244 Tasting Notes

Time to revisit this Dayi shou favorite. Menghai Dayi has developed a solid reputation for good ripe teas and this one is a good example. A tightly compressed cake with a welcoming earthy aroma. Started with a 10s steep and stopped at 30s for the sixth steeping. Steeps a deep ruby-red liquor which is bright and clear. The sip is rich, woody and very smooth. A sweet creamy caramel note emerges in later steepings. This is a good tea to use as a cold weather warm up or to share with non-puerh tea drinking guests.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 90 ML
tea123

Creamy – there it is :)

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The cake is beautiful and full of pleasantly dark brown whole leaves which offer a nice sweet aged scent. The overall appearance of the cake is neat and uniform. Easy to pick off whole leaves for steeping. I had heard that Yi Bang tea was of the small leaf variety and that is found to be true in this particular cake.
The tea liquor begins with a deep gold color and with additional steepings providing more and more oxidation, the orange and red highlights emerge. The first two steepings had a light bitterness but the tea seems to really open up after this and becomes quite sweet. Very smooth and well balanced with pleasant fruit notes and a gentle honey taste. I experienced a pleasant aftertaste in the mouth and throat and this lingered for quite awhile after finishing the tea session.
Overall the tea is very easy to drink and it reminded me a bit of Jingmai and Yiwu teas. Nicely balanced flavor profile – bitterness and sweetness, fruit and honey with a bit of a nutty accent as well.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
JC

I miss this one :’(

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This is a tea with nice power – the power of rich content. It begins with a bit of astringency and smoke but quickly they both fade away. Next, the herbal and grassy notes move forward and become more prominent with a lovely sweetness poking through. The sip becomes very smooth by the third or fourth steeping and the sweetness begins to break through. After drinking three cups, I am left with a distinct dryness in the mouth and throat. This cake is definitely made with good raw material but it still has room to mature with more age. I’m going to move this one to the back of the humidity monitored sheng cabinet and let it sit for another year or two before trying again.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
tea123

This is one of my favourite teas. When the sweetness and darker flavours appeared an octave apart that ‘ringing’ was much appreciated :)

MzPriss

I love this tea so very very much.

DigniTea

It is a very nice one! Also looks like this will be one of his upcoming price increases.

jschergen

I really like this tea too. Good review and I agree with your assessment.

DigniTea

Nice to see that our tastes align around the good ones, James! ;-)

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The aroma of the cake is quite gentle. Actually, it has a hint of “old library” aroma but rather distant. Lots of nice whole leaves throughout the cake. A lovely clean and clear tea liquor with a distinct orange hue. Low and dark in its sweet aroma and taste – a little nutty and fruity mixed with mellow-earthiness. Good mouthfeel with a smooth texture. Nice full chaqi producing a very relaxed feeling. In about the 9th infusion the tea begins to fade. Interesting tea session which I quite enjoyed. I would not describe this as an “exciting” tea (in other words, it won’t knock your socks off) but I must say that I found it to be delicious and extremely comforting.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Cwyn

I had a bit of this and it is not bad. Doesn’t have the punch of a 7542 for sure though.

DigniTea

Agreed!

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Highly aromatic brick. I have found Manzhuan to be a reliable place for me to find products of great enjoyment to my taste. Man Zhuan is a higher mountain area in the Yi Wu mountains. It is another one of the six famous tea mountains of ancient times located in Xishuangbanna, Yunnan province. Trees of 100 years and older grow organically on Man Zhuan mountain surrounded by natural forest. This brick is a little dark beauty.
The aroma of the dry leaves is pleasingly sweet and offers the characteristic floral scent of Yiwu teas. Began in my usual manner – two quick rinses and then let the wet leaves sit for at least 30m before I prepare the first steeping for tasting. The clear deep gold colored tea soup presents full and thick flavor with a salivation inducing effect. Sweet and buttery hay or grass overtones with a slight stone fruit accent are detected in the early sips. Active on the tongue and throughout the mouth. Produces a nice chaqi. I’m four steepings in and I’ll continue working with the leaves tomorrow.
In summary, this is a smooth tea, not overly aggressive or strong. Deep honey colored tea liquor which yields a thick soup with a smooth, rounded mouthfeel. Nice huigan which leaves a persistent sweetness in the throat. Thick, buttery mouthfeel, with the perfect blend of honey sweetness and bitterness. A comforting and enjoyable puerh brick and a solid tea for the price ($4.10 for a 50g 6+ year old brick).

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 4 OZ / 110 ML
Stephanie

Sounds great :)

DigniTea

Yes, seems nice to me.

Cwyn

Agreed on Manzhuan, have had several and I can reliably expect to like.

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A clean tasting ripe pu-erh devoid of the fermentation “wo dui” taste and aroma. A very interesting shou brick with nice age on it. Sweetness detected throughout the steepings. Quite smooth in the mouthfeel and throat
The large tea leaves yield a dark and clear burgundy-brown tea soup. The first steeping is sweet and spicy and my first taste is mellow and bold without any sign of rough edges. There is a full and smooth body, with nice depth and a lovely flavor palette going on with an appealing mix of wood and leather. The tea liquor has an enduring sweetness to it and a decent aftertaste
Overall: Very clean fermentation and excellent aged taste; flavors of wood, honey and spices. After a total of six or seven infusions, the flavor starts to weaken. I am a fan of this tea.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 4 OZ / 110 ML
tea123

I’m interested to know how creamy this tea is. Is there any milk chocolate in the flavour?

