Mandala Tea

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Recent Tasting Notes

94

I’ve had good milk oolongs and bad oolongs, I’d say this is one of the more flavorful ones I’ve had. The milk taste is very obvious and it has a coconut tinge to it with some mild lilac undertones on the second steep. Smooth and fragrant. I didn’t experiment too much with it, but following vendor instructions yielded excellent results: 1 tsp, steeped at 190 for about a minute. It was good for multiple steeps. I got a very nice uplifting energy from this as well, which was unexpected.

The cost of the tea itself is very nice – affordable and good value. I’ve paid much more for much worse.

I only have one criticism:

The creamy taste does make me wonder if flavor has been added to it (not that there’s anything wrong with that). I do wish there was more transparency about whether this has milk in it, flavors, etc. If the description changes on the vendor site I will give this a 100 rating. It really wouldn’t matter either way, but the clarification would be nice since the milk oolong market tends to have such a mixed bag (steeped in milk, not steeped in milk, unflavored, added flavor). They do mention that there is no trace of artificial flavor, however, I’m still not sure if that means natural flavor has been added instead or if it’s 100% of additives.

However, still a great tea – I felt that the money I paid for was well spent and will buy again.

Flavors: Coconut, Floral, Milk

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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96

This is a shu puer I want to have on hand. Smoky, earthy, mineral, and then a fruity apricot character reveals itself in the middle of all that and lingers as an enjoyable aftertaste. This tea demands going beyond simple descriptors such as “creamy.” This shu has complexity, depth, and character. It does thin out fairly quickly, but rather than collapse, it moves away from the initial smoky earthiness into a lighter realm of wet wood, some mustiness, still some hints of apricot and even floral notes, all that keeps you steeping. This is a shu that I would want to share with someone new to puer and just watch the revelation in their eyes. I got this as a sample and hope to get a cake.

Flavors: Apricot, Earth, Floral, Mineral, Musty, Smoke, Wet Wood

Garret

We love the Temple Stairs here, too. Thank you for writing up your experience with it. The mini-tuocha version of this same leaf turned out well too. It is something to notice that even though they are pressed from the identical blend, they are slightly different right now because of the pressing size and what that does to the aging at this early stage. Thank you!

Grateful,
Garret

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85

I am glad other reviewers had such a positive experience with this tea. Personally, of the four shu I have tried from Mandala thus far (this one, Noble Mark 2011, Phatty Cake II 2013, and Temple Stairs 2014), Temple Stairs is hands down my favorite and one I would want to have on hand for its depth and complexity. This Rama Lama Bulang would rank last among those four for me. This is primarily due to what I tasted as a definite upfront bitter burntness and initial funk that hung around for a few steeps. It does mellow out soon enough, and there is some nice smooth texture. There is more to its flavor profile than I can competently describe, so I would say this tea remains somehwhat of a mystery to me, and I would point readers to the other very positive reviews of this tea. The material itself is small, and it brews fast. My reccommendations would be: air it out for a few weeks first, rinse it three times, and flash steep it for a few rounds until it mellows out. This was a free sample from Mandala, thanks!

Preparation
5 g 3 OZ / 75 ML
Garret

I cannot remember if you got a sample of the cake or of the loose leaf version of this. They are subtly different at this point. This tea has been really popular here and we have several of our coffeehouse clients brewing this in their mix of teas. Most of them are brewing it at 208, no rinse, Western-style and having very good results. We enjoy it often here in the office. I really appreciate you writing up your experience. You do very well with that.

Grateful,
Garret

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I guess I have had this tea for that long. I just got my first tea art press by kamjove yesterday an was eager to try it out, but not so eager to figure/decide which tea I wanted, so I settled it this oldie but goodie. I really should be more versatile, I’m still getting the white2tea club but it’s starting to pile up because I lack the time.

208f,150ml/tuocha/steep x 12+
If you let the leaves rest between steeps, there’s more flavor and color to be had, but If you decant and steep right away, you need a longer steep time per steep

Garret

Funny… just drank the Temple Stairs mini-tuocha this morning before meditation. I usually do the rinse with boiling water for 10 to 15 seconds and then let sit for about a minute and smell as the aroma changes during that time. After that, I usually just do 2 to 1 minute steeps followed by one long steep at 5 to 10 minutes. If I’m in the mood for super rich and dark, I’ll do the rinse and then more boiling water for 5 to 10 minutes. All depends on my mood. Thanks for writing up your experience with this.

Grateful,
Garret

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90

Next time I think I will try Garret’s suggestion (cf. his reply to another review for this tea) to brew this longer and stronger.

My notes here are from brewing in my standard fashion: 5 grams, 75 ml, two rinses, and about 205 degrees F, progressively increasing steep times.

Overall, what stands out for me is:

1. Concentrated or dried fruit (apricot, Peruvian ground cherry?) flavors and particularly as a lingering and smacking aftertaste that is so reminiscent of many raw puers I have tried. This is the main highlight.

2. Leather undertones. A kind of smoky leather.

3. Personally, I did not get creaminess, but I could go along with a smoothness or maybe silkiness that another reviewer described.

