Menghai Tea Factory

Recent Tasting Notes

93

This tea is tasty. I have heard that Wei Zui Yan means the strongest taste and it is true. This is a very strong tea, the strongest puerh I can remember drinking. There was a moderate amount of fermentation flavor but not too much. I also feel that this tea had a very strong Qi even though I admit I don’t know as much as I should about Qi. If Qi is the physical and psychological effect the tea has on you, this one is strong. I will not use the phrase tea drunk but I was most relaxed. Throughout the early steeps I was testing a theory, that sugar dulls the Qi of tea. I find that when I omit sugar I get more effect from the tea. This was the case with this tea. The first five steeps I drank without sugar and it had quite an effect on me. The last three I added sugar and felt less effect. His could also be because the tea was weaker by that point. There was a little bitterness in the early steeps that soon went away. There was a natural sweetness to this tea with notes of plums or dates hidden beneath the strength of the tea.

I steeped this tea 8 times in a 130ml Yixing teapot with 6g leaf and boiling water. I steeped it for 15 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 30 sec, 1 min, 2 min, and 5 min. The tea would have a few more steepings in it but I have had enough tea today. I very much recommend this tea to anyone who likes strong puerh and can take a little bit of fermentation flavor.

Flavors: Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 4 OZ / 130 ML
Sarsonator

If you try this again with no sugar at all, I’d be interested to hear your results and whether you can rule out the possibility that the tea was just getting weaker.

AllanK

At some point perhaps.

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Mmm good shou! I’ve been so lucky to get to try so many great puerh samples lately.

This one has lots of earthy flavors and no funk. I don’t know how to describe it other than this is what shou is supposed to taste like. Kind of basic but super clean and enjoyable!

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Another tea from the wonderful boychik

smooth, easy drinking. The first few infusions have that weird taste that is gone by the third steeping. Long lasting. (I have to leave before I’m done, so I’ll save the leaves and finish up tomorrow.)

I’m getting a nice calm from this tea, too, with a bit of energy. More of a focus than a calm, I guess. Hmmm. Hopefully, it helps me with sprints in a little bit.

boychik

It’s nice smooth sheng. Few days ago I sample one and felt completely drugged. I wouldn’t really mind before going to bed but it was 2pm and I had to drive to pick up kids fr school ….

Stephanie

I love the focused/calm thing. Sheng is so weird!

Cheri

It was quite tasty. I may have to get some of this.

Terri HarpLady

love me some sheng!

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98

This tea was good, I enjoyed it immensely. There were a lot of complex notes in this tea. That being said I would have trouble telling you what they were. I wasn’t paying attention to the nuances having dislocated my knee today. I needed a good tea session today and I got it. There was virtually no fermentation flavor left. There was no bitterness or astringency. There was no sour taste. I do detect some chocolate notes to it and sweet notes but I can’t describe it better. I steeped the hell out of this tea and can honestly say I have had enough tea for tonight.

I steeped this nine times in a 207ml Taiwan Clay Teapot with 7.2g leaf and boiling water. I gave it one short rinse and steeped it for 15 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 30 sec, 1 min, 2 min, 5 min, and 10 min. It held its strength well through the first six steeps. It was pretty weak in steep nine. This was the best tea I have had in a while.

Flavors: Chocolate, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 tsp 7 OZ / 207 ML
boychik

So sorry for your knee :(((

mrmopar

Hope it heals fast Allan. I know about bad knees myself.

TeaBrat

owie, feel better soon!

Sarsonator

Sorry about your knee! I’ve had a bum knee my whole life. The kneecap won’t stay put. Hurts like a mofo when it pops out! Hopefully yours is feeling better today!

Tealizzy

Oh man! At least you had a good tea session! Hope your knee heals quickly!!

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77

Well this was a nice and unexpected find today while I hunted for ripe Pu Erh on my tea shelf. I bought this a year or so ago and it completely slipped my mind, luckily it has been stored well so hopefully the additional year of ageing will keep it smooth. Though I have no means for comparison as this is my first steep from the cake. It was only a fairly cheap cake so I suppose on the whole it won’t matter about the additional ageing.

