Menghai Tea Factory

Recent Tasting Notes

83

I traveled to northern Minnesota to visit my parents for spring break instead of going south as most sane people do. I did bring along my yixing and my dad gave me a large chunk of this tea to try. As I am delayed from driving home due to 5 inches of snow covering icy roads on April 1st, I decided to try the adorned in red, since it is pretty obvious I am going nowhere for a while!

My first reaction upon this tea is the wonderful cedar wood like aroma and flavor this tea has. I am on a fourth steeping of this and this cedar aroma/flavor continues to present itself more subtly each steep. It is giving way to a more mellow mineral flavor in the last steeping. This is a really nice and unique pu’er. I haven’t tried anything quite like it! It is a welcome surprise as I sit here watching the snowfall wondering if I am just the unluckiest guy on the planet or if there is some celestial April Fools joke being played on me right now. Either way at least I have a great cup of tea :)

Preparation
Boiling 3 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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80

I use a tea needle pry the TAETEA V93 ripe puerh tea, can see the tea cord clearly.The cake surface is luster,compact and fat.
The first time,wash out of the water within 5 seconds.After that,I began to drink.
Put the tea into a cup, Waiting for the tea water temperature slightly lower, Drink the whole cup of tea, First maneuver around in the mouth, then slowly swallow.
Tea calm, without any smell, send out the heavy sense of time. The tea access to the mouth smoothly, then the teeth have a fragrance to spread, stomach comfortably warm.the taste is rich and full with a pleasant, slightly sweet aftertaste.
The secont ,Third times,…… The tea is getting stronger, more mellow taste.
The TAETEA V93 ripe puerh tea is resistant to brew. Brewing tea eight or nine times, tea just turn pale.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec 6 g 10 OZ / 300 ML

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82

This is a lighter, sharper, crisper shu than the typical dayi ripe. It is definitely pleasant, clean tasting, and easy to drink. I tend to like the heavier ones, but this is a respectable tea, and a good bargain since it is a 500g cake.

mrmopar

This one has opened up a bit hopefully.

Rich

Yes, the first tasting was quite bad. A week of airing out did the trick!

mrmopar

Yeah packed without good air for a couple of weeks and we would be like this too! ;) !

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79

This is a sample Bonnie sent me a while ago from Mandala Tea. I already had notes written down but decided to try what I had left in the sample.

Dry – Faint earthy notes and some sweetness.
Wet – Thick, earthy and sweet with some faint forest floor scent.
Liquor – Bronze to Brown (depending on steep time).

3 second rinse, followed by 5 second rest

1st 15secs – Sweet, thick and bread-like? texture, mellow earthy notes up front. As it goes down, it is slightly thicker and the bread like texture is more apparent but feels one dimensional.

2nd 10secs – Sweet, thick with more bread like texture and mellow earthiness up front. As it goes down, it is thicker while maintaining its bread-like texture, but wears more sweetness that lingers in the finish with some freshness.

3rd 10secs – Sweet, thick and bread-like texture with mellow earth notes up front. As it goes down, if feels thicker and wears more complexity in the body that linger with faint woody-spice notes. Refreshing and sweet finish.

4th 15secs – Sweet, thick, mellow earthy notes with bread-like texture on the tongue. As it goes down, it feels thicker with a more pleasant base of woody spices that hint a very faint fruity?floral? sweetness, the bread-like texture still coats the tongue. The finish is sweeter and refreshing that lingers.

5th 20secs – Sweet, less thick than previously but still has mellow earthy notes and the bread-like texture. As it goes down, it wears a more complex woody note that faintly resembles spices in taste, but does give a spice like sensation in the tongue. Sweet and refreshing finish.

6th 35 – Sweet, somewhat thin, still mellow with faint earthy notes and bread-like texture up front. As it goes down, it is barely noticeably thicker, but wears more apparent spice like taste and sensation on the tongue that lingers through the finish, which is sweet and refreshing.

Final Notes
Not my favorite, It is a nice Puerh for those who enjoy spice notes in your ripe, but only if you don’t mind the first 2-3 steeps being sort of dull (still very nice sweetness). The following steeps wear more complex notes that are enjoyable and a nice plus, but I feel like the tea collapses in the 6-7 steep so you have to jump full minutes of steep time.

I’ll give a 79/100 because it has nice complex notes in later steeps, it would be higher if I didn’t feel like it was missing some Menghai ‘creamy’ thickness.

