drank Ginseng Oolong by Mandala Tea
335 tasting notes

Thanks to Kawaii433, I was able to try my first ginseng oolong :)

I was amused by the dry goods because they looked like aquarium pebbles that smelled like ginseng and syrup. With the Mandala-recommended rinse, the pebbles hadn’t yet cracked open but they smelled of ginseng and cooked vegetables and greens.

After the rinse, I did 7 steeps western style at 30/30/30/40/50/60/? seconds. It started off really pleasant, with a nectar sweetness and light ginseng-herbs. The nuggets finally cracked open in the second steep and were fully unfurled by the fourth. The brew stayed pleasant with its nectar and ginseng-herbal qualities. It had some light oolong grassiness, hay impressions and butteriness came forward in the mouth and the aftertaste. The tea made me really warm!

I was hesitant about approaching this tea since I’ve read some reviews about ginseng oolong being very vegetal and obnoxiously sweet from licorice root mixed into the ginseng coating. That was definitely not the case with this tea. It was very clean with no grit from the coating (what made it through my strainer settled in a very thin layer at the bottom), lightly sweet and grassy, a bit mineral. To repeat myself: light and pleasant. Very easy sipping. Thanks again, Kawaii433.

Flavors: Butter, Grass, Hay, Herbs, Mineral, Nectar

Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Always up for a trade. I keep an updated cupboard. Check it out. Don’t be shy. Message me if you want to try something :)

Most enjoyment:

Wuyi and Taiwanese oolong, sheng and shou puerh, Yunnan and Wuyi blacks, Laoshan green. I also appreciate Japanese, Vietnamese, Thai, Darjeeling and Nepali teas, bagged tea and herbal teas/tisanes.

I take my teas without milks or sweeteners except sometimes chai and the rare London Fog or matcha latte. I generally steep a tea until it has no more to give.

I’ll try anything once because it helps me learn. Not opposed to well placed herbs, flowers, fruity bits and flavorings. Just nothing cloying especially banana, caramel, coconut, cinnamon or maple.

Preference reference:

100-90: A tea I can lose myself into. Something about it makes me slow down and appreciate not only the tea but all of life or a moment in time. If it’s a bagged or herbal tea, it’s of standout quality in comparison to similar items.
89-80: Fits my profile well enough to buy again.
79-70: Not a preferred tea. I might buy more or try a different harvest. Would gladly have a cup if offered.
69-60: Not necessarily a bad tea but one that I won’t buy again.
59-1: Lacking several elements, strangely clunky, possess off flavors/aroma/texture or something about it makes me not want to finish.
Unrated: Haven’t made up my mind or some other reason. If it’s puerh, I likely think it needs more age.


Sonoma County, California, USA

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