Menghai Tea FactoryEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
From a first try this tea seemed too much bitter, astringent and smoky/tobacco for me. After I shorten the brewing time, those flavors bacame more pleasing and balanced . The liquor came in a light brown color with a thick body. Its spicy, sweet honey aftertaste and light floral aroma lasted well in my throat for a long time.
Flavors: Bitter, Brown Sugar, Honey, Pepper, Thick, Tobacco
Picked this up recently from King Tea on Aliexpress. It is quite good. It had a fair amount of fermentation flavor left. It was noticeable for the first four steeps or so. It was bittersweet at the start. It slowly evolved into something sweet. I think you could call it creamy and their were some notes of chocolate in there. This is a high quality long lasting shou. I gave this fourteen steeps which is longer than a lot of shou will go. Most shou is made from lower quality leaves than this is. Once I started this I knew I would be resteeping the hell out of it. This was somewhat expensive even though King Tea has it for noticeably less than EBay has it, cheaper by about $35 or so. It is real. I checked for the hologram that Dayis all have starting about this time in 2008 and it glowed green, both the outer seal and inner ticket or neifei glowed green. Taste wise it seems high quality too. The initial fermentation taste was not unpleasant or fishy in nature to my taste buds. This is definitely a ripe worth buying if King Tea is still selling it. He had discontinued it before my purchase but when I asked him about it he brought it back. It is noticeably cheaper than the 2007 version that goes for around $115 on King Tea. You may be able to find this cheaper on Taobao but this is one of the few Dayi ripe teas that you are risking getting a fake at. Most ripe is not valuable enough to fake. This one is. This was the best ripe I have had in quite a while. As to qi I can’t say I noticed much, maybe a little. Ripe rarely has any qi. The processing of the ripe tea tends to remove the qi from it.
I steeped this tea fourteen times in a 150ml gaiwan with 13g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse and a 10 minute rest. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec,15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, 1 min, 1.5 min, 2 min, 2.5 min, and 3 min. I’d say I could get another three or four steeps out of the leaves at least if I wanted to continue but fourteen steeps is enough caffeine for one day.
Flavors: Chocolate, Creamy, Dark Bittersweet, Earth, Sweet
Classic shu production from Menghai Dayi and it is viewed as one of Dayi’s “lighter fermentation” cakes. Many golden buds and tips spotted on the outside of the cake. Smelling the dry cake, there is a pleasant enough aroma and no signs of smoke or fermentation. Dark burgundy tea soup with a clean enticing aroma. First sip is smooth and mellow. Not a great deal of depth or complexity in the taste profile (primarily creaminess, sweet wood and earthiness) but the cup is wonderfully smooth and mellow and offers great comfort and warmth and offers a nice finish. This is batch 701, the first batch produced in 2007.
This is an excellent tea. It is about as good as young Shou gets. It had a fair amount of fermentation flavor for the first four or five steeps. After that it was gone. There was very little bitterness in this tea. I noticed a little in the third steep but not in the first two, interestingly enough. It transformed into a nice steet ripe puerh. There were some notes of chocolate in there. I think you could even say it developed a bit of a fruity taste in later steeps. This is definitely a good one to age. In ten years I can only imagine what this will taste like. It’s really good now.
I steeped this twelve times in a 120ml gaiwan with 8.4g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, 1 min, 1.5 min, and 2 min. I think I could have gotten another four or five steeps out of this one if I wanted to continue.
Flavors: Bitter, Chocolate, Earth, Sweet
Wonderful ripe puerh. Very smooth with a nice finish. There is a great complexity of woody and earthy flavors. It is almost like walking through an autumnal forest with a variety of leaves on the ground. You get that multitude of smells all at once. It is the same way with this tea. There are all these woodsy flavors coming together at once. Very pleasant.
Flavors: Compost, Dirt, Wood
This is my everyday shu recently. I obtained it from Yunnan Sourcing’s US site. Typically I brew it as I am today, with a basket infuser and a 12-ounce mug. Today I grabbed a chip that happened to be about 4 gm, put it in the infuser, and doused it in boiling water to cover while mashing with the handle of the puer knife to loosen it up. Then I poured off the rinse and left the infuser in the heated, covered, empty mug for a few minutes to steam. The first steep was about 3 minutes, and if experience is any guide I’ll do a couple of more with this leaf at 4-5 min.
As with most shu I drink, I don’t get a wild variety of flavors. There is a sort of generic woody taste, a little sweet, a little of some kind of fruit. At its best there can be a sort of ethereal mouthfeel.