Breaking out my Yixing for this as I hope to have a Pu Erh day. My husband admitted to me yesterday that he really likes Pu Erh, he doesn’t usually show emotion to anything so for him to say he likes anything is major.

The Pu Erh is made from dark and medium brown leaves and sticks, along with a few golden tips present amongst the cake. It smells like Autumn, it’s dry and woody, with a dark mist feel. My mind is taken to a forest in China with light rain and cool temperature with an array of similar smells to this Pu Erh.

My first bowl has light musk and wooden flavour with some sweetness. Also hints of smoke and dampness. Rich in flavour overall though a nice balance of flavours.

More steeps have similarity, remains relatively smooth with a gentle sour touch in the after taste. No fishy flavours.

Even further steeps bring out more dampness with a slight bitterness but nothing major.

I’m very happy with this Pu Erh, for being a cheap cake from Royal Tea Bay (on eBay) it’s a nice every day tea. A nice start to my Pu Erh day, also a hit with my husband. I looked for more info on this one but unfortunately they don’t sell it any more and my Google search ended up empty. Shame but just means I will have to enjoy it while I have it.

Flavors: Drying, Earth, Wood

Sarsonator

Ooohhh… I want this now! LOL

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80

I decided to get this mainly based on what I read on the description, which advises this puerh has slightly less fermentation than other cooked puerhs. At the end of the day this only cost me £12 for a 250gram brick…if I don’t like it I have not spent a lot of money, if I do like it then that is a bonus. Here are my notes…

Fresh out of the packaging you can definitely smell the typical fermentation aroma, however definitely not as pronounced as other cooked puerh I have tried. I would probably suggest you let this brick sit for a while to give it time to “air out”.

I used 7 grams in my 140ml gaiwan. I then rinsed the leaves with boiling water twice, which I would suggest is mandatory. Wet leaves, surprisingly, actually smell very pleasant, a rich balmy aroma with some nutty undertones lurking in the background. A good start.

I did my first proper steep for about 15 seconds which resulted in a a very dark amber liquid. The texture is a little “thin” for my liking, as I tend to prefer my shu pu thick and sticky. The taste, well again it surprised, this is actually quite pleasant. The balmy aroma I smelt in the wet leaves is there in the taste. It is smooth, mellow and sweet, with only a small hint of bitternes. I am also getting the nutty undertones as well, which again is very pleasant.

I decided to push this shu pu further with my second steeping, brewing it for about a minute. This time the texture of the liquid was darker (almost black), thicker and more sticky. Tasting it again there was more boldness and character, however it remains pretty smooth and mellow. I begin to sweat a little on my forehead and the nape of my neck…the caffeine starts to kick in. One thing that I really like is the rather long sweet finish I am getting…it stays at the back of the throat for some time and is still here while I am typing.

I did end up steeping this about 10 times and unfortunately the leaves start to “run out of steam” and the brew begins to get a little one dimensional. However, as bargain priced shu goes this one is actually very decent and well worth your time and money. I have had more expensive shu that has tasted terrible, so for me this one is a bit of a no brainer.

I will definitely get another brick to sit down and age for a few years…it would be very interesting to see how this tea will transform over the next 2-3 years. I can only hope it will taste even better with a bit of age.

So, overall this 2013 brick really did surprise me. It is still very drinkable at the moment which is good, and although it is not very complex and a bit one dimensional it does hit a lot of high notes. With Winter fast approaching I could quite easily see myself drinking this daily in the morning to warm myself up before work. For me it was £12 well spent.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 5 OZ / 140 ML

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Gongfu method
5g 100ml 200F
rinse/ pause/ 3/5/5/7/10/15sec etc
i sipped on this tea all day yesterday. its very good smooth solid sheng. Bitterness only at the end of the sip. Quite sweet.
i do like it. Perfect everyday sheng, maybe not too complex. But arent we need those teas that we just enjoy and dont analyze.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Cwyn

Agreed, I like some simple daily drinkers that don’t put me through the thought of “I need to save this rare tea.”

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86

Mmm, this is really good shu! I got a sample from a friend :D

It is a little woody but not in a bad way, also some dark raisin notes. YUM!

