Mandala Phatty Cake II: The Sequel

Tea type
Pu-erh Tea
Ingredients
Pu Erh Tea
Flavors
Camphor, Chocolate, Cocoa, Earth, Leather, Mineral, Smoke, Spices, Sweet, Vanilla, Wet Earth, Wet Rocks, Wood, Campfire, Maple Syrup, Tobacco, Caramel, Mushrooms, Ash, Clay, Ocean Breeze, Fruity, Dark Chocolate, Molasses, Oak wood, Fig, Hay, Honey, Plums
Sold in
Not available
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by eastkyteaguy
Average preparation
Boiling 1 min, 30 sec 5 g 6 oz / 184 ml

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35 Tasting Notes View all

  • “I’ve been a bit absent from Steepster lately. I have a good excuse. I sprained my wrist and typing is a big ol’ pain. To make it even worse, I steam burned the same hand so now I have second degree...” Read full tasting note
    98
  • “sipdown8 I had this in the afternoon since i REALLY need to drink up some of my smaller puerh samples instead of accumulating them all. I still think that while i could live with having most of...” Read full tasting note
    78
  • “I drank this all evening, on & off. I was busy, so I don’t really have any notes to share, but I wanted to drink it, since I drank the original Phatty Cake yesterday. I can’t really give a...” Read full tasting note
  • “Since the dashboard is slow right now, I’ll post this today instead of tomorrow: Another lovely sample from Kawaii433! Thanks again. :D I’ve never had this one. And I love trying any ripe...” Read full tasting note
    80

From Mandala Tea

The follow up to our very popular Phatty Cake. We used the same material, but added grade 3 leave to the mix which gives a more interesting gongfu experience.

Save money by ordering a tong. Traditional “case” size for pu’er tea is seven cakes (beeng). The hand-tied bamboo sheath wrapper is a beautiful addition to your tea collection. A full tong purchase saves you $35. You’ll be drinking cup after cup of delicious, classy ripe pu’er for under $3 per ounce and gifting cakes to your friends who still think pu’er is that weird, fishy stuff from the Asian market. Score!

About Mandala Tea View company

Company description not available.

35 Tasting Notes

98
97 tasting notes

I’ve been a bit absent from Steepster lately. I have a good excuse. I sprained my wrist and typing is a big ol’ pain. To make it even worse, I steam burned the same hand so now I have second degree burns and a sprained wrist. I’m not whining, I swear. The only thing that has kept me from being a big baby is tea. So, I guess, there’s that. My form of pain management is drinking copious amounts of tea.

Steep 1- 15 seconds
Kind of mellow. Sweet. A little bit smoky yet creamy. Very interesting in a completely non-aggressive kind of way.

Steep 2-30 seconds
It’s asserting itself a bit more. Still smoky and sweet but where the original Phatty Cake asserted itself in a smoky way, the Sequel is all about the creamyness.

Steep 3-45 seconds
It’s getting a bit nutty…literally. It’s reminiscent of Amaretto. Call me a bit insane but I may even prefer this to the original Phatty Cake.

Steep 4-1 minute
It’s a tiny bit woodsy but it’s kind of reminiscent of vanilla extract without the alcohol kick. It’s vanilla in that sort of woodsy way and not totally pastry-like or sweet.

Steep 5-1.30 seconds
Vanilla bean with a touch of figgy fruitiness. Winner! It’s light but it’s very flavorful.

I’ve been craving some iced tea lately so I decided to stop brewing this hot and try an overnight iced tea steep. Oh my dear tea gods. It was amazing. This is going to sound crazy but it’s like I took a Napoleon, mashed it up in a blender and drank it. It’s vanilla and custard and even a bit pastry-like. I wish I had made more than a glass worth of it.

I am not going to go so far as to say that I love this more than the original Phatty Cake but I love it for different reasons. Since hockey season is getting close, I am going to use a hockey comparison. The original Phatty Cake is the flashy forward. The guy who scores all the goals, gets all the credit and is all “Look at me!!! I’m so talented” but the Phatty Cake Sequel is the hard working third liner. The guy who does everything well but stays out of the way. He’s also the guy that scores the goals when the flashy forward is in one of his cold streaks—-or decides to retire to Russia…I’m bitter. I think on most occasions I’d prefer the more mellow Phatty Cake Sequel to be honest but I think the Sequel with gain some strength with age. Hopefully not too much because I like the gentler aspect of it.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec
Sil

Awesome! Thanks for this grace….love the review :)

Ysaurella

Welcome back !

