2013 Daxue Five Century Raw Pu'erh

Tea type
Pu'erh Tea
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Dates, Honey, Mineral, Sweet, Warm Grass, Apricot, Cream, Smooth
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Edit tea info Last updated by SarsyPie
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 4 oz / 129 ml

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13 Tasting Notes View all

  • “200 degrees. 4g of tea. Gongfu. Dry tea aroma reminds me of cigars (why do so many shengs smell like cigars to me?) 2 five second rinses. First steep ten seconds. Wondering if I didn’t use...” Read full tasting note
  • “This is a strong young sheng. It was quite bitter in the early steeps. It took a while to mellow out. Not entirely sure what notes I’m getting here but its good. I definitely need to pull something...” Read full tasting note
  • “this was my puerh for the day – working from home i try to get at least one in. We’re coming down to crunch time for my trip so i really need to get a few more sipdowns in quickly! not that i...” Read full tasting note
  • “Tealizzy was kind enough to send me a sample of this tea! I have been curious about it for a while :) And it lives up to the hype! Very complex, super sweet and apricotty, silky, a little floral...” Read full tasting note

From Mandala Tea

This 200 gram beauty comes to us from Daxueshan (Big Snow Mountain of Lincang) near the village of BingDao. Fall 2012 and Spring 2013 leaves compose these cakes, pressed July 2013. The trees that produced this material are over 500 years old and grow at an altitude above 6,650 feet (2,000 meters). No chemical sprays or inputs are needed or used on these trees.

The tea liquor is clear, amber, and feels silky. The flavors begin with orchid and honey. Strong, deep, impressive wild honey flavor is bursting from this tea even in the first several short infusions. Absolutely delicious!

There is so much to love about pu’er from this region. Vast groves of wild and ancient tea trees were re-discovered here in the 1990’s. In fact, some of the very oldest tea trees in existence stand in the Daxueshan natural preserve. This area is further north and provides a cooler environment for the trees. Incidentally, teas from here are noted for their “cooling” properties. Another virtue of this region is its secondary status to the more famous tea producing villages of Xishuangbanna, which means spectacular old tree pu’er that is still easily affordable.

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13 Tasting Notes

107 tasting notes

200 degrees. 4g of tea. Gongfu. Dry tea aroma reminds me of cigars (why do so many shengs smell like cigars to me?) 2 five second rinses. First steep ten seconds. Wondering if I didn’t use enough tea. Will try a longer steep next time. 20 secs. Flavor is very mild. No bitterness. 30 secs. Ugh. I may have to come back to this one and try it another day.

EDIT: I came back and tried it another day. This time I added a wee bit of brown sugar and you know what? I LOVE THIS TEA. I lost count how many steeps in I am. I could drink this all night. I’m going to have to try the 2007 Clouds and Fog again and see if sweetening it will increase my enjoyment of that tea as well. I am a happy girl.

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1758 tasting notes

This is a strong young sheng. It was quite bitter in the early steeps. It took a while to mellow out. Not entirely sure what notes I’m getting here but its good. I definitely need to pull something out of the pumidor and find a place for this. My pumidor is packed you see.

I steeped this ten times in a 120ml gaiwan with 9g leaf and 200 degree water. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, and 1 min.

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 9 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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15131 tasting notes

this was my puerh for the day – working from home i try to get at least one in. We’re coming down to crunch time for my trip so i really need to get a few more sipdowns in quickly! not that i really have many, but even a focus on puerh has been good. this is quite pleasant and very enjoyable. all that aside, i need to figure out which raw puerh i want to keep in my cupboard since i generally prefer ripe. :)


I like this one

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1113 tasting notes

Tealizzy was kind enough to send me a sample of this tea! I have been curious about it for a while :)

And it lives up to the hype! Very complex, super sweet and apricotty, silky, a little floral and just enough tart/bitter notes to keep it interesting. Damnit, now I really want to order a cake! :D

I took some pics of my session-

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19 tasting notes

Very good tea. Getting notes of minerals and dates.
Sweet and light for such a young puerh.

Flavors: Dates, Honey, Mineral, Sweet, Warm Grass

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 3 OZ / 90 ML

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661 tasting notes

This is my third time having this tea but the first time leaving a review. The first time I was so caught up in my work, I loved the tea but couldn’t remember what stood out. Second time I was coming down with a cold. It tasted off to me. ALL my teas did that day. On this third time, I loved it just as much as the first.

