Menghai Tea Factory

Recent Tasting Notes

100

Still one of my favorite teas. It’s sweet and has nice earthy notes to it :]

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I’ve been sipping on this for the last hour or so.
This is the 3rd time I’ve sampled this tea, I think.
I do not taste any chocolate. I taste semolina & cream. There is a nice bold depth as well, kind of a coffee edge, which perhaps could be interpreted as dark chocolate, but that is not what I taste.
Over the course of several steepings the cream became butter, with a nice buttery sensation lingering in my throat.
It’s a pleasant tea, & maybe next time…

Bonnie

This one reminds me of good wine.

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Thank you Mrmopar for this Puerh sample!
BTW, the new picture is me sniffing wet tea leaves, proof that I am an official tea geek and nerd!

Oh yeah, getting back into my puerh groove! Woman does not live by puerh alone(but I almost get away with it)!

We’re having a dip in temperature…snow flurries then back up to the 50’s and 60’s. A real Rocky Mountain Roller Coaster! Wheeee!
For breakfast today…a strong cuppa PU sounded fabulous! (If you take a look at mrmopar’s cupboard, you’ll see that he agrees with me!)

This particular puerh was great for bold drinking. I was thinking about how you could make a big pot, sit down with breakfast or the paper…even fill a thermos and head out the door. It’s such a big flavorful puerh, reminiscent of what I ‘Used to get’ at Pete’s Coffee way back when! My morning ‘kick in the butt’ cuppa!

Smooth, dark, stands up to additions and the resteeps aren’t weak.

The flavor:
After one rinse, I steeped 30 seconds which produced a DARK red-espresso-brown brew, smooth and full of energy. The taste was raspberry/choco/cedar/nut with a little tang. (None of those flavors distinctly strong). Muted flavors, smooth and sweet.

On later steepings the flavor wasn’t as strong.

At the 4th and 5th steep…I got lazy and put the two steeps together in an 8oz mug, sweetened it and added cream. Yeah! Good!

I kicked back and watched the news, slurped my mug of PU with a furry throw tucked up under mu chin, my feet propped on the bench coffee table. What a life!

This tea is one of those “Whatever you want me to be, I’ll be it for you baby!” puerh’s! (Too bad I never married man like that, oh well!)

Thanks Mrmopar!

Indigobloom

this is my fave kind of pu! :P

Bonnie

I know, good everyday…puer!

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89

called the thick ripe cake. well aged dayi with hints of cherry on the first steep.hints of oak at the back of the tongue. second infusion cherry with lemon a taste almost like a well aged scotch. will explore more steeps. now off to enjoy…..short steeps under 15 seconds for now.

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

sounds yum!

Misty Peak Teas

Hey Mr Mopar. I did a video that you may enjoy about how to brew Pu’er, just posted it online today. Id love to hear your take on it. I was doing gong fu, then recorded the Gaiwan simple method which may be more popular on here.

Let me know your thoughts, if you like :) Cheers

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmNZ3Mqi5F4

mrmopar

Bonnie, Azzrian it’s a good one no off odors or any signs of twigs or anything in this one. A nice clean cake. Misty saw the video it;s nice it should help many out. aA lot of people use the gaiwan style preparation. I tried it but my big hands could not do it righ so i got clay pots for my preparation. I actually have a pot for each of the major producers that are dedicated to each factory. Hopefully the will retain that bit of each one as they get older and more use.

Bonnie

mrmopar, a fat gaiwan is easier to handle (I have one) Or the type with the spout and handle (mine is clay). I think the use of a gaiwan should not be ruled out entirely,because of what you can do playing with the leaves.

mrmopar

I got an easy gaiwan coming in from china soon. I think i will be more comfortable with it than the one i have here. The one i have coming in has the spout so i should be able to master it.

Bonnie

good idea….think you have it all now!

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99

Excellent. However, expensive.

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98

Thank you mrmopar for this fantastic Pu-erh Sample!

I really should read up on Puerh’s before I go off brewing up on my own. Somehow, a purist will probably be horrified at my methods here.

I was enjoying myself, having a great time with this Puerh!

I have a lovely little seasoned purple clay Gaiwan that I use for Puerh. A pick, strainer and cup is all I need for a good session.