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A Dayi factory cake with fairly tight compression. Warm and rich aroma which is strongly earthy yet a bit sweet. Leaves used seem to be of a high grade. Ruby red tea soup with an aromatic and pleasant scent. First sips are quite mellow with a full and woodsy taste. Later infusions yield a gentle creamy and bittersweet flavor. Nice sweet finish in the aftertaste. No fermentation smell or taste left in this one. A lovely Menghai Dayi shou worth owning.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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80

A solid, though nothing special, ripe pu erh. Good flavor, with no off tastes. Kind of woodsy compared to other dayi ripes. It packs quite a punch in the perk up department. Would be a good choice for a morning lift. Fits the typical Dayi profile, with lots of good infusions.

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87

I’ve tried a number of these Star of Menghai cakes, and this is one of the better ones. I like it more than the 2010 and 2011 versions, both of which I found underwhelming. This one is a keeper, fairly smooth with a hint of bitterness, deep and rich. This tells me that recipes only can go so far, and that the quality of a tea depends a lot on the vintage, not just the age. And this is cheaper, being young.

AllanK

Where did you buy this one?

Rich

I got a sample from a trade, so I’m not sure where it came from.

mrmopar

I think Berylleb has it Allan.

Rich

Grandness on Ali Express also has them, both a 100g mini cake and a full size cake. They seem to have the best price right now.

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I’m not going to give this tea a numerical rating because I have no idea how to rate it. The taste is relatively nondescript: a blend of tar, wood, and earth, with a touch of bitterness. They work surprisingly well together, and the flavor is not objectionable, but certainly not really anything I would seek out.

However, the distinguishing feature of this tea for me was the strong cha qi. The very first cup put me into a meditative state, and throughout the time I spent drinking the tea I had a tremendous feeling of well-being. I’ve had this experience with other pu-erhs, and occasionally with black teas, but never this strongly.

On a hunch, I measured my blood pressure while drinking the third steep, and it was about 15 points less than usual. Unfortunately, it was back to normal soon after the tea was finished.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 3 OZ / 88 ML

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86

So today I tried this famous tea from Menghai Dayi, one I’ve wanted to sample for quite a while. I think it has the reputation of being the best quality ripe pu erh by this factory. It certainly commands what seems to be an unreasonably high price. This 2012 version sells for about $90 right now, and the 2008 version is a whopping $130! That seems outlandish. But hey, maybe it’s that good?!

Well, it’s good, but not $90 good. It is quite smooth and rich, tasty, and is a high quality tea to be sure. No off flavors. But I’ve had others this good for quite a bit less. I’d pay maybe $40. These inflated prices are crazy.

mrmopar

Agreed! Tea prices are crazy this year. maybe the puerh bubble will hit soon and drive prices back down.

AllanK

I bought the 2010 version back when Yunnan Sourcing had it for $65.

TeaBrat

too rich for my blood!

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95

AllanK is 3 for 3 on shous from our trade! Thanks, A!

This is another winner. This tastes a little like dessert, even on the early steeps. I did one rinse, and then 10-15-25. I will probably dial it back a little to a few at 15 seconds. It even has an interesting mouthfeel, very soft and full. It gives a nice tickle on the back of the throat, too. It has some nice chocolatey notes and is only very slightly earthy. And I mean very slight.

I have a feeling that this must be pricey, which may not be so bad since I am on a strict buying hiatus anyway. I’ll say this – I definitely WOULD buy this. It’s excellent!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML
AllanK

SArsonator, I am glad you liked it. There is only one seller on EBay that seems to be selling it but he’s disreputable in the extreme.

Sarsonator

Oh that’s a shame. I would have liked to get some when my hiatus was over. :)

TheTeaFairy

Anything with lotus in its name is destined to greatness :-)

And I congratulate you for holding on to the teaplets hiatus!!

AllanK

I need to go on a tea buying hiatus as well.

mrmopar

The trick on these is to buy them when they come out. This way you avoid the “older it is the more valuable” from the sellers. I just buy the new stuff and sit on it a while before I drink them.
Any Dayi product with the yellow on or the largest color on there are usually the top grade ones. The “7632” and the “Big Dayi Classic” and the “Daughter” cake are 3 off the bat like this also.

