• Reviews

    Mandala Tea 2013 Autumn Song Mao Cha

    Country of Origin: China Leaf Appearance: large and wiry, abundance of buds Steep time: 30 seconds Water Temperature: 212 degrees Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan Liquor: deep gold Mandala Tea just recently reopened their website and many tea drinkers celebrated the occasion by ordering A.S.A.P., myself included. I needed some puerh mao cha to photograph for a blog post so it was the perfect excuse to load up. Simply put, mao cha is the raw material that is compressed to make a puerh cake. Although there were a few to choose from, I had to go with Autumn Song. The compressed version is still one of my all-time favorites (and I had recently finished the last…

  • Reviews

    Mandala Tea Temple Stairs 2014 Ripe Pu’er

    Country of Origin: China Leaf Appearance: dark brown with visible golden tips Ingredients: puerh tea Steep time: 30 seconds Water Temperature: 212 degrees Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan Liquor: dark reddish brown There’s a chill in the air and I find that my tastes are changing with the shift in seasons. Cravings for roasted oolongs and dark, inky shou puerh has been dominating my tea drinking. There’s just something comforting about these darker teas. This tea immediately came to mind on a particularly nippy fall evening. This 100g cake from +Mandala Tea was beautiful to look at. I almost didn’t want to break into it. The leaves were a million shades of brown and gold, especially when…

  • Reviews

    Mandala Tea Heart of the Old Tree 2012

    Country of Origin: China Leaf Appearance: varied greens, compressed Ingredients: puerh tea Steep time: 30 seconds Water Temperature: 212 degrees Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan Liquor: light gold +Mandala Tea is one of my go to’s for puerh because they consistently source high quality private label teas. Their smaller cakes provide a chance to explore without breaking the piggy bank, especially for someone who is just getting started. Heart of the Old Tree is one that I had heard a lot about so I was excited to give it a try. The leaves were large and mostly whole with a nice shine to them. It had been far too long since I’ve been able to have…

  • Reviews

    Mandala Tea 2014 Autumn Song Raw Pu’er

    Country of Origin: China Leaf Appearance: mottled green, loosely compressed Ingredients: puerh Steep time: 30 seconds Water Temperature: 212 degrees Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan Liquor: bright gold This tea came very, very close to beating out Wild Monk as my favorite offering from +Mandala Tea. The leaves were quite beautiful so I was glad that the cake wasn’t very tightly compressed. It was powerful with quite a bit of astringency followed by a cooling menthol aftertaste during the first few infusions. Those who aren’t used to punchy puerh may want to do a couple of longer rinses for that reason. Once I powered through the initial roughness there were sweet floral notes with hints…