Usually I use less leaf than other people because fibromyalgia has made me very sensitive to taste. I make quantity adjustments because of that and use 3 grams of Puerh when others use 5 grams with the same taste results.

Today, I wanted to try a larger amount of leaves. I used 5 grams, which is a huge quantity for me, then did 2 quick washes.
(I poked the hard nugget of Puerh during the first 30 second steeping to break it up a bit.)
The liquor was dark golden brown with a hint of red throughout.

Steepings 30 seconds unless noted otherwise.

1. First steepings are usually not my favorite. They can knock you down with a fuzzy cedar or redwood taste and texture that’s very strong and sometimes bitter.
But this Puerh…HA!
This tea was extremely Smooth, Juicy and Semi-Sweet, with a light cocoa, sugar date flavor! I was pleasantly surprised!

2. The second steep flavor was like Bittersweet Chocolate or a light Pinot Noir. There was no grit or earthy flavor, but a thick mouth feel that made me think of sipping chocolate.
I added a few grains of sugar and the caramel flavor came up with a richness that I had suspected was hiding deep in the thick, smooth tea.

3. As an experiment, I tried a quick immediate steep.
The color was dark, the flavor…a bit dryer and spicy on my tongue like cinnamon and clove. The creaminess wasn’t as strong and the richness was lighter.
There was more of a wood cedar taste than when I steeped the leaves longer. I liked the longer steeping better.

4. Returning to the longer steeps, this time at 40 seconds, the Puerh was spicier.
Cinnamon, clove and allspice. A bright Paso Robles Zinfandel with Sunshine and Ripeness in the bones of the flavor.
This tea was beginning to remind me of…a Chai base, or Sangria.

It’s the Holidays…and I remembered that the person who sent this Puerh to me…who has become a true friend…has at his side the love of his life. She is fond of Chai.

So, I did what anyone other than me would NEVER do with a great Puerh! I made some Puerh Chai in honor of her, hoping that this is something that he’ll try. Here goes…

I made 2 steepings of Puerh, added half and half, then a little sugar and a little honey (I don’t like too much honey because it can overpower the taste of the tea). Stirred it up…and YUM!

Caramel, smooth, spicy, creamy…(Hey mrmopar, you have 5 cakes of this Puerh, so tell me if you make this for your sweetheart!)

This Puerh is great stuff! Probably the smoothest I’ve ever had and the closest to the experience of drinking wine.

Thanks again mrmopar my friend!

Indigobloom

that sounds incredible Bonnie! YUM. I hope we get a chai review from mrmopar ;)

Bonnie

Me too if he doesn’t boop me on the head for screwing around with such a fine Puerh. It’s a super fine brew!

Terri HarpLady

This is one of the ones I’ve been wanting to try! It sounds wonderful!

Bonnie

Mrmopar says it only is sold in 100gr cakes so it shouldn’t be too expensive or hard to find. It’s really good though! Very smooth.

mrmopar

i wont boop you in the head! it is all about the enjoyment of the tea. everyone of us has our own way to prepare it, and yes i may make a chai out of this one. terri it is pretty easy to find and not too expensive. if you look to pick some up i will find a good priced one for you. keep me posted.

Terri HarpLady

I saw it on Beryleb’s page on ebay. Do you know if there is a place to purchase a sample size of it? I know the 2 of you love it, but I’d like to try it before I buy a cake.

Bonnie

I only have a couple grams left. Need to buy some myself. The small 100 gram cake was under $8.00

mrmopar

jas-tea has them u.s. 7.99 yunnan sourcing usa 7.50 or pm me your address i will send you a sample.

Terri HarpLady

I didn’t see it at yunnan sourcing, but saw one on jas that looks similar, listed as
2009 Menghai Hong Yun Ripe Pu-erh -100 grams
is that the same tea?

mrmopar

yes that is the same one. it is just described a bit differently on the yunnan sourcing site.

Terri HarpLady

Thanks, mrmopar. : )

mrmopar

you are quite welcome!

