Menghai Tea Factory

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Recent Tasting Notes

Today, courtesy of a very kind Steepster friend, was our first experience with this highly-recommended Menghai shou.

Gongfu: 10g / 3 oz. / 212 / 5-sec rinse / 20-min rest / three 5-sec steeps combined into sharing pitcher.

This ripe pu-erh is robust, dark, rich, and velvety smooth w/o any astringency or bitterness. There were no off-putting flavors or aromas of any kind. It’s invigorating enough for breakfast. I didn’t notice any cha qi. Additional infusions with ~10 sec steeps had the same enjoyable flavor profile but were not as rich. A consistent richness may be possible for a larger number of infusions, if greater attention is given to the color of the liquor.

Initial impression: I agree with DigniTea & mrmopar that it’s an excellent affordable everyday shou. This is also an excellent choice for pu-erh beginners like us who enjoy full-bodied black tea.

I look forward to also trying DigniTea’s longer brewing times that “yields a syrupy cup”.

RO water re-mineralized with an Aptera filter
Brewed gongfu-style using a digital variable-temp electric kettle and a tempered 3 oz. Ru Kiln gaiwan:
In lieu of a sharing pitcher & tea strainer, a Noritake Bleufleur Creamer pitcher 11oz. (Japan): with a placed in the pitcher were used.
Served in:

Boiling 10 g 3 OZ / 88 ML

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Another lovely sample I was given to try. :)
Interesting leaf, that even after numerous steeps over a couple days, still has clumps holding together and looks somewhat like decayed wood. Taste is very mild and creamy smooth though, and not particularly woody at all; perhaps just a bit of earthiness.

Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 90 ML

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I drank about 11 steepings of this and came to the conclusion that this is pu’erh… like, this is pu’erh. Basically it doesn’t stand out as amazing or terrible, it walks that middle road quite well like a supermarket doughnut; sure it’s not Krispee Kreme but it’s also not a Walmart doughnut (sorry if you like Walmart doughnuts… they seem to be really old around here because they sit around)

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Oh my…
I was drinking this last night at 11pm, stopped that session and started back up before work.

I was feeling this tea and got on Amazon to see that the Halo edition for the Xbox One is coming out in October… there goes $500 soon for just one game. Why? Simple, I love my brother a lot and this is something we would spend hours on and honestly as a teenager, his older brother (me) isn’t as cool as he once was… perception of a teenager, you know?
But hey, when I was a teenager everyone who was older than 18 was ancient and I wonder why they didn’t have kids and their own lawn to go mow… I was a mess though.


Heh one of the best memories I have with my son is him jacking my vehicle in Halo and tossing me out. I used to find that hysterically funny.

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Another tea recognized as a star in the Dayi shu lineup. This one is an appealing blend produced since 2005. For my taste preferences, this one lives up to the high expectations. Tight tea buds with golden tips are found throughout the cake. The leaf yields a bright, ruby red tea liquor with a sweet and bready aroma coming from the wet leaves. The taste is smooth, sweet and flavorful with a caramel overtone. I should note that I found this to be more of a low level sweetness which is fine with me. Rich and creamy with no bitterness and no unpleasant scent or taste. Lingering aftertaste. I quite enjoy this tea. Good longevity – I took it through two rinses and eight flavorful infusions before moving on to a sheng. There was pleasure to be had throughout the entire session.

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 90 ML

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Dayi knows shu puer and they usually do it very well. This tea is one of the staples in my shu tea cabinet -smooth, powerful and enduring. A distinctive, quality Dayi product. Always reliable and it is a fantastic everyday shu! Produced in small 150 gram cakes and very affordable. Rather complex flavor profile – wood, honey, vanilla, nuts, cream. I brew it heavy; it yields a syrupy cup; it lasts all day through many resteeps.

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 9 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

YUM! Pesticie-free or EUROFINS compliant?


Good review – ordered!


looseTman – I’ve not seen any comments to confirm this.

tea123 – I’m drinking this one again this morning. Hope you too enjoy it.


A good one for sure.


This suggests this is EUROFINS compliant – scroll to the near bottom.


tea123, Excellent news! Thanks!!


150g cake Ordered!

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I believe the sample I have is from 2008
This is actually the first shu I have been able to drink all the way through.
I used 5 grams and did two 30 sec rinses.
I had some great advice to not inhale before I tasted. So I put this in a travel type mug so I couldn’t smell it at first. Lol It worked for me! I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the taste. I tasted some mineral and lots of sweetness. Left an aftertaste of both
After several steeps the aroma was so much better. This 5 grams lasted me two days! Since it just kept giving I decided to steep and put in a mason jar to cool down and have it iced I enjoyed also. Some honey notes came out as it chilled.
I am a big fan of sheng. And I just maybe starting on the shu journey :)

Flavors: Honey, Mineral

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

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No notes yet. Add one?

Flavors: Caramel, Cherry, Forest Floor

8 tsp 4 OZ / 120 ML

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So, this is my first shou.. It’s super dark when brewed and has a smoky/mushroom flavor on the first few steeps, which gets sweeter as the session progresses. I got to try out my new gaiwan and take shou shots out of my tiny cups :P
Steeped very short for five steeps then extended slowly – I didn’t record the times, so I’m not sure. Overall, very nice shou and I’ll be able to get another session out of my sample :D

Flavors: Mushrooms, Smoke, Sweet

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 9 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

Pretty gaiwan!


Padawan! ;}


Yay! Congrats on your first shou!


As Daggerfall used to proudly state on the front of the box: “Prepare to experience your new obsession!”

Happy Pu’ing Kiebs, glad to hear you enjoyed it! :D


@BezoomnyChaiVeck: yeah.. that’s a good catch phrase :)

Congratz on the first pu’ :D Pu is awesome :D


It’s great you had a good first experience!