I did 3 rinses 10/10/15. Then I brewed for 20 sec. This tea reminds me a little bit of my Wild Mountain Green 2011 which I love. This one is a much fuller body. Teafairy mentioned it was almost oily and I have to agree. It has a really thick mouth feel. Apricot notes are really prominent and delicious and here’s the treat: You take a sip and get apricot right away, then it hits the back of the tongue and it’s like cream. Amazing! And so addictive! Overall it was quite smooth. I detected slight (only slight) bitterness in the early steeps which rapidly disappeared. I’ve put it aside after having 3 cups today but I know from having this before, it takes multiple infusions. I mean MULTIPLE!! I was using some of it to season my yixing the first time I had this tea and I was up to about 15 infusions. I can’t believe a sheng so young can give so much in the leaves. I’m so glad I got a cake of this!

I am having more of this today from the same leaves. It’s still as delicious! I even forgot my brewing time on one cup. I have no idea how long I left it and it still tastes great.

Flavors: Apricot, Cream, Smooth


Don’t you just love this one??? Delicious!


It’s one of the best tasting ones I’ve tried so far! Love it!

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818 tasting notes

Enjoying the umpteenth steeping of this tea! I got the parameters right today…lower water temperature, right amount of leaf, and starting out slow with steep times. Didn’t really notice any bitterness today. It was just smooth and sweet throughout. Yay!


So what’s your parameters ? Also I was soo tea drunk fr this tea it wasn’t even funny.

Terri HarpLady

Inquiring minds want to know :)


I used about 1 1/4 TBSP of leaf in my little 5 oz. pot and steeped 15/15/20/20/30/30 etc. Water temperature started at 195 degrees, but I only reheated my kettle occasionally, so I’m sure the water temperature cooled over some of the steeps. :)


Terri, I was aware of my breathing. Every time. I heard my lungs moving. My sinuses cleared . I had to drive to pick up kids fr school. If I knew this tea could make such effect on me I wouldn’t drink it during the day.


Wow, boychik! It certainly didn’t have an effect on me. Interesting!

Terri HarpLady

I haven’t tried this one, but I totally relate!


@Tealizzy, i had 6g for 100ml @200F. the amount of leaves could be the main reason you didnt get buzz.

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359 tasting notes

So I’m a little late to the party on this review.

I had this earlier today with the TEAplets. But I was unable to focus on writing my review. Now is a better time.

I was lucky enough to receive the gift of tea from Sarsonator: this beautiful Mandala cake. She made this very special for myself and MzPriss (who was also given the same cake) as it wasn’t even available yet on Mandala’s website. That’s what I call a REAL surprise!

Now how thoughtful and generous was that? Thank you so much Sarsy, I am so grateful!

Right from the get go, I had a feeling it would be a good one. The cake looks amazing, as if every single leaf was placed strategically to create a little work of art.

It broke very easily, no need to fight it, loosely compressed.

I used 8g for a 5oz yixing clay pot.

First, I love the golden liquor it produces. It’s thick and almost oily as I pour the first steep in the pitcher.

The leaves are barely awake, and already they render a taste that completely seduces me. We all agree: it’s remarkable.

Stone fruits, mostly soft and ripe apricot. Super sweet and silky, heavy mouthfeel of honey.

In later steeps, that sweetness turns into maple water. I also get juicy apple notes. It’s not smokey at all, and that astringency normally present in young sheng is nowhere to be found.

Around steep seven, I get a certain acidity, but i think I just let it steep too long. It’s very potent.

I had dinner, and went back to it. It kept giving and giving.

Thank you so much again Sarsy, and thanks to Garret who helped make this surprise happened, you are such a classy guy!

As usual, for those who love to watch:





This was so good and I loved being able to share it with my TFFs!


apricots are my fav. glad you enjoyed it




Yay! Here’s to hoping that I am able to get some more of this! Working on that today. It is selling fast and I want some, too! Great pics!


MzPriss : likewise :-)

Boychik and Stephanie: it is very likely that you will love this one

Garret: thank you! And so glad I have a whole cake of this!!


I just got two more cakes of this one in the mail today. Thanks, G!

I couldn’t risk it selling out. I’m so glad you love it, TTF! It makes me happy when you are happy!!! <3


:) This could be a great supplier to keep working with. Will soon be getting some samples of some of their other new offerings. If the quality keeps up with what I’ve tasted of their teas so far, I will be a happy tea seller.