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63

I love it." but not too much

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63

Just had it in the morning

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88

The gold dayi also has fortitude. Deep into the session, there is still a strength of kuwei and full body that is not present in most of the recent Dayi teas I have tried. It is clear why Cloud and the HK tea forum crowd are backers of this tea.

Read more below:

http://www.twodogteablog.com/2012/12/06/2011-jin-dayi-gold-dayi/

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95

Smooth, rich, and chocolaty! Mine came from Yunnan Sourcing as “Red Rhyme”, but I’ve read that the pinyin “Hong Yun” can translate either way, I believe this is the same cake.

This is a really nice shu with notes of chocolate, oak, and smooth red wine.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec
mrmopar

this is a superb cake and as obi wan would say… very good my young apprentice!! sorry made a funny on this!

tperez

Haha, thank you, Master Mopar! And may the Pu’ be with you!

mrmopar

i am so glad you like this one it is a personal favorite along with the wui ze denke of the same year. right now i am sipping on a haiwan 10 year anniversary cake on about its fourth in fusion. i have found some of the haiwans to be great too. might have to send you some one day.

tperez

Mmm, well I’d love to try some :)

Bonnie

Shared some of this with a new pu’er drinker a few days ago and with my granddaughter. Smooth…easy to drink…like a good mellow wine.

tperez

Haha, it really is! I’m having a tea party with some friends (or at least “tea get- together”) in a few days, and I’m definitely going to make some of this for them. Lets see if I can spread the pu’erh addiction ;D

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40

Dunno… maybe I got a bad one or it still needs to develop. The aftertaste was kinda sour a year ago and its only a bit less so now. It did develop some spicyness though so I think I’ll let it wait a year more…

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94

Thank you mrmopar for this sample Pu-er!

What a lovely gift I received one day a about a month ago from my friend mrmopar. Samples of Pu-er! Tears of delight, really!

Tucked into the package were little tuo cha’s that I can’t read the names of (written in Chinese) so I won’t be reviewing them, but they look like pieces of candy. Colored wrappers full of mystery.
I’m having so much fun with them!

This morning, I picked one of the chunky samples in a labeled zip bag. It looked like dark, hard and gnarly Shu Pu-erh bark. Excellent!

A quick wash first, and I was set for several infusions in my purple clay Gaiwan.

Only the first infusion had a lighter brown color. The rest was deep red-brown. The wet leaf scent was mild, more on the vanilla bread side than leather.

Taste:

My first impression was, this is a good Pu-erh.

I could tell right away with the first light steeping, that there was something different about the taste. It was slightly sweet, very juicy with a spice to it that I couldn’t sort out and pin down.

The feeling of the tea in my mouth was light and smooth…with the flavor of banana skin way off in the background. At first I wasn’t convinced of that, and I walked around the room to make sure I wasn’t picking up a scent from somewhere else. Banana skin, yes.

Steeping again, a much thicker brew this time, and quite red-brown. The flavor was still not earthy or woody and no flavor of cedar either.(This was another surprise because I would have expected woodiness with such vibrant color.)
What I tasted was vanilla cream, some salt and a hint of caramel.
There was something else. Spice or herb, a savory something that I could not identify. The Pu-erh was playing with me gently.

Pouring a third time, the thick and rich broth tasted more like cedar wood with a tang that lasted just a moment…then melted away into a smooth, sweet velvety finish.

I am always tempted to add a few (very few) grains of sugar when a Pu-erh comes to the caramel, cedar, salty stage. I know what will happen next! The same flavor that you taste with quality caramels is what this Pu-erh tastes like with just a little sweetness added to it. (a little cream is nice too). I love salted creamy caramel!

Don’t misunderstand, I like my Pu-erh straight, but sometimes…it becomes dessert towards the last of the steepings.

This is a very good Pu-erh!

I wrote a story for my blog and here’s an intro if you want to read more, it’s about a time long ago when I was working at the Children’s Shelter School, Christmas (1979). www.teaandincense.com

Shelter School Christmas

Our facility was a room in an abandoned Psychiatric Hospital from the 1930’s. A big, drafty, wood and plaster building that creaked and groaned. It looked like a set from an old Hollywood movie!

