Menghai Tea Factory(obtained from mandala tea)

Recent Tasting Notes

93

YUM! boychik has sent me some of the best shus!

This one is smooth and SWEET. It is lightly earthy and has a dark fruity note floating around. I did a long-ish steep and I’m really enjoying the bold flavor :)

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Thanks to mrmopar for this sample. It’s a mellow and woody tea with a hint of cinnamon. The liquor is rich and dark, like coffee. There is some earthiness there, and no off flavours at all. I would say that this is a very comfortable tea to drink, and I have been very comfortable drinking it since yesterday.

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I believe Bonnie wrote the definitive tasting note on this one two years ago. As I was writing my own review for my blog I kept noticing how nearly identical my experience was to hers – minus the sexy dating analogy (wow, hot stuff). For me this was a necessary session to overcome yesterday’s over indulgences. Way over did it. This one helped calm the stomach and left me with a pleasant calming peace that was remarkable spiritual like. I have never thought to actually use puerh in my private devotion time but maybe I will give it a go one day soon. Anyway, starts mellow with mineral, cedar, and horse tack notes. Blossoms later with bold flavors of browned cedar and horse tack. Then drifts back into more mellow but pronounced mineral and cedar, and ending with pleasant leather notes. Excellent cha qi.

TheTeaFairy

Inspirational.

mrmopar

Yum Yum!

gmathis

1 Timothy 6:17 …. the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy. Pu-erh counts!

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i enjoyed this tea for 2 days.
100ml gaiwan 5g 212F
Rinse, rest, 5/5/10/10/15/15/20/20/ etc
Wet leaves smell of prunes and apricots. this tea is very clean, burgundy clear, no off taste . It is sweet with some spice notes,maybe like cinnamon. had a tingling sensation. Also this tea is very creamy. call me crazy but i can compare all those notes to plum pudding.

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

Sounds wonderful :)

DeliriumsFrogs

Did you say Plum Pudding!? Yum! This sounds absolutely fantastic!

boychik

i think i’ll buy the whole cake.

DeliriumsFrogs

Yeah, this is definitely going on my ‘wish list’… I’m just staring at it on the site right now. lol

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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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83

I traveled to northern Minnesota to visit my parents for spring break instead of going south as most sane people do. I did bring along my yixing and my dad gave me a large chunk of this tea to try. As I am delayed from driving home due to 5 inches of snow covering icy roads on April 1st, I decided to try the adorned in red, since it is pretty obvious I am going nowhere for a while!

My first reaction upon this tea is the wonderful cedar wood like aroma and flavor this tea has. I am on a fourth steeping of this and this cedar aroma/flavor continues to present itself more subtly each steep. It is giving way to a more mellow mineral flavor in the last steeping. This is a really nice and unique pu’er. I haven’t tried anything quite like it! It is a welcome surprise as I sit here watching the snowfall wondering if I am just the unluckiest guy on the planet or if there is some celestial April Fools joke being played on me right now. Either way at least I have a great cup of tea :)

Preparation
Boiling 3 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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I was kindly sent a sample of this tea by a fellow nameless Steepsterite and finally have a chance to try it, having had a throat infection for a week and a half. Tea tasting has not really been on the menu for a while, because I have had my head down finishing my thesis, so it is a real pleasure to come back to it with a solid shu.

The dry leaf smells like Shu with no fishiness or other unpleasant aromas. It’s quite a woody aroma like cedar or something similar. The liquor is medium bodied and dark. The same aroma of cedar is continued in the aroma of the liquor, and also into the taste. It is woody and earthy with a citrus finish that lasts on the tongue and an undertone of cinnamon. All in all a pleasant tea that would be welcome at most times.

Flavors: Cedar, Cinnamon, Earth, Wood

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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91

I’ve been working on this one all day – most enjoyable with good flavor in every cup. Boiling water; (2) 5 second rinses; 30s steep; another 10 seconds added for each steep after the first. Earthy then buttery then creamy. I’m going to order another cake so that I can keep this around for a long time.

mrmopar

Oh yes this is a good one!

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Finishing off my sample of this, swiped from the Here’s Hoping teabox!

Man, being sick sucks, but my yixing pot is loving it! I’ve been steeping pu’er for like 3 days and the pot isn’t flavor sucking now. My yixing pot is having a grand time spending time with me, with the other pots getting all jealous.

Man, this is good, I could buy more of this pu’er. Maybe next Mandala order!

