Wild Monk (Reprise) 2015

Tea type
Pu-erh Tea
Ingredients
Pu Erh Tea
Flavors
Bitter, Fruity, Peach, Grass, Smoke
Sold in
Not available
Caffeine
High
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by eastkyteaguy
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 2 oz / 60 ml

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4 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Pulled a small sample of this out of the Puerh TTB when it was here. This tea is awesome. I can see how some people would not be a fan, but I certainly enjoyed it. The dry leaf had a bit of a...” Read full tasting note
    90
  • “You know those people that are like, “Oh, tea is just like softly flavored water, I’m a real MANLY MAN and I like my coffee dark and my beer double-hopped and your wussy tea stuff will never be...” Read full tasting note
    78
  • “~60ml porcelain gaiwan. 1 10-15sec rinse, let leaves sit a few minutes. steeps 5s, 2s, 2s, 5s, 5s, 5s, 10s, … first steep — smell inside gaiwan lid sharp and bitter? with some fruit, perhaps. tea...” Read full tasting note
  • “Going from the Bang Wei to this… utter disapointment. This tea is mouth damaging as it leaves a lingering astringency. Now 2012 Wild Monk was the best stuff as many of us know and I strongly...” Read full tasting note

From Mandala Tea

Presenting the 2015 “Reprise” pressing of our famous Wild Monk sheng pu’er.

This particular pu’er is very special in that it was picked from tea trees grown entirely in the wild, surrounded by all the native floral and fauna, exposed to nothing but clean air, high altitude, healthy rain and sunshine. Grown in Yong De in the Yunnan province in China, this special tea is packed with goodness. The tea grows quite dark, almost purple as it has adapted to the high levels in sunshine in order to protect itself from the UV rays. For us humans that means that we get a tea that is higher in antioxidants than other teas.

The leaf for our “Reprise” cake were picked in the Spring of 2015 and pressed on August 1st.

While we here at the shop brew this tea with 212 F water, many of our customers are brewing this at temps of 195 F and slowly increasing water temps as infusions get longer. It is delicious when brewed in the tea glass/tea thermos style of brewing, as well, but should definitely be brewed gongfu style at least once!

The dry leaf has a sweet and slight smoky aroma. Even those who normally find smokier elements unattractive are fans of this tea. You will find yourself reaching for this again and again for the energy of this tea is beyond compare. Many customers and reviewers are calling this the “feel-good tea”, suggesting that it has anti-depressant elements and leaves them feeling uplifted, energized and content. We concur.

We are excited to offer such rare and delightful tea to our customers here in the US and around the world. Our gratitude for each of you knows no bounds.

- See more at: http://shopmandalatea.com/2015-wild-monk-reprise.html#sthash.3bc9078p.dpuf

About Mandala Tea View company

Company description not available.

4 Tasting Notes

90
486 tasting notes

Pulled a small sample of this out of the Puerh TTB when it was here. This tea is awesome. I can see how some people would not be a fan, but I certainly enjoyed it. The dry leaf had a bit of a sour raisin smell with a bit of a floral lean to the aroma. After a rinse, I smelled just a lick of smoke along with spiced fruit bread.

This tea is BITTER, but hot damn is is a good bitter. Probably one of the most bitter teas I’ve tasted – it was a strong and “clean” bitterness – I didn’t find it astringent or unpleasant. A little surprising at first, sure, but fantastic once I was expecting it. I’d describe it as an herbal or mineral, or perhaps medicinal bitterness. Maybe reminiscent of quinine really. Of course the bitterness wasn’t all this tea had going for it either. After that sharp tang of the bitterness left the mouth, the tea had a rather sweet fruity finish, eventually tasting a bit like peach, but more the rind than the fruit. If I increased the steep times too quickly, it got a bit of an off flavor, but doing flash steeps for most of the session lets this tea go a good 15 steeps or so, which is pretty awesome. The bitter note that I really liked was basically omnipresent in this tea – only started to fade as the tea itself was on its last legs.

This is a great tea for those who like bitter flavors – if you don’t like bitterness, this one would probably be awful to you.