Two social workers sat in the hallway at all times, while the teacher and I were alone with 10-15 students in a classroom lined with floor to ceiling bookshelves and tall windows, (a scene right out of a Harry Potter movie set). If you peeked in, you’d agree it was a strange looking scene, old radiators and wood planking.

During the Christmas Holidays I decided to plan a party. Without a kitchen, I was still able to teach the kids to make snacks. Then, we decorated by cutting colored paper rings and streamed them across the room. We made strings of popcorn and glittery stars. Each student made a soft, stuffed ornament that was theirs to keep and take to whichever group home or foster home they would be sent to.

It was important to show how to create something from little or nothing, how to celebrate when life is frightening and uncertain. It’s a great lesson in life.

We were going to finish with a party!

I taught some of the tougher hard to reach boys how to properly serve tea and snacks. We even used serving trays for our party.
These boys took their job seriously, practicing over and over again.

(the story continues)

Oh, by the way…Happy St. Nicholas Day! Dec. 6th this is celebrated in many places around the World. 4th Century Nicholas of Myra gave to the poor and defended children and women. He paid the dowery for poor women to marry (something important back then).

mrmopar

so glad you like it. i was stunned when i first tasted this one. i think it is a great one and got a 2007 and a 2012 version of this one to age. yummy stuff i do declare!

Indigobloom

Oh Bonnie, what a lovely Christmas story. I wonder where those children are now. I’ll bet you are part of their fondest memories :)

Bonnie

Thanks for reading it I-bloom. They’re always a part of my memories too and my daughters as you read, and we talk about it now and then. I’m sure others have similar stories.

Indigobloom

Probably,but you tell it so artfully well :D

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84

Thank you, Bonnie, for the sample :)

Dry smell: This tea smells really nice. It smells very very sweet. It has an unusually vegetal smell for a puerh. It is a moist smell like a fresh forest. I can also smell a little hint of green bean.

Wet smell: This tea smells really great after the first steeping. It still has the extremely sweet smell and vegetal taste. The most prominent smell is still something that reminds me of green snap pea’s

Taste: The taste is kinda funky. It has a sweet taste but also a starchy note and feel. There is a deep woody flavor that tastes like a freshly cut down tree.

EDIT: After 1.5 litres of my red aura cake and a litre of this I’m feeling really calm, happy, and relaxed. I’m assuming this is what people describe as qi. I’m not sure if it’s just this tea or a combination of both

Preparation
Boiling
mrmopar

oh the red aura is a great tea. i got 3 different production years of it. i can’t wait to see how it ages.i agree about the star of menghai it will be better in a couple of more years i think.

Bonnie

The cut down tree is probably cedar and the starchy is like a thick feeling like avacado but not that thick pasty. Hard to explain isn’t it. You did well…got to your happy feeling.

Insence&Tea

Yup that sounds exactly what I experienced. It’s so difficult interpreting and passing on all the complexities that a tea has. Hopefully I’m getting better so my reviews can be of use to others

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95

Thank you Bonnie for this fantastic puerh sample!

Dry smell: The dry smell is very woody and, surprise surprise, dry. It doesn’t have a deep wet earth smell but a dry smell resembling bark and cork board. I would describe it as a cooling smell but still very deep. It also has a hint of leafy sweetness, like fall.

Wet smell: It still possesses the leafy sweetness and cooling scents. Nearly all of the cork smell and dryness, however, is gone. There is a fairly large difference between the smell of the dry leaf and wet leaf. It is a nice and light smell.

Taste: The taste is very interesting. It is fairly light but very very sweet compared to other puerhs I’ve tried. The most surprising thing happened on my first sip. The very first flavor that jumped out at me when I tasted this tea is, wait for it, MARSHMALLOW. I don’t know what it is or how else to describe it but every sip I can clearly taste marshmallows. This mixed with the typical puerh flavor makes me think of a night on the beach enjoying smores with my family. I can’t wait for christmas so I can buy some more of this tea!!! :)

Preparation
Boiling
Azzrian

Mmmmmarshmallow! I want!