4. Third steep, a buzz kicked in, really felt the qi, left me smiling and giddy, laughing out lout. After a few minutes the tea drunkeness mellowed out, but a background buzz stayed on. I could see why Garret mentioned that he drinks this tea before a run or a workout. (cf same reply mentioned further above).

This is my first tea from Mandala, and I got three more to try from them, so am looking forward to seeing if I have a favorite there. They sent me a free sample, which made my day.

Next session I will try brewing it much stronger.

Flavors: Apricot, Dried Fruit, Leather

Preparation
5 g 3 OZ / 75 ML
Garret

Thank you so much for posting this review. I am really happy that you enjoyed it. Started yet another morning with this tea today and it never ever gets old. I tend to brew it with full boil to bring just a hair more of the strength out of it. It can take the full boil really well! Enjoy! I appreciate that chance to have been of service.
Grateful,
Garret

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70

Good tea but quality of Oolong was okay because of blend. Unique taste is lost. Maybe because I brew for longer with less leaf.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 350 ML

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66
drank Milk Oolong Tea by Mandala Tea
31 tasting notes

The smell from this tea is absolutely incredible. It smells like movie theatre butter popcorn and a deap delicious creaminess; it also smells like matcha pocky. This tea brewed much differently then I would have expected. It tastes very much like that buttery popcorn but with a really bright green top notes. While this tea is not as good as the smell it is still quite tasty.

Flavors: Butter, Green, Popcorn, Sugar

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

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80

No notes yet. Add one?

Flavors: Floral, Gardenias, Smooth, Vegetal

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 5 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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80

I received this as a sample and I really enjoyed it! I brewed it gongfu style with the first steep at 30 sec, the second steep at 1 min and then adding another minute for each subsequent steep. This tea is very malty, somewhat astringent, and I noticed notes of honey and sweet potato with subsequent steeps.

Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Earth, Honey, Malt, Sweet Potatoes

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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90

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Flavors: Butter, Coconut, Popcorn, Smooth

Preparation
5 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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90

This is unlike any milk oolong that I have ever had before. The dry leaf smells heavily of butter and toffee and is very pleasant! I brewed it gongfu style, 1 tsp in a 120mL gaiwan at 195F initially for 15 seconds and then adding 10-20 seconds with each subsequent steep. The wet leaf’s butter and toffee scent is more subtle and vegetal notes are more prominent. The tea itself tastes buttery smooth with just a hint of coconut at the end. I was hoping to develop more flavors with subsequent steepings but maybe my tea palette isn’t well-developed yet. Regardless, this is a wonderful tea!

Flavors: Butter, Coconut, Smooth, Vegetal

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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95

Sweetness, bitterness then sweetness then bitterness. Switness always stronger that bitterness (in fact bitterness is just a cherry on the top, its hardly noticeable in between all of the floral notes). Apricotish. With beautifull golden up to light brown colour. Chilling and relaxing. Sitting in old chair and enjoying the breathtaking view. Sleeping. Dreaming of summer. Those are my expressions when drinking it. Very long peach and apricot aftertaste. Beautifull smell which reminds me blooming grass. Awesome.

Flavors: Apricot, Citrusy, Flowers, Peach

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 8 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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100

this is wonderful places

Flavors: Alcohol, Apple Skins, Dry Grass, Root Beer

Preparation
150 °F / 65 °C 7 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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88

Amazing taste, if you like delicate aftertaste and mild aroma, this tea is for you.

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80

woot! While i’m sad to see this go, i am super happy to have one less puerh in my cupboard. only a zillion more left to go. What i’ve enjoyed about this one is that it works western brew too and has a really nice flavour to it that works well on those slightly more challenging mornings :) Thanks Garret!!

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80

Brewed this western earlier today as a kick off to the morning. I’ve been trying to make the most of our weekends by getting up, working in a run or ride as well as an adventure for the dog before we get down to “adulting” So far it seems to be working as i’m starting wk 5 of a running program this week AND i’ve actually managed to get back on the bike twice now. Feels good to get out, enjoy the outdoors and relieve work stress. I am a fan of this one western style…just a little smoke and the rest is all creamy, delicious shou.

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80

Working from home so i’m trying to spend a little bit of today drinking some of my puerh. Started with this one and am enjoying it. Especially since Mandala is back up and running again and i can contemplate picking up more teas that haven’t been in my cupboard from them in forever!

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80

More puerh time! I’ve been drinking this over the course of the day…i’d forgotten what a slightly smokey treat this one is. It’s been nice to revisit this one..especially since it seems like garrett is getting closer to being up and running with things again online :)

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80

I feel bad. I totally had this one yesterday but omg was work insane, so i didn’t get a chance to track anything. I am a fan of drinking this one a little more western style over the course of the day. I’ll be sad when i finish these up, but also happy since it means i’m working on drinking up my puerh!

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80

Decided that i should try and have at least one puerh session today so i pulled this one out. Someday i’ll manage to get through all my puerh. heh.

First few steeps – smokey and delicious :)
Later steeps – smokey turns a little sweet

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80

I KNOW that i’ve had this before. Strange that there’s no review on them. Either way, i opted to pull this one out as one of my older/smaller amount puerhs to try and get at least ONE puerh this week. this one has started out smooth, slightly smokey and a little dark. This should be a nice treat today :)

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