Menghai Tea Factory(obtained from mandala tea)Edit Company
Popular Teas from Menghai Tea Factory(obtained from mandala tea)See All 3 Teas
Recent Tasting Notes
This classic Menghai Dayi blend is a lighter fermentation shou and considered a standard setter. It does a good job of delivering on the typical characteristics of the well known Dayi factory shous – blend of larger and smaller leaves and pieces, dark reddish brown tea soup, appealing smooth and mellow sip with rich flavor, woody sweet aftertaste, good durability for resteeps. Already six years of aging but it has the strength of character to continue to improve with age.
I had a really nice session with this last night. The sweet date/raisin notes are nice, and the Shou is smooth. I got more sweetness from smelling the lid of my gaiwan! I really like this one, but the cake is so tightly compressed, it’s intimidating. I broke more off than I needed last night just so I wouldn’t have to next time. It was kind of therapeutic, ha!
This is probably the oldest puerh I’ve tried so far. It had such great reviews and was very affordable, so I picked up a cake in my last order. It comes beautifully packaged…almost didn’t want to break the seal and keep it that way like my husband likes to do with some of his collectors items. I used to think that was ridiculous, but I can see it now (don’t tell him!). ;)
I had a really rough time picking pieces off this cake to brew….and yes, there was blood, from my little pinky! I also ripped the nice paper! Nooo! Note to self: get a puerh breaking tray.
This brews up super dark. The minute I poured water over the leaves I got this hit of sweet raisin in the aroma! Ooooh!
The taste is smooth and dark and the sweet raisin/date notes come in at the end of the sip in the aftertaste. Yum!
Definitely more dominant sweetness of raisin and dates in the 5th steep. So good. Very glad to have this in my cupboard, but I’m a little scared for my next cake breaking session!
another day….another puerh. :) This one comes from Boychik I chose this one to drink today, while i putter around the house getting ready for this afternoon’s meet up. Bonny is visiting here so a few of us are getting together this afternoon to hang out. :)
So far this has been a really smooth journey. This isn’t BOLD, in your face sort of puerh…it’s a mellow, soothing, relaxing sort of drink. more to come likely once i get home.
Yummy yummy. Menghai makes some good tea.
I tell you what, I think this might be the best Shou I’ve tasted so far. There’s different kind of Shou for different kind of folks.
For me, this is what I like. No funkiness, very little wood, slight hit of sweetness, smooth and creamy.
Wet leaves are just like freshly polished shoe leather. You get a little bit of that in the flavor. Cake is real tight but I got off a nice couple chunks with a knife.
This is all good and a quality product from Mandala.
Flavors: Creamy, Leather, Raisins
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.
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.
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.
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!
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
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!
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
At end of steep: hints of clay red
Preferred time of day: unsure
At first?: bitter, metallic tang, earthy notes
Additives used (milk, honey, sugar etc)? No
Lingers? Yes, metallic notes
just had this one after drinking the 2009 version last night. this tea has really added a depth of flavor with another year under its belt. this cake is drier than the 2009 cake. much easier to break apart. not really much of an odor. no off smells on the dry cake. almost a dusty dirt road aroma. gave a 15 second wash. poured the first cup after a 15 second steep in the yixing. the color went from light to very dark at the end of the pour. the whole cup ended up looking like a strong cup of black coffee. rich and woody in the mouth with a sweetness at the end. very enjoyable on a cold windy winter night. very warming. second brew as dark as the first,yummy. now excuse me please i am off to enjoy the second cup and it looks like this will give at least 6 infusions as the 2009 did. gotta go tea awaits.
Thank you mrmopar for this Pu-erh sample
With Steepster down, I had time to reflect on some things that have been on my mind.
My writing has been slushy. You know…when I try to write and for whatever reason I just don’t sound like myself. I haven’t been able to figure out what’s wrong.
Sunday, I was invited to be in a Google+ live video tea group with people in various parts of the World. I was the least tea educated person, the dumb one in the group but ready to learn. Most of the others spoke Chinese, owned tea companies etc. As we discussed the tea of the week, I became sicker and sicker and almost had to sign off early. Something was wrong with me.
The rest of that day I had a terrible migraine that felt like the flu.
Monday came and Steepster was down. I had the flu-like symptoms still hanging on, coming and going with body aches and nausea.
What had caused my illness?
When I was on the chat Sunday I was sitting by a window with the curtains closed. However, there was still enough bright light outside that even though I was wearing my dark glasses, the light made me sick! Isn’t that crazy?
Why am I telling this story?
I was thinking last night about this time of year and writing about tea. I remembered that in the Winter when the barometer changes setting off my migraines almost every few days, I write more from the heart.
I see clearly, listen better, appreciate my time with tea in a deeper way. Life is more precious.
Could this be why I haven’t been myself? Did I need this malady to write better?
Embracing what is ahead with all it’s difficulties far outweighs the pain. My experience in the quiet places where there is true beauty, is why I began my journey with tea in the first place.
There’s no place to hide from difficulties in this life, it’s how we use what we go through or have gone through that matters.