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Dark, rich, thick, smooth and creamy. The creaminess is light, not as heavy as the canned coconut milk I used last night in my curry, and hangs around my soft palate. There’s also some sustained throat feel. The immediate flavors I get after sipping morph over the course of my entire session, later I am getting more moss and dried (uncooked) ramen noddles after the 6th steeping…whereas first I was getting more of a standard ripe (light woodiness) with a heavy mouth feel.

Additional brewing parameters: 7g leaf, 2 rinses, steepings 1-4: 10-20 seconds each, 5-7: 30 seconds each, 8-9: 40 seconds-1 minute.

Picked up a cake at Angelina’s teas because Mandala was all out and I did not want to the dish over large amount that JK has it for…James over at TeaTB also reviewed this tea (he got from Mandala):

Maybe this tea could have more smoke or herbaceousness. Perhaps it was..too smooth?

Flavors: Creamy, Moss

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Dark brown liquor that smells and tastes of malt were persistent throughout the entire session. A nasty body feeling and a simple, straight forward flavor profile make me not a huge fan of this shou.

Initial aroma is of currants and deathly, almost rotting, sweetness. The liquor is dark as soon as the water hits the leaf, probably because of the tight compression in the cake —more smaller particles in the brew. There is a light bitterness, which gives away to a malt and slight roast nut flavor in the first 4-5 steepings (5-15 secs each). As the session matures, and I drink more, I start to feel a light headedness and then a slight headache. The malt flavor hangs around with a general corn-syrupy sweetness later (steepings 6-10, 30 secs-1 min).

No chi or energy noted in my body after or during the session. Headache hangs around for a while after though.

Purchased at New Century Tea Gallery in Seattle.
Additional brewing parameters: Two rinses. 120ml gaiwan, 6g leaf.

Flavors: Malt, Roasted nuts

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Thanks to a special tea friend for a sample of this one!

This is going on my YS shopping list! Really good rich creamy soft milk chocolatey shou…I like it very much :)


Sounds great, i’m adding it too :-)

Cameron B.

Ooooooh sounds delicious. :o


let’s all get it :)


Sounds TEArific! Pesticide-free?


Gosh! I hope you guys end up liking it as much as I did :D

Thanks for the pesticide info LooseTman


You’re welcome.


That pesticide testing is only for yunnan sourcing’s own brand puerh productions (made since fall 2013), not third party brands they sell. Teas that YS tested will list that fact on the tea page at the bottom of the description ( like this: ). And given that Dayi is one of the largest factory producers of plantation grown puerh, it’s pretty likely to have at least a little pesticide residue, though probably not too dangerous levels.

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This is a very tasty ripe puerh. It has almost all the hallmarks of a Dayi save one. Neither the seal or the inner ticket glow green under the black light. I am wondering if Dragon Tea House has sold me a fake? Taste wise I rate this quite highly. However I still wonder, could it be a fake. I thought by 2011 all pricy Dayi bings glowed green under the blacklight. If anyone has this tea and tested it under the black light please let me know.

I brewed this six times in a 170ml Yixing Teapot with 9.5g leaf and boiling water. I steeped it for 10 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 30 sec, and 1 min. This tea was far from finished. I am sure I could have gotten at least six more steeps out of it but I had had enough caffeine.

Flavors: Earth, Sweet

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 9 tsp 6 OZ / 170 ML

I’ve personally had good luck with DTH, but I have heard of them selling fakes in the past. I hope yours is genuine!

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Breaking this out after storing a few years. Time to see if the “hype” is up to par.
Double wrapper as stated in the vendor description, phase one pass.
Got 10 grams , easy gaiwan brewing for this one.
Leaf looks a bit “chopped” not the full leaf teas that I have drank lately.
Gave a quick rinse to wake things up. Quick steeps of about 5 seconds each. Poured into my 10 oz. mug. Nice color to be as young as it is.
Still a bit strong, a fair bit of smoke in it. Nice hit of tobacco and camphor. Gives a bit of a tongue buzz to it.
Still “burly” and young but quite a bit more stout and powerful than most other Dayi products of this age . Not for the faint of heart but for those punch me in the chops type of tea. Some light fruit notes and a touch of an in between bitter to sweet note.

Flavors: Bitter, Camphor, Smoke, Sweet, Tobacco

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 10 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

heh nothing wrong with a little face punching puerh! :) sounds delightful haha


Yah I have enjoyed the “Smack to the choppers”.


Sometimes you crave some the strong ones!


5 more years should start to be a good tuo, still smoky but will have that color of scotch. I have a tong of 2005 Menghai tuos and they are pretty good now.


Cwyn you are a lucky one to have that tong. One day I will have some good aged stuff as well, I hope…

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The first steep, are also called to wake tea, after the injection of water, about 90 seconds, the tea soaked, Pour out the water, start the real begining.
The second steep, after the injection of water about 3 seconds(because I do not like the fermentation flavor, so brewing time is very short), Pour out the tea water,the soup has gold amer hue,and it has a hint of sweetness and a hint of fermented flavor. but sweet clear after tea swallow, throat very comfortable, there was a sweet taste in the mouth.
The third steep, after the injection of water about 5 seconds, Pour out the tea water,soup color is still red bright and transparent,the fermentation flavor is not obvious, but Huigan is still Obvious, tea flavor is very thick, mouth and throat have a sweet feeling, very comfortable.
The fourth steep, after the injection of water about 30 seconds, Pour out the tea water.May this time tea water is not boiling water, a low temperature, the liquid color declined a lot. But it is a pure sweet taste,it is what I like.
The fifth steep,the sixth steep……
soup color is more and more light, the taste is more and more light… ..

Flavors: Sweet

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 10 OZ / 300 ML

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