Garret

My dear, I am so glad that you are enjoying this. Given that the steaming/pressing took place so recently, look for some big changes in complexity over the next few months. This was pressed on 4/25/2013… I’ve detected big changes already. I am SO HAPPY you like it already. Thanks for writing this review and providing me with whole new ways of looking at pu’er :)

looseTman

Grace,
“Thanks for writing this review and providing me with whole new ways of looking at pu’er :)”
Given Garret’s experience with Pu’er, I imagine he hasn’t given such a compliment to too many people! Way to go!

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78
10062 tasting notes

sipdown8

I had this in the afternoon since i REALLY need to drink up some of my smaller puerh samples instead of accumulating them all. I still think that while i could live with having most of Mandala’s puerhs in my cupboard, there are a few that i MUST have…and this isnt’ one of them. it’s delicious, but not something that i’ll be wishing for often, now that it’s gone.

The first few steeps were a middle of the road brew that was smooth and delicious, while also not being out of this world. Later steeps brought out hints of woodsy vanilla. I’ll have to see if i can cold brew the rest of this over night just to see how it fares after a number of steeps hot brewed :)

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3294 tasting notes

I drank this all evening, on & off.
I was busy, so I don’t really have any notes to share, but I wanted to drink it, since I drank the original Phatty Cake yesterday. I can’t really give a comparison of the two…but I love them both. I think the original is sweeter, but they are both tasty.
What I can say is this was a wonderful bold & rich contrast to the last couple of steepings of the Huang Zhi Xiang Dancong I was drinking all afternoon. The Dancong had me so dopey & mellow, & the Phatty Cake woke me back up a little. I drank several steepings before dinner, & several more after.
Yesterday I put the leftover leaves in a jar of water in the frig. I added tonight’s leaves to the same jar, as I didn’t really feel like the water had absorbed much flavor. I’ll drink their fusion tomorrow.

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80
2818 tasting notes

Since the dashboard is slow right now, I’ll post this today instead of tomorrow:
Another lovely sample from Kawaii433! Thanks again. :D I’ve never had this one. And I love trying any ripe pu-erh. I went with a smaller piece of pu-erh for a not-quite-full mug (again to have another steep session on a later day). After the rinse and a three minute steep it seems this pu-erh is hardly unraveled yet, though the brew is already quite deep brown. No unpleasantness in flavors or fragrances here. The most distinctive quality is a starchiness that really lingers well after the sip. Quite sweet and like the best sort of mushroom (I don’t like mushrooms but this flavor is fine.) Somehow, this is a tough pu-erh for me to describe. (Kawaii, you are already amazing at flavor notes. haha. I’m failing at these flavor descriptions lately.) All the steeps were somehow the same flavor, though the first cup had the most starch. I had to physically break apart the leaves before the fourth steep because it was still in a solid piece, despite all that boiling water! This pu-erh is tasty enough, but I usually like when I find distinct flavor notes.
Steep #1 // smaller piece for a not-quite-full mug // 13 minutes after boiling // rinse // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // 8 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #3 // just boiled // 3 min steep
Steep #4 // just boiled // 10 minute steep
2019 sipdowns: 40 (Lupicia – Cassis & Blueberry)

tea-sipper

I was planning on reading tasting notes but it looks like only two new tasting notes on my dashboard within 22 hours. sigh.

Martin Bednář

I am trying to do my best and write at least one for a day.

tea-sipper

Thanks for trying to post one a day, Martin. I’m aiming for one a day too.

Kittenna

I’m making up for my lack of posting today. Haha. But I’m dayyys behind in reading, so I have lots to catch up on!

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8011 tasting notes

Birthday “Cake Tea” Tasting 6/8

The only straight tea in our tasting! I’m glad at least one straight tea wound up getting included; I knew I couldn’t include simply every pu’erh cake but this one does ACTUALLY have cake in the name, so it made the cut off.

Of the people I invited to my birthday tasting, half of them were from the Store Operations department at work and the other half were a mix of people from Research & Development and Quality Control. I would call everyone present BIG fans of tea, but without a shadow of a doubt only the R&D/QC people are really big fans of straight and traditional teas – for all of us, that’s what we gravitate to the most outside of work. It definitely came across in the tasting too, because the only people who liked this tea were the R&D/QC staff members – everyone from Store Ops found it too intense.