Sarsonator

Thanks, Fairy! I’m trying really hard!!
Allan – Join us. It only hurts a little!
Mrmo – Thanks for the info! So I should be able to find 2014 versions on the cheap I guess.

Terri HarpLady

I need to get back on the Hiatus bandwagon…but probably won’t, LOL

mrmopar

Maybe by the end of the year. Menghai usually holds the newer shou to air it out and get rid of some of the shou poo as they call it.

Sarsonator

Shhhh Terri. We are staying on the wagon here :p

Thanks, Mrmo! I will keep an eye out!

MzPriss

Wagon. We are on it.

Sarsonator

The “be happy with what you have and pay down your credit card” wagon. It doesn’t SOUND fun, but we are having an ok time. :p

mj

I would also like to be on that wagon. Actually, I wouldn’t like to. But I need to. Is there room?

Sarsonator

All are welcome on the wagon.

Welcome wagon! HA! I slay me!!! :p

boychik

I’m in denial

Terri HarpLady

me too, boychik.
You can never have too much tea! Actually, I probably DO have too much tea, but…oh well!

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Another step in my pu-erh exploration. Since I’m a novice, I won’t score this tea, but if I did, I would give it a 65. I didn’t like the flavor and found it to be bitter and uninteresting.

15 s rinse; 1st (15 s): Earthy nose. The taste is rich and not at all earthy, but hard to describe: some sort of cross between fruity and floral, but neither. Feels round and full in the mouth, with a long finish. 2nd (20 s): The earthy taste is almost dirty. Slightly bitter at end. 3rd (30 s): Nose is less earthy than before. Taste is less bitter but still not interesting. 4th (60 s): I was ready to give up on this tea, but this steep is less unpleasant. Some fruit appearing, and it is less bitter. Not really enjoyable but less unpleasant. 5th (60 s): Getting better; a bit of fruit showing through and most of the bitterness is gone. No cha qi. 6th (6 oz, 3 min): Getting rather thin.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 3 OZ / 88 ML
DigniTea

Steepster has multiple listings for this Dayi product and as I recall it is a fairly popular shou for those in the early stages of their puerh exploration. I wonder if you might experiment with a thing or two – raise the temperature; let the wet leaves sit for 10-20m after the double rinse as it allows shou leaves time to open up a bit before using them. I have found that these two things help with the tightly compressed cakes and the Red Rhyme cake is definitely tightly compressed.

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

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98

This is without a doubt the best ripe Menghai Tea Factory tea I have ever drank with the possible exception of the 2008 Song of Chi Tse. It is slightly earthy in the early infusions with notes of chocolate mixed in. It has a slightly bitter character and just slightly sour character in the early infusions too. By about the fifth steeping it loses all of its earthiness and you have the pure flavor of the tea underneath. All the bitterness, however slight, and that subtle sour taste disappears by the fifth infusion too. At this point I started to notice a distinct taste that could be described as either plum or dates notes. Its hard to put an exact description on it.

I used 8g of leaf in a 200ml Yixing teapot with boiling water. I first steeped it for 15 sec. This was a slight oversteep so I then gave it 10 sec, 10 sec, 10 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 15 sec, and 15 sec. This tea did not need long steepings throughout the eight times I steeped it. The aroma of the spent leaves was intense and had an almost chocolate like character, but not exactly.

I bought this tea from Yunnan Sourcing. The last time I looked they had two or three left. I bought three and wish I could have afforded a tong.

Flavors: Chocolate, Plums

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 7 OZ / 200 ML
AllanK

I was wrong about Yunnan Sourcing having a couple left, they sold out.

Rich

Wish I could bring myself to buy one of these, but they are crazy expensive!

AllanK

Yes, but crazy good too.

AllanK

Yunnan Sourcing has run out but you may be able to find it on Ebay, or perhaps Dragon Tea House.

