Thank you Garret! I really enjoyed this one!

This was one of the recent samples I got from my last Mandala Order. Pu-Erh’s were in my budget since there typically cheaper, and I wanted to get one cake, the Noble Mark, as a preemptive hangover strike for my 21st a few months from now next year (it helped my roommate out and I looked up that it helps detox alcohol). I also got it in case the price goes up with age. And I needed something to replace my morning coffee, and for about four bucks per ounce plus free shipping, I decided it was worth getting some, though I’ll drink it more in the winter and next year.

So for this one: I’m still slowly getting over the “pooh” smell in Pu-Erh. It made me hesitate, but I reminded myself that Pu-Erh very rarely tastes like it smells. I was right. I rinsed it twice, first five seconds, then ten. The first 45 second steep brewed something that highly resembled coffee in color, with a little bit more orange and burgundy, or even purple undertones. The taste was like a very smooth black tea, albeit with a dark earth, yet somehow silkier body. There’s some woodsiness that also reminds me of some Wu Yi’s that I’ve had. The second and third steeps were approximately between 45-50 seconds. It somehow got sweeter and more minerals later one, which I started to prefer. There’s some chocolate there, but I almost did not notice it-to me it was much more like a dark chocolate.

The thing that I really liked about this tea was how smooth it was. Astringency was only slightly there, but almost nonexistent. The only bitterness was from the earthiness of the Pu-Erh, but again, it was not so present and yields smooth.

This tea is definitely for a more experienced drinker. My mom is pretty experienced herself and she liked it, but she also had to get past the smell to drink it. NEWBIES BE WARNED. Tea snobs, come loving it.

Flavors: Bitter, Dark Chocolate, Dark Wood, Earth, Smooth

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 45 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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First Off, Current Targets:

Whispering Pines Alice
Grand Crew Teas
Wuyi Origins Jin Jun Mei Sampler
What-Cha Jin Jun Mei
Good Luxurious Work Teas
A good Qilan
Best Sachet Teas

Dislikes: Heavy Tannin, Astringency, Bitterness, or Fake Flavor, Overly herby herbal or aged teas

Picky with: Higher Oxidation Oolongs, Red Oolongs (Some I love, others give me headaches or are almost too sweet), Mint Teas

Currently, my stash is overflowing. Among my favorites are What-Cha’s Lishan Black, Amber Gaba Oolong, Lishan Oolong, Qilan Oolong, White Rhino, Kenya Silver Needle, Tong Mu Lapsang Black (Unsmoked); Whispering Pines Alice, Taiwaneese Assam, Wang’s Shanlinxi, Cuifeng, Dayuling; Beautiful Taiwan Tea Co.“Old Style” Dong Ding, Mandala Milk Oolong


I am an MSU graduate, and current alternative ed. high school social studies and history teacher. I formerly minored in anthropology, and I love Egyptian and classical history. I love to read, write, draw, paint, sculpt, fence(with a sword), practice calisthenics on rings, lift weights, workout, relax, and drink a cuppa tea…or twenty.

I’ve been drinking green and black teas ever since I was little living in Hawaii. Eastern Asian influence was prominent with my friends and where I grew up, so I’ve been exposed to some tea culture at a young age. I’ve come a long way since I began on steepster and now drink most teas gong fu, especially oolong. Any tea that is naturally creamy, fruity, or sweet without a lot of added flavoring ranks as a must have for me. I also love black teas and dark oolongs with the elusive “cocoa” note. My favorites are lighter Earl Greys, some white teas like What-Cha’s Kenyan offerings, most Hong-Cha’s, darker Darjeelings, almost anything from Nepal, Green Shan Lin Xi’s, and Greener Dong Dings. I’m in the process of trying Alishan’s. I also tend to really enjoy Yunnan Black or Red teas and white teas. I’m pickier with other teas like chamomile, green teas, and Masalas among several.

I used to give ratings, but now I only rate teas that have a strong impression on me. If I really like it, I’ll write it down.

I’ll enjoy a tea almost no matter what, even if the purpose is more medicinal, for it is my truest vice and addiction.


Michigan, USA

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