Menghai Tea Factory
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Recent Tasting Notes
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 shu.
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. 100ml gaiwan, 6g leaf.
Flavors: Malt, Roasted nuts
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
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
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… ..
Breaking this one out for tonight. Comparing with a “sample” from finepuerh. A good seller from Malaysia with seemingly good storage.
I got 10 grams off the cake (sorry grand-daughter I will get you another) into the “new” yixing I was gifted with from a great teafriend.
I gave a quick rinse and started brewing. This is a bit textured and complex. Notes are smoky, tannic, camphor,bitter and a touch salty. It has a nice full feeling in the mouth. A bit of sweetness rolls around the back of the tongue.
I am for sure a fan of Bada and Menghai mountain teas but I think my love of Mengsong is coming along. I have had some good Mengsong teas lately and am trying to expand into new territory. A nice golden hue on this one. It may be a bit too “smoky” for some but I think it has developed nicely. I look forward to trying this a bit down the road.
Merry Christmas everyone!
Flavors: Bitter, Camphor, Salt, Smoke, Tannic
I am back in San Francisco after a punishing hike in the East Bay hills that was pretty steep. Glad to be sitting on my bum now drinking tea!
So this was a sample I got from Dragon Tea House. My tea spending is definitely slowing down and it will probably slow down even further soon as my unemployment is set to expire next month… :(
This tea has a good reputation and I have really been enjoying my small sample. The full cake size of this is $56 on the Dragon Tea House website, which isn’t a bad price for an entire cake.
This tea doesn’t have much fermentation flavor, which is nice for a ripe puerh this young. After a quick rinse, my first steep was very light. After that I did several subsequent steeps around the 30 second mark. They were velvety and creamy. This has some nice chocolate notes and coffee notes but without any bitterness. It leaves you with a refreshing mouth feel that lingers after you’ve consumed the tea.
It might be a bit overpriced/overhyped but I found it very tasty. Really good as an after dinner experience and soothing.
Huh, well this is an interesting tea. I’ve never had a bitter shou before, but there is definitely a good deal of bitterness here. Not astringency but more like a coffee-esque bitterness. Not quite as pleasant though. I tasted and then tossed the first two steeps (after 2 rinses) and by the third it was much more palatable. But not particularly special. Overall pretty weak bodied for a pu-erh and quite bland.
Happy to try it, but I’m glad it was a free sample.
Ugh. How many times is it going to take to save this note?
This is a tasty little shou – quite balanced and smooth with no astringency or fermentation smells or tastes. Typical of most Dayi products, it is composed of pieces and stems but there are several goldens to be found reflective of the raw material’s quality. Dark red tea soup. Flavor profile offers touches of honey, malt, chocolate and nuts blended together. The rich taste of the tea spreads throughout the mouth and leaves a nice aftertaste. Very good choice for an everyday ripe tea.
Another sample gift from “PUG”. Gaiwan, 2 rinses and rest 15 minutes. Nice and dark the steeps are. Aromas of peat, earth, slight smoke. The flavors however were not as complimentary as I thought they would be. Just very smooth, no harshness or astringency, but left me thinking I wanted more in the flavor department. It did however last the whole day and did not loose what flavor it had.
A very decent Menghai Dayi ripe blend. Seemingly typical characteristics of the material used in mainstream Dayi cakes – solid compression; mix of whole leaves, pieces and stems; limited scent in dry leaves. Reported to be grade 3 leaf quality which seems to result in a more interesting and exciting flavor profile. The tea soup for this one is a reasonably clean deep burgundy color. Interesting mix of flavors during different stages of the tea session – camphor, leather, earth, cedar, biscuits, bread, citrus, cinnamon, pepper, cream with a gentle sweetness throughout. No fermentation flavors detected. Solid durability, therefore, good for many resteeps. This is a solid shou for everyday drinking!
revisiting this tea. I got it from a Steepster friend – thank you so much.
Last time i tried i wasnt sure what to expect. i was in the beginning of my pu journey.
This is solid shou pu. Strong, smooth, delicious. mrmopar suggested on Instagram that its deep, dark and delicious. i agree. from now on i would call it triple D.
8g 100ml 212F
Shou time of last night.
i start drinking shou every night. it soothes me and I sleep very well after drinking it. it just wraps you in a warm fuzzy blanket. this tea is no exception. Comfort tea.
The color is very bright and burgundy. clear, smooth, no funkiness ( not that i mind;)
For me it wasnt just like regular earthy taste. i find it quite rich, some wine flavors, spicies, cloves maybe. As I’m drinking now it has some minty cool notes and very sweet aftertaste.
Anyway, it was a great experience. thank you tea friend for letting me try this tea. i really appreciate it.
7g 100ml 212F
Has this last week during the big snow, nothing like a shou when its snowing. Gift sample from “PUG”. What a well constructed tea this is from the dry to wet leaf, aromas, flavors, everything is consistent making for an enjoyably gong fu session. Stared out the window watching the wild turkeys gobble up the bird seed under the feeder as the snow piled up inch by inch. Flavors of cherry, fig, prune, forest leaves, smoky all good. Thickish in the mouth with a sweet good astringency. Need to get some more soon.