A decent cheap everyday shou. Picked this one apart and let it sit in a clay jar airing out for a month. Since I was drinking this in place of my usual early AM black tea, I wanted a thick and soupy brew. 11 grams in 120 ml shibo resulted in a thick liquor which was deep in both flavor and texture but also quite smooth and mellow. There is a deep sweetness backed up by a touch of light bitterness. Decent mouthfeel with an appealing lingering aftertaste. Turns out this was a very cost effective purchase – 250g brick purchased in March 2014 for $14 (less than $.06 per gram).
Here’s Hoping Traveling Teabox – Round #5 – Tea #33
I think I lost my ability to pick out specific pu-erh flavors. The pu-erh I’ve tried recently has just tasted like PU-ERH to me. Maybe I’m not using as many leaves as I normally would. I’m just finding them okay because they don’t have the depth of flavor I like in pu-erh, but then if it’s too dark it seems like I wouldn’t be able to pick apart specific flavor notes. Maybe I’ll try an old favorite pu-erh soon and see if there is a difference. All three steeps had similar flavor. Useless tasting note, sorry!
Clean and smooth with a bit of maltiness and a slight hint of pleasant bitterness in the background. Found the sweet woodiness which I tend to enjoy in my shu. This Dayi production is not as sweet as some ripe teas I have had recently but I very much enjoyed this tea session. Decent longevity for a shu – I took it through eight infusions and each cup had robust flavor. Those fearing strong “wo dui” will be glad to know this has little to none. This one is an easy drinker.
I broke off about 5 grams into my 100ml gaiwan rinsed twice and steeped with boiling water. This tea opened up pretty quickly considering that it came of a brick. A shout out to 2dog for sending me a free flat edge pu’erh pick in my last order as my thicker pointed pick kind of creates a lot of broken pieces especially with bricks. The wet leaf had a very nice honey/cherry sweet aroma along with the traditional ripe smells of a nice old barn stacked with hay and wet wood on a dirt floor. Wow, reading that back I could see how a non pu’erh tea drinker would think we are off our rocker for liking these tastes and smells. More for me. No fishiness just a bit of the normal fermentation smell on the rinses. This tea gave a nice thick liquor even at 5 grams. I am noticing that I prefer around 5-6 grams with my ripe and 7-8 with my raws. More than that gives me a bit more of the coffee taste with the ripe and I am not a coffee drinker. This tea is pretty delicious. Notes of the traditional coffee like bitter notes with a nice earthy/woody flavor that gives a bit of honey/tobacco sweetness on the back end. It gave pretty well considering it was only 5 grams. This one is definitely a great daily drinker. I am really digging the Menghai ripes. I imagine this one will get even better with age. I would say that this has a medium energy to it. Not too strong. Not too weak. I would recommend this to any ripe drinkers out there for a solid go to tea. Cant wait to try this one in a few more years.
A very nice everyday shu puer! A tea that is both sweet and smooth with traces of dark cocoa, malt and baked bread enjoyed throughout the tea session. The dark tea soup offers a sweet and bready aroma. The steeps are thick and syrupy with a mouth-coating sweetness. This shu is very clean with no off flavors of any type. It goes down easy and is quite soothing to me.
Through two-steps, thus is a very nice tea! Creamy…sweet…no hunt of fermentation. I sell caramel and malt and sweet from the liquor. Wet leaves almost smell smoky, but not drop of smoky taste in this. Very bury smooth! This tea will be one that I will buy again!
Flavors: Caramel, Malt, Sweet, Wood
I read somewhere that someone really liked this tea from YS so I decided to buy a cake from them. If you look, it is $53 which is high for a ripe since they are cheaper than raw. I really liked seeing that this was an authentic cake though; all those little things make it more fun to open up. My view on ripe tea is kind of negative because while I enjoy it, I believe they are about all the same while sheng varies much more. Of course someone can point out the difference in a WP ripe versus a $5 full size cake; but something about cakes that cost a bit more seem to all taste the same to me. This cake was highly compacted and pressed well which took my pick to get a chunk off. Upon steeping it I noticed the aroma that ripe has but with no funk to it which was a positive already. The taste throughout the 8 steepings that I drank were very fine and smooth. While there may not be a unique taste associated with this tea for me, it is the smoothness that runs through the steeps with this tea that appeals to me. A sample of this would come up with the same tasting notes and I wouldn’t have purchased it. I’m not regretting my purchase, but I may be realizing that ripe just isn’t my type of tea. However ripe tea will be my great friend when winter rolls around :)
Dianhong Tea at Aliexpress
Price: £11.92 ($18.37) for 150g cake.