Lynne-tea

I love marshmallow! I almost bought a bag of marshmallow root to add to teas just in case it tasted like marshmallow. Thankfully I asked a clerk prior to buying it if it actually tasted like ‘mallow. Turns out it doesn’t. Shucks. Still searching for a natural ’mallow herb to add to teas =)

Insence&Tea

Ya it was really strange, but the first 5 or so steeping had a nice roasted marshmallow taste. It would be nice to have a marshmallow flavored herb to add to certain teas.

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87

Amount: 10g in 120ml Yixing teapot. 90C water temp.

Prep:
Rinse

First infusion: Flash (length to pour)
woody smokey lightly astringant orange peel and BBQ sauce??

Second infusion: flash
Slightly more astringent a little more woody. and more citrus peel, dry chalky finish

Third infusion: 10s
the BBQ sauce is back. astringency has ramp’d up a bit also citrus is dominated by the astringency

4th infusion: 15s
citrus now is the main flavor just behind the astringency still dry.

5th infusion: 20s
Smokey. Dry.

6th infusion: 30s
sweetness is coming through now.

7th infusion 1m
Mushrooms and sweetness.

8th infusion 1:30
Sweet but still dry odd smoke blast in the extended finish.

9th infusion 2m
Sweet and lightly smokey dry finish.

10th infusion 3m upping water temp to 100c
Sweet and minierals. still dry

11th infuson: 5m
Slightly floral?

12th infusion. 6m
Still floral but starting to thin out may get one or two more infusions out of it.

13th Infusion: 8m
Florals are starting to diminish right on track for dieng out.

14th infusion 10M
Sweetness dominates. got one more in it before its dead.

15th infusion 15m
Light floral sweet. Orange on the extended finish.

Thoughts:
A bruiser of a tea if brewed carelessly and has quite a caffeine kick once you get a few infusions in. Best not to be drank on a empty stomach or you may fall over if you hit it to heavy. But also has a rather unique flavor profile. This could be partially to my storage methods so YMMV.
Leaves are fairly large and mostly in tact you can notice in the dry leaf that this tea includes a smattering of downy buds when broken apart these buds are still present so its a good quality cake. Definitely a good buy for ageing or to drink as a young shengpu

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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93

this is a premium dayi well worth the cost. it is called Wei Zui Yan which i think translates into the dense flavor of the juice. this tea is so rich it almost resembles a fine assam blend. strong and dark without being overpowering. very nice flavor with almost the tartness and sweetness found in a blush wine. heavy mouthfeel on this one. did a 20 sec wash and a 15 steep a very enjoyable tea that carried over to 4 infusions of sweet taste. the first impression of the cake was a small amount of mossiness. the wet leaves unfolded beautifully with the aroma of a wet leather shoe. and the taste was great sitting outside and enjoying the warm sun of indian summer. i will have to repeat this dance with the tea on another warm evening.

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

Your knowledge of puerhs is astounding!

Bonnie

Your descriptions are getting better and better. I could taste the puerh and see you sitting outside with your cup, relaxed without a care in the world.

mrmopar

not knowledge yet but i keep searching and reading all i can. thanks ashmanra i try to learn a little more each day. thanks bonnie yesterday was an early day off from work and i tried too enjoy the indian summer while it lasts.

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95

This pu’erh had very deep, chocolaty flavors with hints of mushroom and a rich, velvety mouthfeel. Reminiscent of a deep, mellow red wine.

Overall I think this was my favorite :)

mrmopar

it is the very first pu cake that i liked!glad you like it too!

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93

Thanks mrmopar for this Pu-erh sample

It was late afternoon and one of those cloudy warm days where you know there will soon be drops of rain falling.
I was busy doing bills and received my first phone call on the newly installed phone line from the local emergency callback service, informing me that trucks will be spraying for West Nile on my street tonight. Really? We haven’t had rain in ever so long. West Nile?! (In about 8 weeks those critters will freeze to death!)
My second call was an invite to a political luncheon at the home of a local candidate. For free. (Well, in my case they’re not getting any money anyway because I have none).

Oh I do love life in Smallville!
End of Summer is celebrated with an all dog,all human swim at Central Park Lake. (Pretty neat!)

The railroad tracks that run parallel with the main street carries two LONG trains each day that halt traffic straight through downtown. (I’m talking about trains with over 100 cars on them and all you can do is sit in traffic and wait.)

