24 Tasting Notes
I got a 25g sample of this one as part of a Mengku sampler pack. I am very impressed! Strong golden color, the initial flavors are a floral mintyness with a slight hint of citrus. The aftertaste has a mild bitterness and astringency, some faint hui gan and maybe a hint of some roasted straw. The flavor profile is very complex and well balanced with no one flavor standing out. I could spend all day picking out different flavors in this tea. It also has a strong deep meditative cha qi to it. I wouldn’t want to do anything that required higher though after drinking this, like taking a math test, but more so I’d rather hang out in a mountain meadow next to a tree and a gentle brook and just relax for a few hours. After sampling this, I’m strongly considering buying a cake if I can find one. Excellent potential for long term storage!
Fairly loose compression on this one. The little 100g cake split clean in half with one insertion of the pu erh knife. Below boiling water temp, quick rinse and 10s for the first steep. As I was sitting down for the first cup something didn’t feel right. I took one sip, but felt compelled to dump the first steeping so I did. Second steeping around 15s. The color is very light like “did I steep this long enough” light… golden yellow. Dominant notes of grasses and straw with lighter notes of floral, perhaps lotus, and very mild bitterness. Perhaps it was expectation, perhaps it was the tea, but I definitely noticed a significant glowing, warming, expansion of the heart center more-so than from any other tea I’ve had which was pleasant. I was also dealing with some Snickers ice cream bar induced nausea which was quelled after a few cups. Remind me that ice cream is not in my best interest.
After my first steeping I noticed an aftertaste of honey while waiting for water to warm for more steepings. Subsequent steepings saw the grassy, straw notes fade while floral sweetness and honey notes came more to the forefront. Simply wonderful cha qi with the aforementioned heart center feeling as well as a calming, everything is fine in the world, sense. I’m really enjoying this one right now.
I read that the 7572 recipe is the benchmark for ripe pu erh, kind of a standard of quality used to compare other shou pu erh’s to. I bought this 2010 version over a year ago, but haven’t opened it. I prefer my shou’s to be 5+ years of aging for most cakes so I let this one sit. Today I was at a friend’s and we sat down for some tea and chose a 7572 he had just opened. We probably used 9g in a 180ml yixing, rinse and short steeps 3-5 seconds. The brew was nice and dark brown with a sweet welcoming scent. My first taste caused a reaction of ahhhhhh yeah, I see! It has a classic Menghai shou taste, rich but not too strong with flavors of mushroom and chocolate with an earthy note distant in the background. It was truly very tasty. I can see why it is the benchmark for shou quality. This could easily be a go to shou, an every day drinker for shou lovers. I’d be interested to try one with a couple more years of aging, but this is certainly an excellent shou worthy of the benchmark label.
Flavors: Chocolate, Mushrooms
Today I sat down with the last of my second brick of the 2010 version of Menghai’s Lao Cha Tou ripe pu erh brick. I’ve now gone through 500g of this stuff. My remaining chunk was around 9g so I just used the whole thing in a 185ml yixing instead of having 2 smaller weaker sessions. Also, it’s nice to finish with a tea in my daily rotation box as it makes room to take a new one out of storage and add it to the rotation! :)
I like this tea because it is deep, dark, rich, and creamy. Perfect when I’m in the mood for a creamy rich decadent puerh that gives and gives. I’m on my 7th steeping at 15s and the liquor is black, and I mean BLACK! I can hardly see through it when I’m pouring the tea into the pitcher or cup! And that’s after SEVEN steepings!!! The flavor profile is not very complex… notes of dark chocolate syrup, leather, and perhaps a hint of dark cherry wood. Very dark and rich. Not much in the way of cha qi, and some mild hui gan in the early steepings.
This tea becomes interesting in the later steepings as the leaf portions start to open up and change while the nuggets are still giving strength to the tea. In typing this I moved on to my 8th steeping at 20s… still black, but now I can see through it when I hold it up to the light. I love it! I’ll probably approach 20 steepings of this tea today. While it’s nothing too spectacular this is a great tea for a dark, rich shou pu erh experience. Another solid shou from Menghai.
EDIT: On my 17th steeping now, the tea is still giving a golden – amber colored liquor and has really opened up with a deep soft lingering sweetness after an early punch of mushroom with light floral essence. Still tasty!
Flavors: Dark Chocolate, Dark Wood, Leather
This tea was pretty good, as to be expected from a Dayi shou. I used 8g in my 185 yixing for a nice since I wanted a strong tea this Sunday morning. Strong dark liquor, almost black (I love it when a shou comes out dark black!) with notes of leather, raisin, cocoa, and perhaps a little sawdust (or at least the texture was reminiscent of sawdust in some way, maybe not the taste… I don’t want that to sound bad as sawdust is not particularly yummy lol). I noticed a little cooling on the mouth after drinking which lingered for a few minutes, and not terribly strong qi but present. I probably didn’t like it as much as others here but it is a good tea.
Flavors: Cocoa, Leather, Raisins, Sawdust
I thoroughly enjoy this tea. I bought a cake a couple years ago and went through it pretty fast. From what I remember it is a light shou, not too dark or earthy but with a light finish and uplifting energy. It is aptly named “Clouds”. My most memorable experience with this tea is that I brought it in a tea thermos during the birth of my first child. I went through several steppings as we waited nearly 11 hours from the time we got to the hospital until her birth. I ordered another cake and will likely keep it for storage until I can share it with my daughter and tell her that this is the same tea your dad was drinking on the day you were born. Obviously, this is a special tea for me.
So I asked for and received this tea as a Christmas gift. I figured since it is such a young tea I’d just store if for a few years before opening it, so I put in away and didn’t even try it. Now it’s July and I keep reading how awesome this tea is. Then I read how it’s almost sold out and I think to myself what if I’m missing out on one of the best teas one can buy? So… I tried it…
After a short rinse I smelled the leaves. This is one of my favorite parts of the tea experience, second only to the cha qi of the tea. My first impression was whaaaaaaat is THIS!!! I had never smelled such a scent from a tea before, smoky, sweet, floral tones. I did a short steep of 10 seconds with ~200 degree water and sat down for a taste. The smokiness of this tea is abundant with rich flower essence, undertones of straw and sage. By the end of the first session I was already feeling the cha qi which I did not expect. The cha qi was a very introspective experience for me, blurring the edges of my consciousness yet focusing and brightening my present experience. As I was half way through my third steeping I realized that this tea has virtually no bitterness at all, a rarity in a sheng and something I cherish in a sheng as well! I’m sold… this tea is damn good! I bought 2 more to age while I put this one in my tea for a special occasion stash. Truly a wonderful tea, and only in it’s infancy! I can’t wait to taste it when I’m 60! Hahahaha, if I can hold off on drinking it for that long! ;)
Flavors: Flowers, Sage, Smoke, Straw
This is really a great roasted oolong! The tea has good warmth with notes of honey, distant smokiness, and a rich base of… well… deliciousness! My wife loves this one, I could not keep her out of it! My first 50g I got probably only got 4-5 cups worth as I rotated this with other teas. Well, she just went straight for it every time until it was gone! I’ve reordered this one several times and have even kept a pack hidden from my wife to see what flavors it will develop after a couple years. Certainly this is one of the better oolongs I’ve tried.