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93

This is my first tea picked by my homemade randomizer. It was one of the ones I was hoping to squirrel but the randomizer picked it and I am a slave to the system. I also didn’t take detailed notes about each steep because I am lazy.

I absolutely loved this tea based completely on the superficial. It’s adorable. It’s so tiny and pretty and the box is purple. The look of it made me happy. Brewed, it’s just magnificent. So sweet and creamy. There are times when I sip this tea and it’s just notes of caramelized dates with that smooth creaminess and it was just perfect. Pure perfection. This is one of the smoothest ripe pu’ers I have ever tried.

I don’t think this will be an everyday tea. Not because I don’t love it to bits and pieces but I want it to last. I am tempted in a big way to buy another one of these and a Red Rhyme.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec
Terri HarpLady

I need to pull this one out, it’s been awhile since I drank it!

mrmopar

This is a good one! Had this myself a while back.

MsWhatsit

I’m a sucker for pretty tea boxes. Glad to hear the tea in it is good too.

mrmopar

Yep the tea is superb in this pretty little box. The have one called “Red Rhyme” that is superb also!

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81

I am digging this one. I’ve been drinking steeps of this over the morning in an effort to hold to my goal of getting through the samples that terri sent me of a variety of puerhs! Initial impressions, so that i don’t lose that is that this is a very creamy puerh. I’m going to toss the leaves to cold brew once i’m done with them just to see how that works but overall impressions of this so far is that this is just delicious!

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Oh man, this is good!

I snagged this tea out of the Here’s Hoping Teabox. This pu’er is really mellow with a sweet cedar taste end of sip. There is a lingering aftertaste of earthy that is really good. No fermentation taste, not mushroomy or smokey. I could be convinced to buy a cake of this, crap, and I just did a Mandala order too. Oh well, next order then.

My husband (he doesn’t like tea) said this one tastes like overly strong chinese restaurant tea. LOL

mrmopar

I just started on a brewing of this Friday and on a cup now. Is there a government conspiracy or something I need to know about? LOL!

mrmopar

The 2010 version of this tea got me started into puerh.

Awkward Soul

I’m still working on this pu’er, it just keeps going with just slight changes to flavor. Yeah, for my first shu cake I was eyeing all Menghais – this one, the purple rhyme and a yellow 100g one, and I ended up with the yellow one, kinda wish I got all 3 lol! (I still need to try the yellow one)

Terri HarpLady

I’ve been eyeing the 3 pack… And the patty cake II … And….

mrmopar

Menghai is pretty good tea. They take a lot of steps to insure their product is not “forged”. If you need any tips or help hit me up I have a small puerh stock and may be able to direct you to some good ones.

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88

This tea is very rich with a slight mineral taste that moves on to an almost oak taste as found in a good dry red wine. This tea brews a nice dark orange color with a light floral or citrus aroma apricot or muskmelon. Easy drinking no bitterness or astringency. Brews up nice and tasty. A nice drink for the end of a long and late work week. Brews up almost creamy. Very good tea.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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100

This is hands down my favorite Shu! Its smooth and full of flavor. I detect notes of raisin and smooth creaminess. I judge all other Shu’s against this. The liquor is bold and full of creamy flavor. Deep red in color. I will always have this as long as its offered.

mrmopar

This is a good one!

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91

My first whole pu’er cake! Woot woot!

This cake is gorgeous! Dark reddish brown in color, nice and tightly pressed. There is a nice, not overly powerful dirt/woodsy smell coming from the cake. Yum.
Carefully broke off a bit of the leaves with my pick; this one flakes apart pretty easily and is nice and dry. The sound the pick makes as it goes into the cake is so relaxing (maybe that’s an odd thing to say, but I couldn’t help thinking it). Love that sound.

Once I brewed this one up, it produced a dark red-brown liqour. It smells sweet, cedar-y, and woodsy with hints of a rich soil. I think I’m really going to love this one (good thing, too, since I have a whole cake!).

Yum. This one is sweet (not fruit sweet, but the kind of sweet you get from chewing on a popsicle stick – if that makes sense to anyone), with wood notes (again, I want to say cedar) and a nice mellow “dirt” taste. This has a thicker mouthfeel than some other pu’er I’ve had recently – it’s nice and smooth. There’s a bit of a zing at the end of the sip, slightly spicy on the back of the tongue. Don’t know how to describe it, but it’s a nice effect.

Glad I took the plunge and bought a cake of this one. I’m really enjoying it! Can’t wait to share with my twin sister when she comes home. She’s really into pu’er…it seems to be the only tea I can get her excited for! She’ll totally love this one. Thanks for providing this cake Mandala Teas!