Price per gram: 7.95p ($0.12)
Sweet: Very smooth, creamy and syrupy with lighter brews. Heavier brews yield an unfavourable metallic taste.
When brewed heavy I would rate this only 75/100.
Dry: Fishy. A yellow aroma…
Wet: Soft, yellow, creamy, light smoke. Not particularly inviting. Porridge sweetness.
5s – Dark brown. Sweet creamy, syrupy sip. Lightly brewed like this it is very pleasant. A cool breeze, milky, butteryness with a hint of cream.
20s – Darker brown. Soft cream on the sip. The body is soap-like. It is stimulating, but not overpowering. It is richly creamy and it swells to a medium strength body.
40s – Very dark brown. This tea is incredibly smooth and rounded with only a trace of an off wood note. Brewing this tea with more leaf and for longer steeps time, I find it gets heavy in a way where I feel it gives too much caffeine / metallic taste.
Flavors: Butter, Creamy, Honey, Soap
Drinking this tonight while cooking up a storm. Bought 2 tuo chas a few weeks ago but never broke into it. V93 seems to be exactly right up my shou alley. I loved the 2012 250 gm tuo cha. This one has a similar sweet taste profile but the flavor is not quite as complex and concentrated. Still, an absolutely wonderful daily drinker
I am brewing this in a pretty new zisha clay gongfu style pot. It’s a little pear-shaped one, and after a lot of internal debating, I decided I’d use it for Shu Puer. This Puer is pretty smooth, sweet, and creamy for a Shu Puer. It has a bit of the leathery aftertaste, but not too much. Of all types of tea, Shu Puer tastes the most consistent to me, so usually when I have it, it’s very subtle differences that make its character different from others of its type. Only a couple so far have had any significant stand-out qualities to me.
By the second infusion of this tea, I’m already getting an even smoother quality and none of the earthy aftertaste. It’s more mouth-coating and sweet this time, making me salivate more. Third and fourth infusions are similar, just not as sweet and a bit more dank and earthy. As for notes… musty, earthy, woody, and nutty all describe this tea. The usual shu Puer flavors. It’s a pretty clean one though overall, and mild.
Flavors: Creamy, Earth, Mineral, Musty, Nutty, Wood
15sec and rinse. /96ºC The leaves smell like sweet potatoes. (Dark amber colour)
15sec /94ºC No bitter. Smooth.Slight sweetness at the end. Forest/wood. Mid-low body. (really dark colour).
20sec. /90ºC Really slight bitter aftertaste. Remembers me like some wood or something simmilar. (really dark colour). No bitter. Earthy
20sec /97ºC Sweet. Less wood flavour. Still not bitter. Is not as strong as the 2 first brews. It has lost some body, now is lighter. In my opinion it has improved. Still not bitter. Earthy
20sec /92ºC The leaves still smell like sweet potatoes. lighter than the previous brew. Not bitter. Sweet. Earthy
30sec /85ºC The leaves lost the strong-medium sweet potatoes smell. Now is really soft. Still dark. Really light bitter aftertaste. Now its more like leather. It has lost the strong earthy-forest flavour and some sweetness.
I don’t know how to describe this brick. I like creamy, cocoa and sweet pu erhs, with no bitterness, but I enjoyed this one. It has some earth/forest/leather flavour, not too strong, but still not weak flavour. It also has some light earth flavour.
At the begining the weat leaves has a strong sweet potatoes smell that has lost in the last one.
The first steeps had a medium body, with some sweet aftertaste that has lost at the final steps, becoming a really light bitter aftertaste.
This has been the fisrt time I reviewed a tea while I was drinking it. It’s been a nice experience.
PS: I bought it in dragon tea house.
Flavors: Earth, Leather, Smooth, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes, Wood
This is my everyday drinker. Really well balanced tea. I agree with the other review that say that this is a ‘diplomatic’ pu erh. If you want to start with ripe pu erh this is the best option to start.
I have steep it twice today, with 5.35gr of leaves and boiling water in both steps as I’m starting to take notes about my teas to see how they change with time as I have bought during this year some pu erh to age.
7sec: It has some kind of sweetness, with a light astringent afterstaste. Mid body. I can’t identify any concrete note. It’s not complex, but just I can’t find any known note.
9sec: it’s more sweet, light body. The astringent aftertaste is now lighter than in the previous step. I still can’t find any concrete note. Really well balanced.
This is concerning me as I don’t know if it’s me or this tea has ‘no concrete notes’. Maybe someone with a better palate will find some notes but I can’t. I can only indentify sweetness and that astringent/really light bitter aftertaste.
I will continue tomorrow to see how it develops and if I can find any note.