4 Tasting Notes


So far this is my favorite Pu Erh! I just love this tea! I must, need to order more! I wish the cakes were larger because I am afraid I will go through this too quickly! I am trying to slow down and drink different pu erhs but I mindless go back to this one. I just love how smooth and full bodied it is! I have to give a better review than this later but I just had to drop by and say I LOVE this PU ERH!!

Smooth, tasty!! MMmmm…. May make more?

Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 6 g 4 OZ / 125 ML

I am so happy that you are enjoying this tea, my friend! It is one of my favorites. I can’t wait to have you try the new cake that is being pressed this week in China. I’ve made a ripe blend from 2012 and 2013 material and it is named “Temple Stairs”. The loose leaf blend is already here (not up on website yet) and I had 500 100g cakes pressed along with 10,000 mini-tuochas. It’ll be the best mini-tuo on the market, hands down. Looking so forward to it. We shall have to make sure you get to try some :) Thank you for your review of the Year of the Dragon!


HellieCreed – I liked your review, and put a cake in my basket for my next Mandala order.
Garret – My latest order arrived in Palm Bay today and included a sample called “Commemorative Ripe 2013 – Not Yet Named”. Is this the loose material from the new “Temple Stairs”?


Garret I am so curious about this new mystery pu erh! I know I would buy some the moment I can! So far I am in love with your pu erhs! I cannot wait for this new Temple Stairs, oh, I am so curious!

I just love this pu erh and you did a fantastic job on it! I think this was the one that just made me think, wow, this is my wow omg I must have more ripe pu erh!


TeaExplorer thank you so much for enjoying this review! I am hoping to give this pu erh a more justified review in the future! I hope you enjoy this! Must let me know what are your thoughts on this “Not Yet Named” tea! Curiosity is killing me!


Hi! Yes… the unnamed tea became “Temple Stairs” after I had a chance to do gongfu with it just prior to a meditation session. I got up from my cushion after meditating and “Temple Stairs” popped right up.

I am loving the Temple Stairs and the handful of people who have tasted it have great things to say. We’ll have it in to the hands of many soon enough. I just got wind from the tea factory that this tea will be pressed this week! It will be a while before we see the cakes and mini-tuochas, but it will be worth the wait. For now, we have 40 + lbs left in loose leaf form. Tea-lish!

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A small note about myself, I do not like coffee since I was a child (I know I committed a crime! But I am not American so I guess I get a get-out-of-jail-free-card! ;p!) I mention this because most people try to find a ripe tea to replace their morning coffee but I am on a mission for a morning tea for tea not coffee…

Method: Gong Fu
I used my new gaiwan (120ml) and did 2 flash rinses. Began with a 30 second steeping and increased 15 seconds in subsequent infusions.

The first infusion has a bitter aftertaste, but a good bitter, and a nice full feeling in the mouth and almost cocoa taste in the back of the tongue. However, my favorite infusions were the ones after the first two! Bitterness completely gone by the second steeping but the thicker body and cocoa notes lingered so vividly in my mouth quickly after the second steeping. Utterly pleasant! In this pu erh I do not get any mushroom or earthiness, at least not like Phatty Cake, its tenderly sweet with toffee like notes coating my tongue. Did I mention how pleasant this pu erh is? Its very pleasant and gentle! Honey hints in the middle steepings still lingering chocolately mouth feel. I lost count on how many steepings I did but I brewed this until it was almost hot water! Loved this tea so much! Need to get more later! The last infusions were more floral with a hint of cocoa, like I said, I brewed this until I couldn’t really squeeze any for flavors!

This is truly a Special Dark pu erh! Please, join the Dark side! We have tea!

Flavors: Chocolate, Cocoa, Honey

Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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drank Milk Oolong by Mandala Tea
4 tasting notes

I AM IN LOVE!!! I have had heard so much about this tea and every time I wanted to order some it was out of stock… The moment it was in stock I jumped and bought some. No regret here!