I want to try this one in the gaiwan next time around.

Off to resteep. I’ll update in a few.

UPDATE: Second steep at about 6 min. A little thinner (not by much, though) than the first steep. Still has a wonderfully woody/sweet flavor with the added bonus of a slightly leathery flavor! The zing at the end of the sip is dialed down a bit, but still present. I’m loving this pu’er!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Kittenna

Mmmm, chewing on a popsicle stick! Memories of early elementary school trips to the local zoo!

Emily M

Ah…childhood memories. =)
Glad somebody else knew what I was on about.

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92

This is so nice tonight. Really mellow and slightly haylike, but there’s a bit of sweetness here too. This almost smells like honey and wood to me.

I’ve debated posting anything about my day yesterday, but it feels good to air it out. While crossing the street yesterday morning, I got hit by a car. Some crazy lady just plowed into me when I was halfway through the crosswalk; she did not stop at the stop sign. Good news: I am okay. After she initially hit me I put out an arm against her hood, thinking she would see me, and when she continued to push me forward I threw myself backwards out of the way of her car. She drove away, never even looked at me or the various people that were honking at her, and she never stopped. I pulled a number of things in my shoulder and around my scapula, bruised my tailbone falling, and have bruises on my legs. Very thankfully, I am alive and not broken. The whole thing still feels really surreal and kind of like a far away movie.

It feels really wonderful right now to just rest and drink some tea.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec
Terri HarpLady

Unbelievable, Claire!
I’m glad you’re ok. Did you report it? That gal shouldn’t be driving!

Sil

O my goodness. I’m so glad you’re ok. What a terrible thing to have happen

Lindsay

yowza. some people. glad to hear you’re ok

K S

Steepster was hanging on to post again. So you are now a day away from the car incident and I can imagine very sore. Recover quickly. Drink lots of tea. It seems to cure everything from what I read on other sites :)

Claire

Thanks for the good wishes!
Terri – I didn’t report it. When it happened I was in shock and ended up getting up and just walking to school. About a half hour later I realized it really hurt. At that point I got checked out by the doctor and called the police, but they said I had to go down to the station to be checked out, and I haven’t had the time/energy to go over there.
K S – Yes, I am very sore! I’m attempting to take it easy, and I am drinking lots of tea. :)

Terri HarpLady

I know in St. Louis they have cameras everywhere now days, which is an irritation, but the accident may be caught on film…
I know that I would never remember what the car looked like even, had I been in your circumstances. Just be gentle with yourself. Sending some good Reiki vibes your way!

ashmanra

Oh my gosh! I will be praying for you today! The soreness after something like that is always nasty!

Claire

Terri – I actually remember that it was a small black car, like a toyota corolla. The lady had long blonde hair and was young too. I have some time in the morning so I will probably try to stop by the station.

I’m happy to say that while I’m still quite sore and bruised, it’s getting better! And now I’m home and can drink puerh to my heart’s content. :)

canadianadia

That’s so scary. It’s so horrifying that you went through that, and it’s especially terrible that that she drove away. I hope your soreness and bruising heal quickly.

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I want to thank Bonnie over and over again for saying she puts her puerh leaves in the fridge to cold steep after she has had some hot steeps of it. I did that two days ago and just let it sit in a big pitcher. I am finally drinking it today and I have to say it is one of the most refreshing things you could possibly imagine.

I posted a link to the recipe for Ent Draught last week, but to me, THIS is what Ent Draught would taste like. It is so perfectly light, refreshing, and clean, clean, clean, while at the same time tasting of purest earth. I think I could actually gulp down the whole pitcher in a very short time, and it is so cooling and uplifting. There is not even a tad of sugar in it. It doesn’t need it.

Ent Draught is supposed to be clear, thus the distilling process, but this is the taste it should have! The color of the cold brew puerh is gorgeous – so orange and clear. It looks like really good Southern sweet tea. I would much rather have this, though.

I am almost looking forward to our sticky summer weather just so I can drink gallons of this!

Bonnie

Someone actually did this! When I made the note I doubted that anyone would make it. (Being a puer after all) I live in a very arid zone at 5000 ft. and hydration is important. The chilled puer IS refreshing and calms your stomach.

ashmanra

This isn’t the first time I have done it since I first saw it in one of your posts, but everytime I do this I think of you! It is the most refreshing thing I think I had ever had. It tastes like the purest water on earth, infused with the flavor of pristine earth and trees! I really want to try to make it as a clear Ent Draught sometime!

