Menghai Tea Factory

Recent Tasting Notes

Typical Menghai Dayi production in the look, aroma and taste. I do not suggest this in a bad way just saying that it is not that distinctive from other decent Dayi factory blends – it is reliably a Menghai Dayi ripe puerh. Rich in color; pleasant in aroma; mellow and rich in taste –woodsy, a little sweet with hints of stonefruit. Worthy purchase as a Menghai Dayi “building block” in your shou collection.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 4 OZ / 125 ML
Stephanie

my brain made me read that as “pillow taste” the first time, heh

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80

A perfectly fine ripe Dayi, though not as smooth and flavorful as their top products in my book.

mrmopar

Stronger than most other Dayi.

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Dayi introduced this tea to offer an improved version of their classic 7572. The tea produces a clear red-brown broth with sweet mellow flavor and a nice creamy aftertaste. Cake is of medium compression and fairly easy to pick apart; dark brown leaf with a good amount of golden buds. The “staying power” is most impressive – the leaf keeps giving and giving. The leaf quality is so high that I could begin with flash steepings – add water to 5g of leaf and pour it right into the cup. I’ve done 2 rinses and five infusions and I’m only up to 5 sec. A cake worth owning.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
DigniTea

Shorter life than expected; did not get as many flavorful resteeps as I had hoped for but the first six are definitely good. Maybe more time needed beginning with #7. I did 15s on #7 and then 25s on #8.

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This is a highly regarded Dayi shu and I now understand why – smooth and mellow; very easy to drink over and over again. Medium compression of dark leaf with golden tips sprinkled throughout. Fairly easy to pick apart. Red-brown tea soup; flavors of cedar in early cups becoming more like oak in later cups; sweetness found in each. The tea is lightly fermented – ready to drink now but due to this lighter fermentation, also likely to continue changing as it matures. Therefore, I am enjoying and sharing this cake now and I have another cake on the way to me to hold for 3-5 years. This is a solid shu with a very appealing flavor profile – not complex but a very clean, nice sip.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
MzPriss

Sounds yummy!

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86

This is a very good sheng. It is smooth after the first two infusions. It is not as good as the 2014 Mandala Wild Monk but has more of an aged taste. The bitterneess disappears after the third infusion. I steeped this seven times for 15 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 15 sec, 30 sec, 30sec and 30 sec. It does not have any real young sheng bitterness left except in the first infusion.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 4 OZ / 125 ML
boychik

love the setup

AllanK

I have about six gaiwans but this is the coolest.

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Quite a smooth, mellow, and sweet shou. For me, this probably ranks a bit under the 2011 Menghai Dayi 100 Tribute shou. Nothing I have had so far has been able to top that. Still, this is such a gentle yet flavorful tea that it truly deserves to be experienced with few distractions. Subtly complex. Incredibly sweet and creamy throat.

I chose to try this out while watching the latest episode of Korra (episode 10) and boy, was that a great choice! By far the best episode of Korra ever produced. It was everything. When I met Sifu Kisu (the martial artist who comes up with all of the bending) he talked a bit about the upcoming Korra episodes and explained that there are some great things in store. This episode was without a doubt one of the things he was talking about. And pairing experiencing such a great show with experiencing such a great tea equaled one of the best mornings I’ve had in a very long time.

boychik

It’s more expensive than 100 tribute.

Tea Pet

Ugh… I deleted my comment by accident.

Yeah. There is so much hype about the Golden Needle White Lotus teas. I think that excitement around them has probably played a part in the high pricing and the amount of fakes that are produced. With that said, I would like to try some of the other years, however, I doubt I will ever buy full cakes of them. I’d much rather spend my money on some 100 tributes! :)

boychik

I ordered some Golden Needle White Lotus Yubang
http://www.tuochatea.com/yubang-golden-needle-white-lotus-p285/
I think Rich said it was good. Still awaiting since end of June . They probably use sea turtles for delivery ;)

mrmopar

The tribute is a good one. I really like it.

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88

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

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 9 g 6 OZ / 180 ML
mrmopar

Yeah this is a good one.

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95

I haven’t had this one for a while but I can still remember the flowery chrysanthemum taste and not-so-earthy or heavy Pu-Erh (just right, apparently not aged though). After multiple steeping, rice flavor may appear, but the tea is still surprisingly strong. Even if it’s cheap, one tuocha makes about 1l of acceptably tasting tea.
Actually helps against cold and minor liver disease as ybtea.com claims.

Flavors: Earth, Flowers, Fruit Tree Flowers, Rice, Round

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 5 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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84

I purchased this tuo from Yunnan Sourcing and I am tasting it 4 years later than the previous reviewer. This tuo is what I have been looking for in a sheng, smoky and tasting like it came out of an aged wooden cask. I packed the Yixing with this one. Liquor looks like a warmed brandy, a hot toddy. Smells spicy and like old oak. Two rinses.