The good people of Fort Collins decided to make use of those train tracks and redesigned the roadway around them, closing the streets downtown (causing a huge detour) for the past few months so that a Trolly Train will be able to run back and forth the whole length of Fort Collins during NON-COMMERCIAL-TRAIN hours. (this is beginning to look more and more like Disneyland. First,the Main Street was modeled after our town and now we’re getting this little train going back and forth…?!)

My oh my?! I needed a Pu-erh latte today!
(Sorry mrmopar, no disrespecting of the Pu!)

30 second steeping of this Pu-erh is plenty of time for a rich dark broth. I drank a 4oz first steep to test the sweetness and salt(which was perfect for my plan).

The second and third steeps I poured together for a big mug of dark
pu-erh which was earthy with no nasty flavor. This was nice and smooth. Like I said, perfect for my plan!

I added CREAM (not milk) and Sweetening and I became “Happy Bonnie”!

I don’t keep ice cream and cake and all those sorts of dangerous to my figure goodies in my house…ha…and I don’t need to with all the tea I’ve accumulated!
But, when I want the richness that comes close to a candy bar, my favorite Black chocolaty tea’s, a sensuous Chai, or caramel Pu-erh Latte satisfies my dessert craving! This did the trick!
http://youtu.be/KlmU6fXSwfk If you like trains, here it is.
My old friend is conductor on this old trolly that runs from town to Central Park…watch it fly! http://youtu.be/gEl2ZDuZQy8

Azzrian

I adore trains! If I ever become a multi gadzillionaire I am going to buy my own train – tracks too! I want a five car luxury train with a pet car for my pets with grass so they can “go”, a dining car, entertainment car, of course sleeper car, and a car for sitting and enjoying the ride with GIANT windows!
Yes this is my fantasy so it CAN happen – I don’t want my own jet plane I want my own train! :)

Bonnie

Years ago, I took a train with my young family from Oakland, to D.C. However, in the Blue Ridge Mountains of West Virginia the we derailed along the New River. The train turned on it’s side towards the river. I heard an old preacher wake up and pray like he had done every morning which woke me up too. Then the shaking began. I put out my hand as the violent bumping started…preventing my daughter from falling and called for my husband to catch our son. No one was harmed. It was a misty morning in that narrow valley and everything seemed surreal as we climbed up and down trying to get off the train. The conductor said if we had all stood at once we would have tipped into the river since the other passenger cars had been removed in Cleveland. After many hours, a Railcar came and then a Caboose which took us to a small town with a coffee shop. We were fed, then we walked across a bridge to a bus and whisked off. Took us non-stop…to Washington D.C. (they did stop, opened the doors and threw trays of fast foods onto the bus not letting us get off to stretch).
After vacation back to California we went by train again. I’m not interested in train rides across the U.S. anymore.

Indigobloom

oh Bonnie I am a wee bit jealous, I love trolleys! and a pu’ latte… YUMMMM

Bonnie

You can make it…they are so good aren’t they?! Do you have a trolly where you live?

Indigobloom

nope, we have streetcars though. Not the same but close enough!

HyBr1d

Ugh deleted my comment instead of edited it. I’ve got a question about puer, but I’ll wait until I get home so I can use the computer instead of my phone :)

Bonnie

ok…I’ll be in and out, PM me if you want and I’ll get back to you.

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77

i used this tuo right up! great for everyday cooked pu :)

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec

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53

I don’t have any details about this one, it just says from meng hai tea cooked around 2005. i got this one in a swap tho im not sure who from or when, i do know that ive had it for a while and i’m glad i found it cuz i obviously hid it away(crazy people hide stuff lol). its really good, nice and dark with slight fishy smell which isn’t a bad thing to me, very smooth and tasty tea tho. not bad at all.

Azzrian

LOL Tommy

Bonnie

Gar…I must be crazy too Tommy!

Thomas Edward(Toad)

i find stuff all that time that i hide away for no reason lol i prolly hid this one so Lance wouldn’t drink as if he would even come near a puerh, he hates it lol

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92

Thank you mrmopar for this Sample Pu-erh!