Terri HarpLady

I will be trying this soon!

Em

Sounds like something I’d be interested in trying. How long do you let the leaves steep?

Bonnie

For all my cupboard stash, what you don’t see is how frugal I am. My bins are salad containers, half my stash are samples from friends and trades. I don’t throw out tea leaves that still have goodness in them that can be used for cold brewing. My budget has been $15-$20 a month for tea and sometimes I’m down to nothing for months other than going for tea in town which is about $4 a week. It’s my only entertainment outside of TV, so I think people who complain about prices can have lots of tea for less probably if they plan for quality not just quantity. You should explain Ent Draught so others know what that means. We all learn from each other! Maybe when the weather gets warm, we can have a cold tea thread and share what we do!

Bonnie

Oh- I use that bottle top thing that the Tea Spot invented to filter the leaves. What do you use?

ashmanra

Em: I let this steep for two days so far, but I will keep it going in the refrigerator until I drink it all, even if that is a few more days. It was ready to drink probably six or eight hours after putting it in, since it had already been heated once, so the leaves were “open” and saturated and ready to give up their flavor! I also use a glass container because it conducts temp so well and the tea is so very cold.

Ent Draught was a drink described in The Lord of the Rings. The Ents were the ancient tree shepherds and looked like trees themselves. When the Hobbits drank the crystal clear draught, they grew instantly taller. There were two different times it as served to them, and each time it tasted different. I had posted a link to a site where someone had tried to create their own versions of Ent Draught using tea and herbs, but since it was described as being clear they distilled the tea on the stovetop! If I find the link again, I will post it here,

ashmanra

I found a couple of Bodum iced tea pitchers with filter in the lid at TJ Maxx a while back for a really good sale price! That is what I use for cold brewing.

ashmanra

http://foodthroughthepages.com/2012/12/18/ent-draught-the-lord-of-the-rings/
There it is! The description from the book as well as the recipe to imitate are here, but I really truly feel this is a description of white tea for the first, perhaps infused with flowers like jasmine or osmanthus, and jerk tea for the second drink that was given to them.

cryptickoi

cold shu is great…a little citrus(yuzu) in it is good too…

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I drank one steep of my Southern Season puerh and then put the leaves in the fridge to cold brew a pitcher of iced tea. I was feeling unsatisfied, puerh-wise, so I decided to treat myself to several steeps of Purple Rhyme.

I love the box it came in, the careful wrapping of the paper with such beautiful, uniform folds, the stamp that holds the paper tight. I love the care used to present this product to me.

The tea is really dark, because I love strong, smooth puerh and I let it steep longer than most people do. The taste is fresh and so clean.

Bonnie

Pour me a cup!

ashmanra

Come on over! Do you like to make cards and dance with the dog?

K S

Are you setting her up for a bad date?

ashmanra

Nope, for a good time! :D

Bonnie

I can think of a better time than dancing with the dog! I’ll take the tea and dance with K S! (Any other offers?!)

K S

Bonnie, if I could dance it would be my honor. Can we still have puerh?

gmathis

Cutting and gluing party at ashmanra’s house! I’ll start packing!

mrmopar

Ha, I am in for that one! This is a really good pu-erh I enjoy this one a lot.

ashmanra

Woo hoo! This is gonna be the most exciting weekend I have ever had!

mrmopar

Yes but with good pu-erh there will always be a crowd!

mrmopar

The heck with the cup! Can i have the whole pot?

ashmanra

LOL! Sure! We’ll make several pots! Look what you started, Garret.

Bonnie

Hey,if Garret’s coming he can bring another beeng! I’ll bring snacks!

Terri HarpLady

Ooooh, purple rhyme! Yum, I got me some a few weeks ago!
And I will dance with the dog!

ashmanra

At this rate, we’ll need another beeng! And Terriharplady: I will tell Mr. Samwise to practice his steps!

Bonnie

We really do need a steepster cruise or vacation event!

Terri HarpLady

We should plan our own Steepster convention… July anyone?

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34

Brick

Appearance: woody black pu-erh chips off a larger brick
Aroma when Dry: sweet, nutty cocoa earthy, floral notes
After water is first poured: tart, sour, earthy,
At end of first steep: sour, peaty
Tea liquor:
At first?
At end of steep: hints of clay red
Staple? No
Preferred time of day: unsure
Taste:
At first?: bitter, metallic tang, earthy notes
Additives used (milk, honey, sugar etc)? No
Lingers? Yes, metallic notes

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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