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Ai Lao Mountain is in the Zhenyuan area of Simao. The brick is composed of small spring leaves (mix of whole and pieces) which have become dark brown over almost thirteen years of aging. Produces a pure liquor with a deep golden yellow hue indicating the richness and intensity of the flavor. Rich scents come forth. First sips – straw-like and a little tart; pleasant mouth sensation but not terribly full. The following steepings produce a richer, sweeter tea liquor. The flavors of grain and mushrooms emerge during steepings four through seven. Overall, clean and rounded, smooth, thick mouthfeel without astringency, aftertaste is sweet. A decent, fairly priced small brick ($15 for 90g brick) with nice age made from decent raw material.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 90 ML
tea123

I’m reading that this tea is aged in plastic film, which is something I’ve not come across before.

DigniTea

Mine came wrapped in rice paper. To clarify for others who might read your comment:
“(The) Fu Cha Ju (Tea Co.) wraps puerh products in plastic film (they named it “high-density organic bag”). Mr. Zhang who is the boss of Fu Cha Ju TF said this is very good way to balance maturation without the influence from external environment.

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Youleshan is one of the original six famous tea mountains and it has easily become one of my favorite areas. This cake is made of spring tea leaves harvested from ancient trees on Youle mountain – the whole leaves have aged into a rich, dark brown, with some copper-tinted tips and put forth a gentle sweetness the level of which you don’t often find in a puerh. Typical Youle puerh attributes found in this brick: deep honey golden color and very clean aromatic tea liquor; sweet, mellow and full in the mouth; smooth with a very nice aftertaste and a solid cooling sensation in the throat. A heavy fruitiness is clearly found in the scent that is most satisfying. The sweetness grips hold of the tongue and holds throughout the session. That fruitiness is the type that fills the front of the mouth immediately and makes it instantly appealing while an undercurrent of other tea flavors gather underneath to make themselves known in the throat. Overall, this is a pleasant combination of savory and fruity. An interesting blend of characteristics that settles into a constantly enjoyable tea.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
tea123

Interesting review.

DigniTea

For my preferences, this is a nice tea. Easy to write about.

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The Bangwei Mountain tea forest contains many old tea trees, some 1,700 years in age. It is part of the Lahu Mountain Range in the southwestern corner of Simao. This 2005 Bangwei is definitely not the 2012 Bangwei from Essence of Tea which I thoroughly enjoyed with its honey-sweetness. That said, it does have possibilities for an interesting tea session. Opening the wrapper, I am reminded of a Xiaguan cake for I was first struck with a light smoky scent. The cake has moderate compression so it was easy to pick off tea leaves. Characteristic of factory productions, there is a mixture of whole leaves with stems and pieces. Two quick 5 second rinses and I left the wet leaves to sit in the yixing for about an hour. With the first steep, the tea soup is a deep golden color (on the verge of turning orange) but there is a hint of cloudiness. I do not detect any smoke in the wet leaf and the first sips are thick in the mouth – not sweet but not too bitter either, more a bittersweet. It has a definite mouth-watering characteristic. As I move through multiple steepings, the taste becomes what I would describe as bitter-sour and then sweet. At the end of the tea session, I sense a relaxing effect and a cooling sensation in the mouth and throat. It took me awhile to “warm up” to this tea but I must report that I really enjoy it.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
JC

I’m very satisfied with EoTs Teas so far, if it wasn’t for the exchange rate I would buy more often :P This one you are drinking sounds like a more traditional take on Puerh, very nice to have, specially during winter.

DigniTea

JC: No question about that but we can’t always drink EoT and TU products. This one is worth owning – decent aging and 20% – 50% of the Eot and TU product prices.

JC

No questioning that! lol Have you tried W2T’s 2000 Fuyuanchang Yibang yet?

DigniTea

JC – Sadly I have not. Thank you for reminding me. Earlier today I opened and picked leaf from three Cha Wang Shop teas to drink over the next week. I’ll try to remember the W2T Yibang and 1-2 others from Paul’s shop to try next week. :)

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Lang He Tea Factory is known for producing fine ripe puerh. Light fermentation which results in it being free of that fishy flavor common in more heavily fermented shu. This is one of the finest Lang He products I have tasted. Clean, smooth and sweet with very high purity of flavor. The 2010 Tea Expo award winner is built upon a foundation of high quality material and it offers high quality flavorful sips through the session. Creamy chocolate notes frequently reveal themselves. This is an easy drinking tea and the moderate price makes it a good candidate for daily drinking. A bit difficult to find for I’ve not seen it listed anywhere except Tea Urchin.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 4 OZ / 120 ML
tea123

I normally find that shu has less complexity that sheng. Did you find that this has more complexity with it being lightly fermented?

DigniTea

I cannot say that this one had more complexity. I agree with your assumption, sheng will yield more complexity due to the natural aging process. I think we’d be hard pressed to find ripes with unusual complexity. That said, this LangHe is a very fine example of quality shu!

MzPriss

I need to dig into my sample of this

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Bio

For me, tea is magical with its ability to transform by bringing one back to center and inspiring both peace and contentment.

Reformed coffee drinker. Switched to tea as part of my goal to work on living a healthier, more balanced life — haven’t looked back since. I enjoy most tea types but I cannot handle jasmine or other florals and I’m not particularly fond of bergamot. Moved quickly into unflavored blacks and puerhs and seldom drink anything else. Now most of my purchases are puerh cakes for aging.

I no longer assign numerical ratings to teas because our enjoyment of tea is very subjective. Reactions to a particular tea vary from person to person and within the same person across different tasting sessions. My tea notes are now simply comments reflecting my impression at that specific point in time. They are useful to me and if they happen to be helpful to someone else that is good.

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