About 5 sec rinse with 195 purified water. As per instructions by Mandala Tea the infusion times. Decided to add more tea to water. So dangerous! LOL!

The aroma was so strange to me, butter. Do not really expect butter as an aroma for leaves? However, they are delicious wet leaves and the aroma becomes more green after about two steepings. The leaves unfold so beautifully and fill the small 120ml gaiwan! The color of the liquor is at first yellowish green and I love looking at the leaves! Sorry, so pretty! Buttery and creamy, no bitterness. The flavor evolves so much and you can get quite a few steepings from this tea and its just buttery smooth and pleasant! I became so happy sipping on this tea through out the day while working. Eased my mind but didn’t put me to sleep. Just so pleasant. Gets a little fruity, like honey passionfruit later, so amazing! Coconut and just creamy! So sad when it was over… I will be buying more when I get paid!!! Thank you Garret!! Favorite tea shop so far!! Love the samples too!!

Flavors: Butter, Coconut, Cream, Flowers, Honey, Stewed Fruits

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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Method: Improvised Gaiwan (I say this because I broke my fav gaiwan so I am waiting on a new one from China, obviously long wait, so I am using my great grandmother’s houhin! Not really different but not a gaiwan!

8 grams

2 rinses

First Several Steepings: Began with 15 sec infusions and the aroma is thick and earthy, but not overwhelmingly. Relaxing, like wet forest floor after crisp dew is first cast by day’s new morning. The flavor reminded me of my visit to Yosemite National Park a few years ago during the months of drizzle and gentle touches of summer but before the full broil of mid summer. Relaxing, invigorating but inspiring. Earthy, bit of soil and a hint of mushroom with a finishing raisin note. Pleasant and simply pure. Really enjoying this pu erh and excited for later infusions.

Middle and Final Steepings: I lost count by this point. The liquor is still dark but slightly beginning to lighten, the aroma gentled but the flavor is still bold. Still earthy but sweetening. Feeling more energized but not wired, calmed and content. Just enjoying the moment and brew. After a few more infusions my fresh order of Tupelo honey caught my attention just glistening its flowing, amber, precious liquid incased in clear glass allowing the sun light to beam through just beckoning me to experiment. I am a mischievous and curious soul, as I am told; I stared at my dark brew clasped in my hand the white porcelain enhancing the color of this precious pu erh, a moment of inspiration touched my awakened mind. Why not? I said to myself as I tenderly poured but a small gesture of Tupelo into my cup then the pu erh. I never done this before with pu erh but I was so curious! The moment it tickled my lips, caressed my tongue I felt so happy! The flavor transformed into a completely different tea, so many more hidden notes felt enhanced and a slight touch of the honey flavor, wow, all I can say is wow! Dessert in my hands and now slipping down my tongue!! Oh wow! This is why I love pu erh! Thousands of teas in one changed in a moment! I am pumped! Loving every moment! Infusions from now have Tupelo and some I do not bother adding, just enjoying tea. Day is becoming vesper, almost foreshadowing the last remains of my fun brew. The flavor fading, more flower notes, liquor cleansing itself of the sunny day I finish off this pu erh almost sadly, but tomorrow always will dawn again the freshly born rays glistening my tiny pu erh blade for another battle on a long war I personally wage!

Thank you so much Garret for this magnificent brew!! Will be ordering more!

Flavors: Earth, Flowers, Fruit Tree Flowers, Mineral, Mushrooms, Raisins

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

Thank YOU, my friend! You made me smile broadly with this review. I am so very very happy that you are enjoying it. There are more ripe pu’ers on the way that I have been acquiring material for. I have to make sure you try the Phatty Cake II which was pressed last year.

Wishing you much joy!


I have wanting to try Phatty Cake II for a while now! I will be trying my best to flavor all your ripe, oolongs and some raw teas!

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