I learned a lesson today. A letter opener is not the proper tool to break apart a pu-er cake. It took me half an hour and a coring knife to dig into this one. I don’t think I destroyed the cake too badly but I did end up buying a pu-er pick from Mandala…and more tea because I am a weak person.

I planned to drink this tea to comfort myself in case my hockey team decided to give me a migraine but strangely enough, they won. And I was still lucky enough to drink 5 steeping of this lovely tea. It has tied Bu Lang Gong Ting as my favorite. It’s ridiculously good. And my team won so YAY!

1st Steep-30 seconds
In spite of my mess-up with the breaking of the cake, the initial flavors of this tea is nothing short of mind-blowing. It’s a spicy, leathery and musky. I know that sounds a bit strange but those flavors together are just so perfect.

2nd Steep-45 seconds
I’m getting raisin notes. Very sweet and a bit smoky on the finish. So nice. The slight smoke cuts the sweet of the raisin notes in the best way possible.

3rd Steep-1 minute
Brown sugar, raisins and rum. That’s what I am getting from this steep. And boy oh boy is it perfect. Three of my favorite things in the world. This was a very cakey steep. Very sweet and syrupy.

4th Steep-1.30 minutes
Brown sugar, caramel and a fruity flavor that I can’t place right now. This tea keeps improving with each steep.

5th Steep-2 minutes
Fig! Brown sugar and fig notes. I cannot tell you how happy I was to come across a pu-er with roasted fig notes. I love anything fig so this was just PERFECT.

I love this tea. So much. It’s not even rational how much I love it. I want more and I haven’t even finished this cake yet. I may be a little obsessed with it. I am holding the leaves over for tomorrow because there was absolutely no fade to the brew. I’m just going to keep brewing until there is no flavor left.

That 5th steep is something I cannot get over right now. Is there any other pu-er out there with fig notes in there?

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Book blogger. Hockey fan. Reformed coffee drinker. Newly minted tea addict. I grammar police myself and no one else. Pu’er lover.

My favorite type of tea is pu’er. I can see myself living in a house alone with just pu’er cakes, a electric tea kettle, my trusty pu’er pick from Mandala and a thermos. I prefer ripe pu’er but love raw pu’er as well. My current favorite is the Special Dark from Mandala Tea.

Black Tea-I also love all forms of black tea. Black tea is where I started and I still love the malty loveliness of a good black tea. My current favorite is Grandpa’s Anytime Tea from Butiki.

Green Tea-Green tea is pretty hit and miss with me. I have never really developed a liking towards it. I have been dying to explore green tea more. Especially matcha and genmaicha. My current favorite is Autumn Harvest Laoshan Green from Verdant Tea.

Herbals/Mate-It depends on what’s in them. I gravitate more to herbs and spices rather than fruit flavors. My current favorite is Fired Up Fennel from Davids Tea.

I love mate (and guayusa). It helped me kick my coffee habit to one cup a day. I will try any blend with mate in it. My current favorite is Chocolate Rocket from Davids Tea.

White Tea-Sadly, I haven’t tried many white teas but I am planning on it very soon.

Oolong Tea-I have tried one or two oolong teas but in blends only. I am dying to try a straight oolong. My current favorite is Milk Oolong by Mandala Tea.

Rooibos-I love rooibos blends but they are very hit and miss with me. I love the woodiness of rooibos. My favorite is currently Oh Canada from Davids Tea.

Flavored Tea-I love flavored teas. I am willing to try just about any flavor combination and the weirder the better. My current favorite flavored tea is Laoshan Black Chocolate Genmaicha by Verdant Tea.

I am always searching for a tea with fig or chili in it.

My favorite tea companies-Mandala Tea (their Phatty Cake was my first ever “Oh My God” tea moment), Butiki Teas, Verdant Tea, and Davids Tea


Staten Island, New York



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