Flavors: Bitter, Fruity, Peach

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 2 OZ / 60 ML

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78
16 tasting notes

You know those people that are like, “Oh, tea is just like softly flavored water, I’m a real MANLY MAN and I like my coffee dark and my beer double-hopped and your wussy tea stuff will never be enough for me?”

Give them this. Maybe it will mellow out with time. But right now this stuff is for those times when a triple-IPA is not quite enough, when you need that quinine-bitter to hammer straight into your skull. Also, underneath the brutal, browbeating bitter: like, increasing with more steeps: clearly a dry-aged raw meat thing.

When you want to have your skull smashed into a concrete curb by a swaggering beast of a tea: there is Wild Monk for you.

I’m glad I have a cake.

Super Starling!

This tea sounds like it’d put hair on my chest and inspire me to make a log cabin with my bare hands with only the occasional help from an ox.

moot

It’ll put hair on your chest and then grow extra hairs on the tips of those hairs, fractal style

Super Starling!

Cleanup on Aisle 4. Someone’s mind was blown.

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160 tasting notes

~60ml porcelain gaiwan. 1 10-15sec rinse, let leaves sit a few minutes. steeps 5s, 2s, 2s, 5s, 5s, 5s, 10s, …

first steep — smell inside gaiwan lid sharp and bitter? with some fruit, perhaps. tea still light, but with a little buttery vegetal-ness, and some soft sweetness. very light hint of smoke.
second steep — smell inside gaiwan lid becoming that warm spicy vanilla(?)-y smell of sheng (at least, in my head that’s what it is), with a hint of barnyard. tea a little stronger, mild fresh-woody aftertaste, very light perhaps-smoke.
third steep — not much different, but with a stronger&longer aftertaste. should’ve probably given it a longer steep. aftertaste almost grassy? with dry-mouth feel. there is probably a name for that. interesting about the lid smells — half of the lid smells of warm spices, with maybe some tobacco; the other half smells thoroughly barnyardy. interesting that it’s split by (probably) which half contacted the tea on the pour.
fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh steeps — more tobacco-y, to me, and a bit bitter in back of mouth. or just… bitter everywhere. whoah. it’s like it’s climbing around the edges of the back of my tongue, even after the liquid is gone. almost a chewy sort of thing.

It seems to pretty much continue in that vein, with the bitterness becoming the primary. I’ve not until now had a tea like this; it’s very interesting.

Flavors: Bitter, Grass, Smoke

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 g 2 OZ / 60 ML
Garret

Purple leaf! A whole different ball game when it comes to younger shenf pu’er. Many of our customers enjoy the ye sheng cha with cooler temps for the 1st few years. I usually brew it at boiling and do much shorter steeps, by the time I get to 6 or 7 steeps, the sweeter side of the leaf comes out. These teas mellow quite a bit after 3 to 5 yrs, so if the astringency is too much, just you wait :) The complexity that comes to it after a bit of aging always intrigues me. Purple leaf is different leaf, after all, than the regular raw pu’er leaf. Enjoy!

Thanks for writing up your thoughts and experience!

Grateful,
Garret

twinofmunin

“A whole different ball game” describes well my experience! Thanks for the tips on brew parameters; I look forward to playing with it more. :)

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1112 tasting notes

Going from the Bang Wei to this… utter disapointment. This tea is mouth damaging as it leaves a lingering astringency. Now 2012 Wild Monk was the best stuff as many of us know and I strongly believe that this isn’t the same material being pressed from a different year. Unless a few years changes a cake that much… I feel tricking into expecting a similar product. Maybe I’m wrong, but I have found a cake that I believe is much closer. This just wasn’t pleasant and I used a small amount at lower temperature. Its strong if you want that, but the taste is an undesired one.

tea123

Try more leaf?