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82

Chose this one this morning. I keep one broken up in a Yixing container bought from EBay. I am drinking the second steeping. The first steeping went into a thermos for work. Brewed it for 30 sec in an 18 oz teapot with boiling water with 10g leaf. It is a little earthy but not too earthy. There is still some fermentation flavor. Overall it is a good, tasty ripe puerh. There are some complex notes I can’t figure out exactly how to describe. It is sweet, it is a little earthy. But not earthy in a bad sort of way if you know what I mean.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 10 tsp 18 OZ / 532 ML

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80

A perfectly fine ripe Dayi, though not as smooth and flavorful as their top products in my book.

mrmopar

Stronger than most other Dayi.

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Typical Menghai Dayi production in the look, aroma and taste. I do not suggest this in a bad way just saying that it is not that distinctive from other decent Dayi factory blends – it is reliably a Menghai Dayi ripe puerh. Rich in color; pleasant in aroma; mellow and rich in taste –woodsy, a little sweet with hints of stonefruit. Worthy purchase as a Menghai Dayi “building block” in your shou collection.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 4 OZ / 125 ML
Stephanie

my brain made me read that as “pillow taste” the first time, heh

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This is a highly regarded Dayi shu and I now understand why – smooth and mellow; very easy to drink over and over again. Medium compression of dark leaf with golden tips sprinkled throughout. Fairly easy to pick apart. Red-brown tea soup; flavors of cedar in early cups becoming more like oak in later cups; sweetness found in each. The tea is lightly fermented – ready to drink now but due to this lighter fermentation, also likely to continue changing as it matures. Therefore, I am enjoying and sharing this cake now and I have another cake on the way to me to hold for 3-5 years. This is a solid shu with a very appealing flavor profile – not complex but a very clean, nice sip.

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

Sounds yummy!

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86

This is a very good sheng. It is smooth after the first two infusions. It is not as good as the 2014 Mandala Wild Monk but has more of an aged taste. The bitterneess disappears after the third infusion. I steeped this seven times for 15 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 15 sec, 30 sec, 30sec and 30 sec. It does not have any real young sheng bitterness left except in the first infusion.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 4 OZ / 125 ML
boychik

love the setup

AllanK

I have about six gaiwans but this is the coolest.

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Dayi introduced this tea to offer an improved version of their classic 7572. The tea produces a clear red-brown broth with sweet mellow flavor and a nice creamy aftertaste. Cake is of medium compression and fairly easy to pick apart; dark brown leaf with a good amount of golden buds. The “staying power” is most impressive – the leaf keeps giving and giving. The leaf quality is so high that I could begin with flash steepings – add water to 5g of leaf and pour it right into the cup. I’ve done 2 rinses and five infusions and I’m only up to 5 sec. A cake worth owning.

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

Shorter life than expected; did not get as many flavorful resteeps as I had hoped for but the first six are definitely good. Maybe more time needed beginning with #7. I did 15s on #7 and then 25s on #8.

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Quite a smooth, mellow, and sweet shou. For me, this probably ranks a bit under the 2011 Menghai Dayi 100 Tribute shou. Nothing I have had so far has been able to top that. Still, this is such a gentle yet flavorful tea that it truly deserves to be experienced with few distractions. Subtly complex. Incredibly sweet and creamy throat.

I chose to try this out while watching the latest episode of Korra (episode 10) and boy, was that a great choice! By far the best episode of Korra ever produced. It was everything. When I met Sifu Kisu (the martial artist who comes up with all of the bending) he talked a bit about the upcoming Korra episodes and explained that there are some great things in store. This episode was without a doubt one of the things he was talking about. And pairing experiencing such a great show with experiencing such a great tea equaled one of the best mornings I’ve had in a very long time.

boychik

It’s more expensive than 100 tribute.

Tea Pet

Ugh… I deleted my comment by accident.

Yeah. There is so much hype about the Golden Needle White Lotus teas. I think that excitement around them has probably played a part in the high pricing and the amount of fakes that are produced. With that said, I would like to try some of the other years, however, I doubt I will ever buy full cakes of them. I’d much rather spend my money on some 100 tributes! :)

boychik

I ordered some Golden Needle White Lotus Yubang
http://www.tuochatea.com/yubang-golden-needle-white-lotus-p285/
I think Rich said it was good. Still awaiting since end of June . They probably use sea turtles for delivery ;)

mrmopar

The tribute is a good one. I really like it.

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