Mandala Tea’s 2014 Temple Stairs Ripe Pu’er – this review is overdue. My Mandala Tea 2012 Noble Mark review is also overdue, I’m too busy chugging it than writing about it!
I have this pu’er in both loose and cake form. For this review, I’ll be drinking the loose material as I’m trying to finish it, haha!
Temple Stairs Ripe Pu’er smells like roasted chestnut skins.
I used around 8 grams for my 100gram-ish gaiwan. I did two rinses and steeped starting at 10 seconds, adding time as I went on.
Tasting of Mandala Tea’s 2014 Temple Stairs Ripe Pu’er
First and Second Infusion: Temple Stairs Ripe Pu’er steeps up a darkly rich deep black brown with red undertones with a creamy nutty scent.
Temple Stairs sips in quite nutty – the notes are of sharp walnut shells, a mellow sweetness, and rich earth base. In these early steepings there is a nice silky texture too!
Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Infusion: Oh, very strong! Not Special Dark strong, but nicely potent! The flavor is earthy, leather, hazelnut with a bright caramel sweetness at the end, with a thick textured sip. This is the puer for you coffee drinkers as it has that rich dark vibe to it. With each steeping Temple Stairs gets cleaner and less earthy in taste letting the nut and caramel take over.
Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, and Tenth Infusion: Temple Stairs Ripe Pu’er is dropping into light territory now. The tea is really smooth with a lovely creamy mouth and caramel sweet. There is also a shift into notes of light spice and cocoa taste to it. The end of sip peaks to melting chocolate in your mouth. The flavor is dropping fast here so I’ve been upping steeping by a minute
Eleventh and Twelfth Infusion: I did a 10 and a 30 minute steeps here. The flavor is quite light but has a milk chocolate sweet taste.
Mandala Tea’s 2014 Temple Stairs Ripe Pu’er is a great daily drinker shou for me. I love the smooth nutty flavor. The loose material does not give a huge number of steeping unless you get aggressive with it, but I imagine the pressed cake will give you more steepings, especially if a bit more time. I’d recononmend Temple Stairs Ripe Pu’er for any newer pu’er drinker as this tea lacks dryness nor as any weird mushroom flavor.
By the way, Mandala Tea also pressed Temple Stairs into mini tuochas!