Now that the stress of selling my car is over…sigh…I am reasonably clear headed and able to drink Pu-erh’s and
enjoy them without working so hard to find the inner calm that’s
needed to write. It’s been a good lesson.
I’m retired, the rest of you Steepster’s go to work or have kids or school and busy lives. You make time to fit in your own tea reviews and stories. I appreciate your effort more than you know.

Review:

Steep time and 1 wash were 30 seconds for each.

The wet leaf began as a raisin muffin scent and ground walnuts, then a leathery rye bread and finally a bakery scent.

Color for each steeping was red/brown, dark red/brown and very dark golden red/brown liquor with each one absolutely clear.

1. I noticed the energy in the tea before the taste. A powerful feeling from a smooth sweet tea that tasted more like the familiar scent of walking through the redwood forest than the earth underneath. It was that tree bark that I’m familiar with and grew up around. (I have no experience with cedar except small pieces of wood) I noticed a peppery feel in my mouth that was playful, like dappled light bouncing up and around. The finish was silky.

2. Oooh this was a much darker woodsy cedar bark flavor. I could still see the bottom of the Gaiwan through the dark brew, but the taste stopped just shy of becoming a bitter bark. As the tea cooled the mouth-feel was thicker but still bright and a little dry right at the back of the throat.

3. Out of the forest proper and arriving at my daughters cabin/house in a clearing at the corner of Conference and Pine (where the huge redwood tree came crashing down and smashed the car, the camper and all the bikes one Winter), Annalisa would be making bread as always…with bits of seeds or nuts and bread crumbs stuck to the baking stones…still toasting away but not burnt. (I’d be looking for the covered butter dish and Olallieberry Jam!).

The Pu-erh was smelling more like the baking bits on the stone and not like the forest or trees anymore. Third steeping’s often become the best of the best. There was a little flatness to the tea that I thought could use a perking up.
I added 1/4 tsp of raw sugar and the savory quality of the Pu-erh came out in buckets! Wow! I was so pleased! The tea tasted sooo good!

Such a good Pu-erh!
(Listen, purists may scoff…(Bonnie adds sugar to Pu-erh…what a dumb lady!)… but noone scoffs at seasoning food. Salt and sugar are used to draw out hidden flavor so I experiment.)

Meandering thoughts:
My little story is not much today. Just a memory of walking in the forest. My family history with a place in the Coast Redwoods goes back to the 1920’s where there was a little community with Summer cabins and a Conference Center, a big cement pool and row boats on a creek. My Aunt Jessie (born in the 1880’s) had an old cabin there where family gathered.
My parents had their honeymoon there, my daughter was married in the Chapel there, her first home was there. I went to camp and we all have our sweet memories.
The best is walking alone through the floor of the forest with towering trees overhead and dappled sunlight barely able to reach the soft spongy red/brown ground below. If you want to know why I love Pu-erh, it might be because of the aroma of the redwood forest. It looks like a forest of chunky and furry Pu-erh! To hide in a tree hollow, or stand in a natural ring of redwoods and look up at the sky is mystical. The trees lift their hands wiggling their green fingers… far beyond what I am able to do in thanksgiving for such beauty.
One of my regular paths led down to Bean Creek and had a small creeklet of water next to it…lined with ferns (looking quite prehistoric) which ended at an old swinging bridge where I could walk across, then down to a sandy beach and see the former creeklet cascading as a grand waterfall into the the larger Bean Creek in front of me.http://youtu.be/nBLkhNoX9Dc (wow found this later on youtube…the waterfall and creek)
My parents and grandparents, my children and grandchildren all have the memory of this place.

Tea is grand for memories. (now that I read that phrase it sounds
too dumb…Tea is not ‘grand for memories’ it kicks my butt! I have memory problems! I’m a visual thinker who’s thinker is broken and tea helps kick it into the remembering mode…so that’s what I mean!)

Dylan Oxford

Haha, well then I suppose we’re lucky we get the post-kick-thinker!

TheTeaFairy

Bonnie, I understood exactly what you meant, your thoughts are a lot clearer than you think :-) even when you’re not feeling too good, I can always relate to what you write because there’s an energy that won’t lie in your writting, just like tea itself!

Bonnie

Thank you. It’s difficult not knowing if you make sense.

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