Menghai Tea Factory
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Recent Tasting Notes
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.
This is excellent tea. I brewed this eight times over a period of hours. It was slightly bitter and slightly sweet. It had a variety of complex notes but I admit I was not paying attention. I will pay more attention next time. The tea did not lose strength even in the eighth steep. I used slightly more tea than usual so it was strong.
I brewed this eight times in a 207ml Taiwan Clay Teapot with 10g leaf and boiling water. I steeped it for 10 sec, 5 sec, 10 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 30 sec, and 1 min.
Tea friend samples yay!
This stuff is pretty damn super. No fermentation flavors, just a light, pleasant earthiness. It has an interesting astringent finish, but nothing unpleasant. I’m definitely enjoying this one. I’d buy some, but I’m trying to refrain… for now. LOL
Broke out a shou for tonight and the clay pot for it.
I started this one out with about 12 grams gave a good rinse and let it sit for 30 mins before brewing to re-hydrate.
To be as young as this shou no off aromas or “metallic” as some have being this young. Did a 8 second or so brew on this one. I poked around the leaf in the pot and there seems to be a fair amount of green leaf in this. Lightly fermented for sure. light on the palate, hints of oak, dates, raisins and a slight caramel to this one. Very reminiscent of another great shou from a local seller. Nice and velvety. Easy drinking and being enjoyed. Full 10 oz brew with the pot. I should gongfu this at a later date.
Flavors: Caramel, Dates, Oak wood, Raisins
i think that this tea is the correct one. KallieBoo sent these my way a while back and i haven’t yet had a chance to sit down with them. I’ve been drinking this over the afternoon while helping my other half feed the little one he’s looking after. I am apparently better at making kiddo eat solids lol I don’t have much to say about this one beyond it’s feeling very middle of the road for me. It’s not bad, it’s not knock your socks off…it’s just kind of there. being tea. neither FANTASTIC! or OMG GROSS… just there. Glad to have gotten the chance to try this, but nothing i need to restock. :)
This tea was really good, almost spectacular for the price, $8.99. This tea was well aged, it had almost no fermentation flavor, just a little in the second and third steeps. It had a little more fermentation flavor than my benchmark tea, the 2008 Song of Chi Tse, but not very much. It did not have as many complex notes as the Song of Chi Tse but it held its own with complex notes having the common dates or sweet notes common to ripe puerh. I will admit I was not paying that much attention to its complexities, and I added sugar so that intensified the sweet notes quite a bit but they were there none the less. The spent leaves had the aroma of dried cacao to a large extent. I will probably pick up two more of these the next time I order from Dragon Tea House. This is definitely worth adding on to your next Dragon Tea House order but may not be worthy of an order by itself. Despite how much I liked this brick, it is still a cheap brick, but then again Menghai Tea Factory does cheap bricks right. I steeped the hell out of this tea. Using a small amount of tea I got eight good steeps out of it. I think I would have gotten two more steeps in if I wanted more tea tonight. This tea definitely holds it own for the price.
I steeped this eight times in a 220 ml gaiwan with 9g leaf and boiling water. I steeped it for 15 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 30 sec, 1 min, 2 min, and 8 min. I dramatically increased the time for the eighth steep because the tea got a little weak in the seventh steep. If this tea was made of higher quality leaves it would be worth a 100% score, as it is I give it about a 93% score.
Flavors: Dates, Sweet
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.