Drank this earlier today. I was expecting a lot. It did not come close to living up to expectations. I bought this from Dragon Tea House. In its first infusion I immediately noticed a strong bamboo flavor, and not in a good way. It did not have the flavor and creaminess you expect from a Dayi ripe puerh of any class, let alone a Golden Needle White Lotus brick. It was not very good. The bamboo flavor did persist but got weaker. It did not have the sweet flavor you expect from a good puerh but tasted bland, for lack of a better word. In short it tasted like a $5 brick, not a $40 brick, or was it $45. I also wonder if it is a fake, but for this I have only the taste of the tea for evidence. I will post my instagram pictures. If anyone knows about this brick let me know.
I brewed this five times in a 220ml Gaiwan with 9.1g leaf and boiling water. I steeped it for 10 sec, 5 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, and 30 sec.http://instagram.com/p/wHQdBXTDW7/?modal=true
This is an excellent, somewhat bittersweet tea with virtually zero fermentation flavor. It is about a par with the 2008 Song of Chi Tse as far as fermentation flavor goes, only much stronger. This is an excellent tea for someone who likes a strong tea but hates fermentation flavor. I was not paying close attention to the flavor notes of this tea but I did find some notes of dark chocolate early on which changed in character in later steeps. It got less chocolaty and more sweet.
I steeped this tea eight times in a 207ml Taiwan Clay Teapot with 8.5g leaf and boiling water. I steeped it for 10 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 30 sec, 1 min, 2 min, and 4 min. Judging by the strength of the eighth steep I am guessing that this tea had another six or so steeps left to it.
Flavors: Dark Bittersweet, Dark Chocolate
I got this tea recently in an order from Dragon Tea House. As always I checked the seal for the security mark and it passed admirably. It is quite good. There is only a little bit of fermentation flavor left, not much. There was some in the first three steeps but not enough to bother most fermentation sensitive individuals. I brewed this in a large, 350ml Yixing this morning so I only steeped it five times. I will leave the leaves for later and maybe steep it one more time or so. I figure I have already got most of the caffeine so another steep later on shouldn’t keep me awake tonight.
This tea had a variety of complex notes, most notably sweet notes after the fermentation earthiness was gone. I would describe them as berry or even dates notes, maybe both. I added a small amount of sugar which may have accentuated the sweet notes. But then again, I always add sugar and this tea is still sweeter than most.
I brewed this five times in a 350ml Yixing Teapot with 12.3g leaf and boiling water. I steeped it for 10 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, and 30 sec. In the fifth steep the tea did not get appreciably weaker, only a little. I would say that this tea could go for at least 10 to 12 steeps, respectable.
Flavors: Berry, Dates, Earth, Sweet
This is a tasty tea, good but not incredible, yet. I think it will get much better with five years of proper storage. It was quite earthy in the early steeps. The earthiness lasted through the third steep and noticeably dissipated in the fourth steep. It was gone by the fifth steep. There was a slight bitterness in the first steep that started to dissipate by the second steep and was gone by the third steep. The fifth and sixth steep found the tea with a sweet, almost fruity flavor that might be described by the word plums. Overall this is an excellent quality puerh from Dragon Tea House for a reasonable price. It was only $20.69 for a 357g cake. I think this tea is about in the middle of the Dayi quality range even though the price is quite low.
I brewed this tea six times in a 220ml gaiwan with 8.5g leaf and boiling water. I steeped it for 10 sec, 5 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, and 30 sec. Judging by the strength of the tea in the sixth steep I would guess the tea had at least two more steeps to it. This is a tea that started out quite strong in the first infusion but got slightly weaker than usual. The next time I brew it I shall try to remember it needs more time in the later infusions.
Flavors: Earth, Sweet
Thank you Mr Mopar for this sample. This tea is strong. The bitterness lasted the first six infusions then no noticeable bitterness. There were some sweet notes, but in the later infusions. I would say that notes of apricots emerged in the seventh steep and notes of stonefruits emerged in the 1oth steep. Overall this was an excellent tea. I would say that this tea could have gone 20 infusions, it was that strong and I only used 6g of tea too for 150 ml. There was even a bit of what I would normally describe as aged flavor, notes I have usually only found in a semi aged sheng tea.
I steeped this tea thirteen times in a 150ml Gaiwan with boiling water. I steeped it for 10 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, 1 min, 1 min 15 sec, 1min 30 sec, 2 min, 3 min, 4 min, and 5 min. This tea did not appreciably lose strength even in the 13th steep, it was that strong. I would say this tea is capable of going 20 steeps. I have not thrown out the leaves and may save them for tomorrow.
Flavors: Apricot, Bitter, Stonefruits
This tea, obtained from Yunnan Sourcing USA, is an excellent ripe puerh. It seems far more aged than a 2013 tea has a right to be. It has lost a considerable amount of fermentation flavor. There was a little fermentation flavor in the first three steeps, then pretty much none. While I was tired and not paying attention to the specifics it was sweet with little or no bitterness. It had plenty of complex notes, I just wasn’t paying attention to the specifics. While I would not use the phrase tea drunk, this tea had a nice relaxing effect on me. I have heard that Wei Zui Yan means the strongest taste. This tea was not horribly strong, probably because it was better aged than it had a right to be at only a year old. This tea was a pleasant surprise. I expected it to be good, I expected quality. It surpassed most 2013 teas I have ever drank. It was damn good.
I brewed this six times in a 207ml Taiwan Clay Teapot with 8.6g leaf and boiling water. I steeped it for 10 sec, 5 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, and 30 sec. I would have steeped it at least two or three more times but I have to be up for work tomorrow morning. I certainly think it had four or more steeps left to it.