This is the sort of sheng that separates the men from the boys and women from the girls. Think poker lounge and fine cigars, in fact I lit up a cigar and this tea cuts right through. Lingers on the palate smoking up your tongue. Short steeps and yes it is still bitter if you steep too long, I am at ten steeps now, and still not past 20 seconds but then I packed the pot full so it will likely go on. The tea is not your floral,orchid, write home to mother tea. This is deal the cards or you’re out.

Still only 9 years in for age on this. I am not sure my own storage will do anything to improve this further. It would need a careful humidity, the nest shaped tuo isn’t too difficult to pry apart as it would have been a few years ago. The leaves are whole if you can be careful and digging around I found several 1 bud/1 leaf sets, green after a few steeps with orange around the edges, just what I want to see. However, this is one of those tuos probably meant for like Tibet or wherever, it is not subtle by any stretch. Not sour, but it is a man’s and strong woman’s tea. Cowboy hat and britches, people. Just what I have been looking for.

Flavors: Spices, Tobacco, Whiskey, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec
SimpliciTEA

I was smiling the whole time I was reading this review.

I can’t wait until I get cakes that are of enough quality that I can find full leaf and bud sets in them!

Cwyn

Yeppers, I would kneel on the train tracks for more of this tea! Ordered a pack of tuos.

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93

I bought this tea several years ago and was not impressed. Not realizing that I had already tried it, I bought another tuocha and was thoroughly impressed the second time around! Prepared in a gaiwan, the first 3 steepings were rich and creamy, dark with notes of coca and molasses. The following few steepings opened up with the sweetness spreading out and hints of floral earthiness coming out. The tea leaves to not steep very many times, but this is a great tea.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 4 OZ / 130 ML

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92

This variety is often touted as one of the best ripe pu-erh’s out there, but I must say it did not live up to the hype. That’s not to say this tea is not good, in fact it is very good, but not the best. I have had 5-10 variteies that I enjoy more, but the Golden Needle White Lotus is indeed an excellent tea. For me it’s lacking in complexity. The tea liquor is smooth and sweet and goes down with almost no effort or resistence. The taste is slightly malty, sweet, with very little earthy taste. Again, there is very little complexity which was disappointing, but this is still a top notch Dayi tea. At the price though… I’m not sure I’ll be buying another cake. I’ll just ration out the one I have now. :)

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 6 OZ / 185 ML

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77

Absolutely no “funk” smell or taste that you get with a lot of Shu. Super clean and smooth. There’s a bit of a nice roast of meat that’s been cooked on the grill in the scent of wet leaves.

Initially I got some vanilla upfront but that goes away very quickly. Mostly getting wood and light smoke. I kind of want to say a sort of wool sort of flavor as well, and maybe a slight touch of watered down coffee.

Pretty solid shu, but nothing spectacular in the depth of flavor. Maybe age will bring out some more of the vanilla and maybe some sweetness.

Flavors: Meat, Smoke, Vanilla, Wood

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

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86

My second pu erh from Tuocha today! Another good one at a great price. The first few steeps were a bit subdued, with somewhat damp flavor. Then, after about 4 infusions, it got much nicer. Fruitiness, and still thick, slight astringency. All in all a tea worth trying!

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97

last night i took my newly seasoned Yixing and made it. it was nice but i think my Yixing is absorbing too much flavor. it was bold smooth and flat… On one hand, it left me disappointed, on the other – if i won’t make any tea in this Yixing it will never be useful.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 tsp 5 OZ / 150 ML
TeaBrat

When I was first using mine, I would leave teas in there overnight. I think that helped the process along…

boychik

I dont know, its too hot now. i’m afraid it will get mold. i took leaves out for the night, but now im back to brewing. i dont have to drink it, i just want to speed up the seasoning. i do leave overnight in gaiwan or glass gongfu pot because im lazy;)

TheTeaFairy

I do the same as Teabrat, I seasoned one for 2 years like that, every time I had tea, I left tea overnight, never saw mold. It’s a great way to speed up the process I think. (Then I broke it a few months ago. Sad. )

boychik

Did you leave leaves or brew? i might leave brew overnight. Broke?! it is sad, how did it happen?

TheTeaFairy

Both the brew and the leaves. I’d empty it first thing in the morning. I usually have pu’erh at night so it sat there a max. of 8 hours really.
Lol, my own clumsiness! I broke three within 2 months! That’s why I have three brand new Yixing pots sitting there looking pretty…unseasoned! Figured they are safer this way:-)

TeaBrat

I left in the brew and the leaves as well. Definitely helpful if you don’t want your tea to end up tasting like clay.

mrmopar

Just leave the tea in there tipped up in a cup to drain and you should be fine. I brew for a couple of days like this sometimes.

boychik

Thanks will follow your advice;)

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100

This is one pu erh I always have on hand. I’m not sure why but it’s my favorite. It’s sweet, earthy, and has a nice floral note. Always my go to tea when I’m not sure what to have.