Preparation
Boiling

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I’ve spent most of this week enjoying the last of the sample I was sent. It has been a real pleasure to drink this tea, even though my life seems to be too busy and my mind racing too much to sit down and think hard about what I am drinking. The mellow character of the tea has forced a certain amount of calm. Nice.

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I was kindly sent a sample of this tea by a fellow nameless Steepsterite and finally have a chance to try it, having had a throat infection for a week and a half. Tea tasting has not really been on the menu for a while, because I have had my head down finishing my thesis, so it is a real pleasure to come back to it with a solid shu.

The dry leaf smells like Shu with no fishiness or other unpleasant aromas. It’s quite a woody aroma like cedar or something similar. The liquor is medium bodied and dark. The same aroma of cedar is continued in the aroma of the liquor, and also into the taste. It is woody and earthy with a citrus finish that lasts on the tongue and an undertone of cinnamon. All in all a pleasant tea that would be welcome at most times.

Flavors: Cedar, Cinnamon, Earth, Wood

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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73

This has a lot of full leaf in it. Not like the “chopped” leaf of some of Dayi’s arbor cakes. compression is about half of usual dayi compression. It has a pleasant bitterness that subsides on later brews. It still has a little punch to it with some light grassy notes. I will be interested to see how this is 5 years from now.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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95

This was the first shu I bought based upon reviews here, but could not seem to warm up to it at first. To my palate it was all mushrooms, minerals and astringency. Based upon it’s relatively high energy, however, I kept returning to it whenever I needed a boost while working. In doing so I kept playing with the steep parameters until, finally, I hit upon a combination that really made it shine in my book.

I believe I was initially steeping too long for the amount of leaf I used, running in the 15-30 second range. Turns out it’s really good with shorter steeps. The combination I eventually settled upon is 7.8 grams in a 130 ml pot, one 20 second rinse, a 2 minute pause, then I gently break up most of the now-pliant clumps with a toucha pick. A steep pattern of 10/8/8/8/10/15/30/60 seconds brings out wonderful cedar flavor with undertones of sweetness, citrus and spice. I get hints of mushrooms and/or minerals in some steeps but they no longer dominate the flavor profile, and the astringency is gone.

To me this is a rich, robust, full-bodied shu and has moved back into my rotation as a favorite.

Preparation
Boiling
mrmopar

Yeah these rascals are pressed pretty tight. Sometimes I hit them with the rinse and let them set (after draining) in the Gaiwan or Yixing till the next day to open up. Lao cha nuggets are even harder than these are.

TeaExplorer

This one comes apart pretty easily when allowed to sit a couple of minutes after the rinse. Will try the overnight-sit-after-rinse with the lao cha nuggets.

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73

I cut my teeth on this tuo and well what I can say is that it is the most diplomatic of pu’ers one could ever taste. This is to say that if diplomats are concerned about not offending anybody, then V93 2010 is the diplomat of pu’ers.

I like to cook with this in addition to drinking it mixed with other spices like ginger, dried long-gan, or rosebuds or even piloncillo. I don’t normally take my tea with sugar, mind you. I’ve also noticed that this is a very refreshing tea when drunk cold.

No errant flavors, but the depth of flavor itself seems to wane fairly quickly. I’d say this is a perfect tea for the person who likes to steep their tea for minutes and forget about it. A fine tea, but I cannot think of a time where I actually craved some V93.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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87

Spent the afternoon enjoying my first session with a 2010 Menghai Golden Age. One quick rinse then 7 grams with 4 ounces of boiling water for 5sec, another for 5sec, then 10sec – 3 steeps mixed into one cup for drinking. This sheng is quite smooth and sweetly vegetal with a nice swallow as it warms the throat. Leaves a nice aftertaste. Very good right now and it should be fantastic with a little more age!

Preparation
Boiling

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75

I decided to try this tea after reading some reviews here (see, you guys have a lot of power over other people’s lives, and you don’t even know it! :P), and bought 2 cakes from YS.

Sorry for being over realistic, but this tastes like… Shu pu-erh (ha! surprise, surprise!). But this one doesn’t make you sad like many other Shu do. It’s actually drinkable :) no off-taste, nothing fishy or weird going on, just a decent Shu taste and aroma. It’s sweetish, but there are definitely no chocolate notes.