I’m glad to return to the place of struggle even though I’m sure to complain now and then.
Timing and prep.
Gaiwan 4oz. 30 sec. rinse and 30 sec. steeps.
Wet leaf scent changes! Here’s what I like to do.
First, I put my nose over the rising steam and breathe it in and out, deeply.
Next, I put my nose closer and almost hyper-ventilate, then back away and come closer again.
Finally, I pass the leaves side to side at a distance of about
7 inches to catch a lighter scent.
I smell the leaf aroma hot, warm and cold.
These particular leaves smelled like Nilla Vanilla Wafers and Camphor then later like light Leather, Bread and Earth, then Light Leather and a Sweetness which is where it remained.
The first steeping was salty and tasted like a Trisket Crackers, not sweet but smooth. The finish had a little sour black current flavor.
The second steeping was strong, dark like coffee and tasted like cedar, rasins and velvety 90% chocolate. I was so intrigued by the idea of the chocolate that I sweetened the end of the tasting which didn’t mask the flavors but removed the bitterness almost entirely.
Steeping three was lighter with a salty/savory cedar flavor becoming peppery at the end and astringent. I was distracted by my own awareness of well-being. My nausea was gone and I was feeling such a great sense of gratitude for what this Pu-erh was giving to me.
Ah the forth steeping and beyond. This is where I believe the Pu-erh was at home. Lighter, sweeter with a cinnamon spicy taste and less cedar. There was so much light and smoothness here without having lost body.
At one point I added sweetening to see what would happen for those who sweeten Pu-erh and found that the flavor didn’t change
(some Pu-erh’s take on a floral or caramel taste with sweetening) but remained spicy.
A solid, recommended Pu-erh!
Personal Notes about Pu-erh:
I’ve found Pu-erh to be a faithful friend. Since my Migraines and Fibromyalgia both have chosen to attack my core more than anywhere else on my body, my stomach area is often twisted with nausea and pain. My back hurts and bones ache.
When I drink Pu-erh, the nausea and pain are greatly reduced without an upset stomach. Pretty wonderful benefit for me wouldn’t you agree!
Thanks mrmopar for this Pu-erh sample!
A day at home with rain expected in the afternoon was the perfect setting for Pu-erh sipping with steeping multiple times.
As I made my preparations, I was suspended in a timeless space with the thrill, the drama of what was to happen next?
Steeping times: After a 30 second rinse, the steeping for the first 3 sessions was 30 seconds, the 4th was 1 minute.
The wet leaves smelled like sweet dark chocolate, then light leather with raisen and chocolate, then faint leather and sweet.
The color of the leaves changed at the end to dark Jade Green!
The color of the liquor was light brown on the first steeping becoming dark red brown on steeping 2 and 3, dark golden brown on steep 4.
The process of discovery was like a first date. The tea flirted a little, let me get just a hint of flavor to see if I’d respond. A bit of cedar, sweetness and some slight dryness on the tongue. Nothing to write home about but not scary either. Pretty smooth.
(The tea was obviously, holding back and waiting for the right moment to reveal it’s true personality.)
The second encounter was way more flirtatious, even sexy with a baked cedar plank dryness up front becoming smooth on the finish. There was another flavor lurking in the shadows, a secret.
Peach or Cocoa? I needed more time to inquire, to explore again.
The third encounter was not revealing. I sensed that something wasn’t right. The flavor was so much lighter. Wasn’t the water hot enough? Was the steeping too short? (I always blame myself, never the tea first!)
I decided to become bolder, demanding more now that we had spent considerable time together. I felt that we knew each other well enough. My instincts told me that if I pushed a little bit, there was great strength of character just under the surface.
I challenged the timing increasing it 3 fold.
The Pu-erh held steady without a flinch but it looked different.
The liquor had changed to golden brown and the leaves to jade green.
The flavor was supprisingly very mild, dry cedar, sweet, juicy and easy to drink.
Even with the mild dryness this was a smooth tea with no harshness.
I was expecting some sort of aggressive punch with the longer steep, but that’s not what this Pu-erh was about.
It was kind and mellow, sure to keep me happy for a long time.
(For any off-the-wall people who add sugar on occasion to pu-erh, well after the 4th steeping I checked it out and the caramel flavor that appears with sweetening is very nice!)
This pu’erh was bolder in flavor and darker in color than the other samples. It also had considerably more of that pu’erh sweetness to it, and despite being bold it was still mellow. It had strong wood notes of cedar and oak, and also had a distinct “wild mushroom” flavor to it.
Overall I think seemed to be the finest and highest quality of the pu’erhs Mr. Mopar sent me
Got this with a sample from Garret at Mandala. Went to purchase after tasting it has blown me away I think this will put me on a quest to have at least two of these cakes one for now and one for later! The complexities are hard to describe, it has put me to find more! I am very pleased with this cake. Smooth mellow rich aromas with no young shu odor,one of the best I have had a chance to try! I think this one gets a 100 rating for me. be sure to steep multiple times.