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Last night I ran several pots of hot water through my new yixing teapot. Then I used a cheap shu to brew a pot and let it set and steep to help season it before pouring it out. I chose this 2010 Menghai Dayi today for my first session. I like the rich cedar and spice of this one with underlying leather notes. I imagine this early in the life of this pot I am imagining it but the flavors do seem more pronounced. Good start.

I know next to nothing about Yixing. I’ll do a formal review after spending some time with it. This is a very inexpensive machine molded pot. I am OK with that. It has what appears to be hand added graphics lightly etched on the sides. This one will hold about 10 oz and looks much larger than I expected and is quite heavy for its size. I have never used or even held a pricey Yixing so I can’t compare. I am sure the experts could easily tell. What I know is, the pot was hot and the handle stayed cool. it pours well without making a mess and only a small amount of leaf passed in to my cup. I couldn’t be more pleased at this time.

Terri HarpLady

I love my little 4oz yixings. Congratulations!
:)

boychik

Congrats on new Yixing! Can you post a pick, please ?

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91

This is an excellent tea. I ordered mine from tuocha. It brews a nice golden color, all the way through several infusions. The flavor is smooth, with little astringency. Some fruity notes come in at the later infusions. It’s flavor is simple but quite nice, and I enjoyed drinking something with a little age to it. I would highly recommend trying this cake if you want to get some idea about what aging will do to a pu erh, and you don’t have tons of money to spend.

mrmopar

Excellent choice.

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The reggular pu er tea. No specific taste. Good color, good pu er taste. Can note nothing

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93

First steep 10 seconds in boiling water after a quick rinse…
Subtle sourdough flavor with just a hint of earthiness
and a shy sweetness towards the end of the sip.
No bitterness, astringency, no fishy taste…very nice.

Preparation
Boiling
CelebriTEA

Second 10second steep…very similar although slightly sweeter

CelebriTEA

3&4 steeps similar and lovely…
steep 5 down to your average green ;-)

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Continuing on with this again today. The sample I have is formed in approx 1 inch squares that are easy to separate but the leaf itself is very densely packed. I thought it might take a few extra seconds to get this going again from yesterday. I was wrong. I almost got it too dark at 30 seconds. Just a hint of roughness late in the sip but that is because I should have gone half the steep time. Still very easy to drink. This is a good one.

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I am not entirely sure I am reviewing this in the correct place. This was given to me and mine has “Love of Dayi” on the bag in addition to 2010 Menghai Brick.

I love little brickettes and touchas. I don’t have to figure out how much to use. This one is quite solid. Even after steeping for 45 seconds. I’ll be spending a lot of time with it tomorrow. After steeping the aroma is kind of 4-H barn. But the taste is really nice. It is horse tack and cedar. Smooth as silk. There are no rough edges that need tamed here. Very easy to sip of chug if you are so inclined. Kind of sweet. Me and my Splenda monkey like that. A very enjoyable pu’erh.

Christina

Which vendors do you prefer buying pu’erh from? I had a pu’erh tea earlier this week that I really enjoyed, but have so little knowledge that I don’t know where to go next. I took a look at the Yunnan Sourcing site but they have so many options that it’s overwhelming.

gmathis

Nice to have a fellow Steepie who knows what a 4H barn smells like! Had to run farm errands for my Dad today and got nostalgic whiffs at the MFA grain elevator and Orscheln Farm Supply. Can’t replicate those smells anywhere. (And they had baby bunnies and chicks!)

K S

Christina – head over to the discussion forum and ask the bunch in the “Puerh of the day: Sheng or Shou” thread. They know what they are talking about. I just get lucky.

Gmathis – would miss the 4-H barn, its accompanied by elephant ears and pork burgers. Orscheln – I didn’t realize it was a chain (there is one just a couple miles from my house, but yes to bunnies and chicks!

boychik

Christina, YS is amazing. So is Puerhshop.com. But you should do some hw. I suggest you to follow mrmopar notes. I learned a lot fr his notes.

TeaExplorer

Christina, I agree with boychik in that YS and PuerhShop.com are reputable vendors with a wide selection. Sifting through their offerings can be daunting, so following mrmopar and the “pu-erh of the day. Sheng or Shou” discussion can prove enlightening. In the beginning I ordered a ton of samples just to start making sense of the array of choices before committing to a lot of full amounts, which helped. Also, the Steepster community is a great group in which to ask questions. They’ve always been patient and helpful to me.

mrmopar

Christina, just followed you. Glad to help. KS I think this was a 2010 7562 brick . You got it right probably a mislabel. Also I recommend the Mandala site also. If you need sellers from abroad contact me before you get anything.

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I’ve spent most of this week enjoying the last of the sample I was sent. It has been a real pleasure to drink this tea, even though my life seems to be too busy and my mind racing too much to sit down and think hard about what I am drinking. The mellow character of the tea has forced a certain amount of calm. Nice.

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