On a more positive side, the thickness and mouthfeel of this tea are great, and I swear by the all-mighty cosmic Potato that this has some Cha-Qi… funny that no one mentioned that in the reviews here, I had more than one strange experience with this. Who needs illegal stuff when you have Puerh? :)

If you want something like this that won’t force you to break the piggy bank, I suggest the 2008 Tulin/Phoenix 100g brick. Inexpensive and kinda similar to this one.

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81

Nice thick brew with a smoky camphor taste. It starting to mature slightly, as it’s color has darkened to a light amber – leaving behind the young sheng punch. Definitely a decent tea!

Preparation
Iced 0 min, 15 sec

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82

review based on 2 sessions, approx 5g each.

fairly straightforward clean shu , on the light side.
decent tea but not on my reorder list because flavor/aroma is mild.
perhaps its meant to age for many more years.

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82

I finally figured out what this tastes like. I had my boyfriend take a sip and he said it reminded him of BBQ…. It tastes like lapsang! A mild earthy with a huge hint of smoke.

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82

Woof! This one took forever to find on Steepster. I love the Southeast Market becuase I can find a ton of different teas :D This is raw pu-erh. Which I feel like I don’t really have experience with. The flavor is stronger than I thought it was going to be. The flavor is bright with sweet notes and an ever so slight bitterness to it. I don’t really know how to explain it past there… I like it but I think I like my chrysanthemum puerh more :]

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97

last night i took my newly seasoned Yixing and made it. it was nice but i think my Yixing is absorbing too much flavor. it was bold smooth and flat… On one hand, it left me disappointed, on the other – if i won’t make any tea in this Yixing it will never be useful.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 tsp 5 OZ / 150 ML
TeaBrat

When I was first using mine, I would leave teas in there overnight. I think that helped the process along…

boychik

I dont know, its too hot now. i’m afraid it will get mold. i took leaves out for the night, but now im back to brewing. i dont have to drink it, i just want to speed up the seasoning. i do leave overnight in gaiwan or glass gongfu pot because im lazy;)

TheTeaFairy

I do the same as Teabrat, I seasoned one for 2 years like that, every time I had tea, I left tea overnight, never saw mold. It’s a great way to speed up the process I think. (Then I broke it a few months ago. Sad. )

boychik

Did you leave leaves or brew? i might leave brew overnight. Broke?! it is sad, how did it happen?

TheTeaFairy

Both the brew and the leaves. I’d empty it first thing in the morning. I usually have pu’erh at night so it sat there a max. of 8 hours really.
Lol, my own clumsiness! I broke three within 2 months! That’s why I have three brand new Yixing pots sitting there looking pretty…unseasoned! Figured they are safer this way:-)

TeaBrat

I left in the brew and the leaves as well. Definitely helpful if you don’t want your tea to end up tasting like clay.

mrmopar

Just leave the tea in there tipped up in a cup to drain and you should be fine. I brew for a couple of days like this sometimes.

boychik

Thanks will follow your advice;)

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97

I’m a newbie in Puerh. never thought I would venture in this area. i was always afraid to try but once i tried i became hooked. read lots of reviews and always follow thread pu-erh of the day. Sheng or Shou
Anyway this particular tea sounded so intriguing so I decided to order from Dragon Tea House site(in my opinion it was the cheapest). I like it so much that i even placed an order for the second. and already got the second. it takes around 10 days incl weekend to get from China and I find it remarkable. Maybe because Im in New York.
Its very smooth without any offensive smell, kind of earthy, sweet and on my 3th or 4th steeps i noticed some citrus notes and even dried cherry. maybe its my wild imagination;)

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec
JustJames

nope, not your imagination…. the longer it ages the more crazy tastes can infiltrate a puerh. they’re so good for you too!

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79

Had this one a while. The first time I tried it I was like oh no! I have put this in the pumidor for about 3 months and it has opened up nicely. I think the long ship time may have had something to do with the first tasting. I broke off 12 grams put in the yixing and gave a 10 second “wash”. I then actually forgot and let the leaves sit in the pot overnight. It brews up dark like most shou and has that bit of “musty” aroma to it. this stuff gives an almost touch of a cherry chocolate cordial we probably grew up with and dislike now. Only for a second though. It then turns to a kind of lightly sweetened bittersweet chocolate. It has the usual drying of an older shou also. Not a bad one and not the best but drinkable to a shou pu head like me.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec
CelebriTEA

Love the name of this tea :-)

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