Totally, G-Mac. And we will all be happy tea drinkers! Keep us posted on the other offerings, please. :)


Lucky rascals….

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278 tasting notes


I took a gamble on this one and Garret did not lead me astray. Thanks so much, G-Mac. You picked a real beauty!

Method: 6g, 6oz, 200 degrees, rinse-10-15-20, sheng yixing and Goldie

Aroma: Smells very strongly of grape and smoked apricots, but it has a freshness that was very pleasant.

Flavor: First, this feels like butter. It’s creamy and so very smooth. It’s fruity and sweet, with almost no bitterness and only the lightest astringency on the finish. It made me feel all warm and it did not take long for my tea drunk wooziness to start. I have a sheng glow. A nuttiness starts to emerge, too.

I adore this tea. It’s amazeballs!


200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

I love you so much for this and many other reasons. <3


ooooh I need to try this


Ditto. I can’t add anything but love.


This is totally a love tea.


And a group hug tea, y’all!!!!


I. need. this.


Well if you can stand to wait, boychik, I will send you some to try when we swap. But that’s up to you. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this for someone to just buy without sampling.


is this the new one?


It is, Sil! I’m super excited about it!

Zen Tea Jazz and Sci Fi Books

I must try this Pu’erh. I love Pu’erh in pressed cake forms and this one sounds like I need to have it in my home :) Thank you for the awesome review :)


How can I say no! We need to swap. I just need a little more time to settle down. Today was 1st day of school and they go to all three different schools. I had to drop off and pick up. They are not close, different neighborhoods. I’m a new driver and I suck. Very stressful to drive in Brooklyn:(((

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155 tasting notes

I was very surprised to get a Mandala box that I didn’t remember ordering. When I opened it, I found a note from Garret saying it was a surprise from my Teaplet Sarsonator and that my other Teaplet, the Lovely Tea Fairy was getting one too. At that point, this had not been released on the Mandala site and it made me cry. Sarsy went to a LOT of trouble working with Garret to make this amazing surprise happen and I heart them both a LOT.

Today we finally all three have our supply of this and we are having a Teaplet sheng party. And Holy Crap. This is so incredibly delicious.

I put 5 grams in the wee shengxing and away I went. The rinse was divine. The liquor is pale and golden and a premiere of coming attractions.

This is so fruity and smooth. It tastes like apricot jam with exactly zero astringency or bitterness. No smoke to be found either. There is that catch at the back of my throat that tells me I’m shengin’

I got a lovely and immediate full body creeping warmth and relaxation. I can’t EVEN believe this is a baby sheng. I love baby shengs, but this one tastes like it has a little age on it. It keeps getting better as I go through the steeps.

LTF remarked that it reminds her of my favorite (until now??) Mandala sheng, Wild Mountain Green and I agree in that there is a load of fruit, in this case apricot and a load of smooth and it makes for a gorgeously happy relaxed tea drunk.

THANK YOU MY DARLING SARSY!!!! And also Garret for making it happen!

It makes me feel all reverb-y y’all: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4_5593-skQ

Flavors: Apricot

Cameron B.

Yum, I love apricots! I may have to try this one. :)


Oh Cam- YES you do!!! I will send some your way


Shengxing is the cutest term ever!!!! Totally stealing that :p

I’m really happy that you liked this. On one level, I know that Garret knows what he’s doing. On the other hand, I was still nervous because I hadn’t tasted it myself. Hooray for super secret shengs!!!!


How sweet! This sheng sounds amazing you guys :D


I so love sharing tea sessions with my lovely TEAplets!!! And Shengxing is totally adorable!!


It’s my smallest yixing so I sometimes call it my weexing


I’m tea drunk and I like it!

Cameron B.

Lol… Weexing is the cutest term ever.


it sounds delicious:) i need this in my life


You do.


Sounds Awesome! Congats Sarsonator!

Christina / BooksandTea

Man, I really want to try all of Mandala’s pu’erhs (even though I’m still a little bit afraid of shu). Did Garret announce when that sheng sale was going to happen?


oh man. i need to try this one


We are loving this tea here in the shop. I’m so pleased that you are digging it, too. I am gonna try like mad to get more of it. The supply was pretty limited, but I’m on it. This is selling fast and I don’t want to run out. Not to mention, I want some for my own stash!


The Sarsonator is tea drunk and I like it, like it, yes I do!

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