting on my countertop, calling my name, asking me to prepare it. Thanks to your review, it is getting moved up in the queue!

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5906 tasting notes

sooooo i had this one yesterday and sadly i remember nothing in the midst of painting except that i had 8 or so steeps of this and was enjoying it thoroughly. Not great for other ppl as a review, but that tells me a bunch hahaha


Bummer, I want to hear more about this one :)


i think i like autummn song better than uh…temple of stairs. but they’re both delicious


I soooo love this tea and it’s only going to deepen. These next couple of months will see big changes as it is still wearing out it’s post-pressing thang. Drinking Temple Stairs right now here in the shop. This, too, will benefit from a couple more years, but quite drinkable now. I’m sipping the mini-tuocha we had pressed of the Temple Stairs blend.

Thanks, Sil! And hello Stephanie!!

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16 tasting notes

Sticking my toe into the water of Sheng. I’m sure my score number is going to change, probably going up. Just want to get a few more under my belt so I can properly rate.

This stuff is pretty good. Took a leap of faith and ordered a whole cake on Garret’s suggestion.

I’m on infusion #11 and still getting this beautiful yellow liquor that has gotten sweeter with every steep.

There’s an underlying bitterness (more on the earlier steeps), kind of like the pith of a lemon. Not overwhelming, but provides that tannic cleanliness like in a good red wine.

Definitely getting some citrus zest too, and very very light menthol. Maybe a very light hint of smoke. Just delicious and very well balanced.

It’s just a zesty, tingly sort of thing. Really smooth. Based on this tea alone, I want to try more sheng. This is the kind of thing I can picture a Shaolin monk drinking by the side of a creek while he’s meditating.

Flavors: Camphor, Citrus Zest, Menthol, Sweat

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

Good to see you are finding the goodness in this very young sheng, my friend! We’ve had some good sessions with it here in the shop, for sure, and are getting good feedback from customers so far – with a few whole tongs already purchased.

I love your visual about the meditating monk. I definitely get that with good tea, as well. Amazing how many poems that I’ve written about that same sort of thing have been inspired by a great tea. Musing and tea. Two good things that go great together!

I am grateful that you wrote up your thoughts on this!


Good stuff, Garret. You’ve got some quality product. Hopefully getting to the Phatty Cake today or tomorrow. Keep you posted.

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