This was actually my first tasting of this tea, and I will definitely need to try it again to get a real sense of what this is like – I don’t think the cupping style of preparation tends to do most Shou pu’erh any sort of justice; always better to Gong Fu, Grandpa, or even just brew Western. My snap impression was that this was very earthy though, with a bit of a sharper saline top note – and maybe a wee bit oceanic in a sort of “crabby” sort of way over the less pleasant “fishy” descriptor sometimes used for pu’erh.

Glad I got to share this one, though!

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88
291 tasting notes

Quick note… This tea is not the type of tea that you can take lightly. I’ve screwed up one or two early steep times due to being busy. I have to redo this on a quiet day. I work from home a lot so my Sundays are sometimes my busiest day.

It’s complex. It’s above my ability. It’s making me want to paint landscapes again. lol I’m thinking colors like umber, mahogany, burnt sienna… Earth colors. It starts off bold, like “Hey, pay attention!”, almost combative but then becomes more subdued, calming, mellow, sweeter.

Interesting experience.

212˚F, 110ml, 12 steeps: 5s rinse, 10s, 15s,???s, 25s, 30s, 35s, 40s, 45s, 50s, 55s, 60s, 1m15s

Update: I didn’t get any fig or fruit as some of the others.

Flavors: Camphor, Chocolate, Cocoa, Earth, Leather, Mineral, Smoke, Spices, Sweet, Vanilla, Wet Earth, Wet Rocks, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 4 OZ / 110 ML

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97
442 tasting notes

Following up my Thai eggplant and ground pork takeout with a strong, clean shou to cut the grease.

I’ve brewed this consistently throughout the 1-oz bag. Easy to break off a 5-gram chunk and go western in a ball jar. Couple of 10-second rinses, though after tasting the second rinse, I think only one could be had. Already dark and clear. Fill ’er up with 8oz of boiling water. 30/60/90/120/180/asyouplease.

The brewed liquor smells like the ancient, leaky trailer my friend used to live in on the edge of damp riparian habitat. His mother, the prior occupant, was an indoor chainsmoker. Sounds gross, right? Tastes amazing.

If that offends you, I can say it also reminds me of slogging through a forested swamp in northeastern Ohio on a cloudy and cold November day. It’s about 36F and nearing sundown. Clay and muck and leaf decay stick to my wader’s boots and weigh me down. Somebody within a mile has a fire burning. The smoky particulates stick to my own misty exhalations which I breathe back in, open-mouthed. I’m a sweaty stick of human-landjaeger in these chest waders, forever trudging forward. Sounds gross, right? Tastes amazing!

Ash, earthy fungal loam, humus, smoke, leather, old books, followed by a tingling tongue, decaying dark wood, gray clay (very specific mineral taste for me), tobacco, lighter wood and finally a sweetness like vanilla. Mouthfeel stays light and clean. Cha qi is near instant and unbeatable. Perk up, calm down, both gaze and lights soften. I’m immobilized yet focused within this rusty orange hue. If I were still much of a writer, this would be my choice of beverage for late nights of visualizing and penning.

I’m pretty sure you could manage less leaf, more steeps, lower temperature and still end up with a decent cup.

Sad to see this ounce go. I will order several cakes of this to have as my go-to evening shou.

Preparation
Boiling 5 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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81
53 tasting notes

I thoroughly enjoyed this tea. I steeped it western style with 5g of tea and about 8 ounces of water. After an initial rinse I steeped each infusion for about a minute. The aroma was very reminiscent of warm compost and dirt. The taste is of sweet dirt. The second infusion brought the slightest astringency and bite in the mouth.

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92
7 tasting notes

Really interesting tea. Received as a sample from Garret with my noble mark purchase. Different flavors arise with each steep. A little bitter here and there, but very enjoyable. Fits perfectly into a nice evening tea for me. Tobacco, leather, earth, and campfire are prominent in almost all of the steeps and picked up a bit of maple syrup(ish) flavor at the 7+ steep mark. Really enjoyed it and picked up a cake!

Flavors: Campfire, Earth, Leather, Maple Syrup, Tobacco

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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17 tasting notes

Phatty cake, phatty cake how I love saying phatty cake.

I had a sample of this from the time when Mandala was having its shou sampler set (In 2014 IIRC). Unfortunately for me this one was forgotten and neglected in its plastic baggie at the back of my tea box. After surviving through two moves and an equal number of years in a ziplock bag the flavors were slightly muted. I still get whisps of the wonderful flavours other reviewers have described but I definitely should have tried reviving it first by reintroducing some humidity. Still a good tea, but I wish I had enjoyed it sooner.

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