According to Mandala, this is organically grown in pure soil and fresh air and picked/processed in April of 2012.

This Gong Ting (Imperial Court) had a very dark dense liquor color, similar to strong coffee. The small (young) dark wet leaves smelled of strong leather and earth, rich forest soil. The flavor of the liquor had leather notes, but rather gentle, mild… Surprisingly not overwhelming considering the strong aroma. It also had the classic earthy notes. No fishy or dirt notes. In later steeps, I got some fruit notes of prunes or figs which gave it a slight sweetness but throughout the entire process, it mainly consisted of leather, earth, topsoil notes. I’m pretty sure my inexperienced ability is at fault here as far as being able to detect other notes but I still enjoyed all steeps regardless hehe. It’s full-bodied, rich, smooth, and a delicate soft mouth-feel, creamy, with a rich aftertaste of fresh damp earth.

212˚F, 110ml, 14 steeps:rinse, 5s, 10s, 15s, 20s, 25s, 30s, 35s, 40s, 45s, 50s, 55s, 60s, 65s, 75s (3:17 am… I think it outlasted me. Stopping now lol)

Flavors: Dates, Earth, Leather, Sweet

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 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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