89

This was the second lovely sample I received from Mandala. I was a little sulky when, a couple days after I placed my order, they added this as a tea (that description)! I would’ve ordered it instead of the random puerh I ended up going with (edit: looking for Special Dark replacements- Noble Mark is still around and Noble Dark doesn’t exist… yet).

First and second steeps exceed expectations, with a creamy and silky profile and a touch of high grade dark chocolate (traces of earth, nuts, berries). Mandala description says later steepings have notes of brown sugar but I get hints of that now. The aftertaste reminds me slightly of dark chocolate covered acai/blueberry jellies. These flavours mellow out as it cools, becoming simply milky with an earthy dark chocolate finish.

Third steep was equally perfect.

Fourth steep was ditto (this was from last night so I may have been half asleep and missed the development).

Steep Count: 4 + a rinse

Flavors: Berries, Brown Sugar, Cream, Dark Chocolate, Earth, Milk

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec
Sil

is noble dark gone too?!

Sil

er well noble mark…since i’m guessing you meant special dark + noble mark?

CrowKettle

Oh, dear, no! Noble Mark is still around; I even bought some with this order. Sorry for the heart attack >.>

CrowKettle

Tea typo of the month

Sil

haha way to give me a heart attack thinking i had to horde noble mark too!

mrmopar

Been aiming to brew this one up too. Still airing a bit.

CrowKettle

This tea layperson looks forward to your insight and observations on this one, mrmopar! I love and respect your thoughtful tea notes.

Sil, I’m so envious of your Special Dark horde- I always have the worst luck when I try to stock up. Also, how do you only have 39 teas? Is that for real? (+200 teas is permanently burned into my mental image of a Sil cupboard)

Sil

Yeah. Down to 39….and 2/3 of that is Pu’er. By weight like 3/4 is Pu’er lol

CrowKettle

pu’er layperson: it’s probably my least explored tea type.

That’s impressive (both in cupboard size and pu’er ratios)! If you’re going to horde, why not it be something that takes aging well? I always make the mistake of trying to horde green tea and the results are sad.

Sil

here’s hoping i don’t eff up the tea while they languish in my cupboard.. heh

CrowKettle

I’m sure it will be alright! I have a tea cake (Wild Monk Sheng 2012) that’s been sitting in my cupboard for +6 years, unopened, and I worry when I remember about it too :/

Sil

i have 2 of those and a 2014 version haha. At this point it’s a sunk cost so if i screwed it up…well that’s a learning experience

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Sil

is noble dark gone too?!

Sil

er well noble mark…since i’m guessing you meant special dark + noble mark?

CrowKettle

Oh, dear, no! Noble Mark is still around; I even bought some with this order. Sorry for the heart attack >.>

CrowKettle

Tea typo of the month

Sil

haha way to give me a heart attack thinking i had to horde noble mark too!

mrmopar

Been aiming to brew this one up too. Still airing a bit.

CrowKettle

This tea layperson looks forward to your insight and observations on this one, mrmopar! I love and respect your thoughtful tea notes.

Sil, I’m so envious of your Special Dark horde- I always have the worst luck when I try to stock up. Also, how do you only have 39 teas? Is that for real? (+200 teas is permanently burned into my mental image of a Sil cupboard)

Sil

Yeah. Down to 39….and 2/3 of that is Pu’er. By weight like 3/4 is Pu’er lol

CrowKettle

pu’er layperson: it’s probably my least explored tea type.

That’s impressive (both in cupboard size and pu’er ratios)! If you’re going to horde, why not it be something that takes aging well? I always make the mistake of trying to horde green tea and the results are sad.

Sil

here’s hoping i don’t eff up the tea while they languish in my cupboard.. heh

CrowKettle

I’m sure it will be alright! I have a tea cake (Wild Monk Sheng 2012) that’s been sitting in my cupboard for +6 years, unopened, and I worry when I remember about it too :/

Sil

i have 2 of those and a 2014 version haha. At this point it’s a sunk cost so if i screwed it up…well that’s a learning experience

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Bio

I started my Steepster loose leaf adventure back in 2012. I can’t say I’m completely new anymore, but I still view oolong as a magical, extraterrestrial creature that unfurls in water.

Ingredients/flavours I tend to dislike or stay away from: apple, cocoa nibs, marine, peach, stevia, dairy products

Subjective Rating System 2.0:

90-100: My absolute favourite tea. Will impulsively buy and hoard like a dragon.

85-89: A favourite tea. May have quality flaws that I choose to ignore.

76-84: A lovely tea, maybe of high quality or masterful blending, but not one I’m likely to order again.

70-75: Enjoyable, but I may have few minor problems with quality, consistency, ingredient chemistry and/or personal preferences.

50-69: Quality, consistency, blending, or personal preference problems are apparent, but I wouldn’t pass up a cup.

11-49: Varying levels of undrinkable tea. I don’t give a lot of these ratings out, since I tend to grab teas I know will appeal to me.

1-10: Nightmare tea from the chaos realms. This is last year’s low-grade bancha mixed with rancid coconut, stale cocoa nibs, over-enthusiastic hibiscus, and stevia sweetener. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t exist.

Location

BC, Lower Mainland

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