I had a good experience with the Mandala’s mixed mini tuocha sampler so I ordered the Rice Scented Ripe Mini Tuocha but got Lao Cang Ripe Mini Tuocha instead. No biggy. Mandala has been very good to me.

It came in a small bag, full of cute, compressed little bowl-shaped mini tuocha cakes. Each individually wrapped, one serving. I’ll be going to California for business soon, and I’ll probably bring these along with me.

The aroma is mainly hay, with a very mild leather aroma. The liquor is super dark, looks like rich coffee, like espresso. The flavor is far better than the aroma (opposite of the last tea I sampled hehe). It’s very soothing, rich, sweet and smooth. Not too much leather, and a bit of honey sweetness but very light. I wouldn’t classify this as a complex Pu-erh by no means (huge caveat: remember my identifying flavor/smell skills though haha), but more like a daily pu erh sipper due to the mellowness. It may be a good starter for those trying ripe pu erh too.

1 mini tuocha, 212˚F, 110ml, 7 steeps: rinse, 10s, 15s, 20s, 25s, 30s, 35s, 40s

Flavors: Hay, Honeysuckle, Leather

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 4 OZ / 110 ML

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Longtime casual tea drinker. In the past, mainly Sencha, Matcha. I’m currently into Oolong, Black & Pu’erh.

Gongfu cha is the main way I prepare my tea (gaiwan or Yixing teapot). I drink all tea… Usually unflavored. I do try some flavored now. Just as long as it doesn’t have any artificial sweetener.

Favorite stores: TeaVivre, What-Cha, Mandala Tea, Yunnan sourcing, White2Tea, Lupicia. (Note: I love the teaware from TeaVivre and Yunnan sourcing.) Good experiences with 52Teas, Harney & Sons, Whispering Pines

Flavors I dislike are artificial flavors, especially artificial sweeteners. Strong lavender, violet, any strong floral-perfumey tea; cantaloupe, ripe papaya, sweet honeydew.

Can handle a little of the following: Rose, licorice, anise, jasmine, mint, spearmint, peppermint, leather.

Favorite flavors: Citrus fruits (especially grapefruit & tangerines), granny smith apple, bananas, guava, mango, tamarind, watermelon, stonefruits, all fruits except cantaloupe, chocolate, caramel, vanilla, milk, cinnamon, creme, bread, nuts, toasted, roasted.

I generally don’t add anything to my teas.

As I explore, my ratings may shift. 90+ generally means I’ll keep it on my shelf.





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