Liquid Proust

Absolutely not going to happen. This is not something I enjoyed at 4g and I’m confident in my assessment on it. I’ve had the 2014,2015, and loose… they are all much different than the 2012 and were not very enjoyable. I had to have two different sessions to come to the conclusion with certainty because there is always random elements that could make me have a wrong impression or experience. In this case, I know this tea is not for me.

boychik

Wasn’t my favorite. i thought its only me. i couldnt get past 3 steeps. i used off boil and 5g for 80ml

Liquid Proust

Generally I go lower for harsh sheng so I dropped my temperature a bit… still no luck :/
No worries though, this is only one of many cakes to which all vendors experience; some I hate you, eh, okay, awesome, and thisisgoingtobeadrunknight type of cakes

Cwyn

Drain cleaner sheng. Might be good in a decade though.

mrmopar

Swap you for a bit to try.

Liquid Proust

@ boychik this is why we share, so we don’t feel crazy! @ Cwyn sometimes I imagine you owning a house where each room is host to a specific decade of pottery and tea. @mrmopar I’ll weight out what I have and send it your way (I may have the loose and pressed material)

mrmopar

I have had it in a cart considering it.

Garret

Glad I saw this.

Being from the same exact source area as the 2012 Wild Monk I would expect that this tea will mellow and become closer in character to the 2012 as it packs on some age. Of course the 2012 will change as well and of course, there will be differences in vintages of mao cha. This is why Pu-erh is referred to in China as the older it gets, better the taste/aroma. Ye Sheng cha changes alot in the first few years. It is intensely bitter and astringent in the first few years and then rather suddenly mellows quite a lot but with a lot of character. It’s only somewhat comparable to assamica (traditional pu-erh) in it’s aging as it’s a completely different varietal. Young purple leaf is going to act very differently and many customers are brewing it at green tea temp and up to 195. Give it time…

I will also add that there were plenty of people who thought the same thing about the 2012 Wild Monk at first, some still do. I’m not going to spend my personal money (and a pressing ain’t cheap) to press a tea that isn’t tasted by several people in the know. This 2015 Wild Monk pu’er is one of the hottest selling teas at Cafe’ Steam, a coffeehouse in Rochester, MN.

Different strokes, especially in a young purple leaf sheng. It’s why I write Purple leaf tea is very bitter in the first 2 years. Try a sample first to see if you are tough enough." It’s a whole different animal, this purple leaf stuff. The only thing that makes me not feel poorly after reading your review is that I’ve had all the repeat buys on both the 2014 and 2015 Monk.

Wishing you joy,
Garret

boychik

Garret, I still have some left ( it was a sample, beenghole) what parameters would you recommend ?

Liquid Proust

@Garrett Understood. For me, bitterness and astringency are a massive no no. That is why I rarely drink black tea and have a hard time with sheng because I am really picky. I’ve been drinking a lot of lighter stuff the suites my personal taste preference which will make this taste even harsher. For me, the difference is like tasting a cup of water and then a cup of straight black coffee; I have sensitive taste buds.

Garret

@boychik – Hi!! I’ve been doing a fun thing with the 2014 and 2015 Wild Monk… I do 2 to 3 steeps at 195 for 20 or 30 seconds, then I do one 2 to 3 minute steep at 195 (this will be bolder flavor) after that I’m back to 30 second steeps but with water near or at a boil and the sweetness comes out. The coffeeshops and restaurants we sell to are brewing the wild monk at 195 for 1.5 to 2.5 minutes, depending on the strength desired by the customer. I’d say most customers are brewing both at 195 and digging it that way. I also really love it grandpa style at 175, 180 in my tea thermos. So many ways to skin this cat :) Enjoy!!

tea-junkie

Based on this review and comments, I am going to buy this now. I love my everything strong. Straight black coffee, espressos, single malt scotch, dry as can be red wines. So I will definitely be adding this to my cart.

Garret

tea-junkie, if you are buying, I’ll include samples from whatever vintage of the Wild Monk that you don’t, including some 2012 from my stash so you can see what a few years does to the purple leaf. Also highly recommend the “Bamboogie” and “Heart of the Old Tree” for you. I look forward to knowing your thoughts on them. Grateful,
Garret

tea-junkie

@Garret I will take you up on those samples. I will place my order by this saturday. I actually purchased the “bamboogie” for black Friday and was shipped out when you received the RLBL. I just haven’t gotten to it yet. But I will soon. As for “Heart of Old Tree”, I have a cake of it and I love it. It is an awesome sheng!

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