Menghai Tea Factory
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Recent Tasting Notes
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.
I read that the 7572 recipe is the benchmark for ripe pu erh, kind of a standard of quality used to compare other shou pu erh’s to. I bought this 2010 version over a year ago, but haven’t opened it. I prefer my shou’s to be 5+ years of aging for most cakes so I let this one sit. Today I was at a friend’s and we sat down for some tea and chose a 7572 he had just opened. We probably used 9g in a 180ml yixing, rinse and short steeps 3-5 seconds. The brew was nice and dark brown with a sweet welcoming scent. My first taste caused a reaction of ahhhhhh yeah, I see! It has a classic Menghai shou taste, rich but not too strong with flavors of mushroom and chocolate with an earthy note distant in the background. It was truly very tasty. I can see why it is the benchmark for shou quality. This could easily be a go to shou, an every day drinker for shou lovers. I’d be interested to try one with a couple more years of aging, but this is certainly an excellent shou worthy of the benchmark label.
Flavors: Chocolate, Mushrooms
I haven’t had this one for a while but I can still remember the flowery chrysanthemum taste and not-so-earthy or heavy Pu-Erh (just right, apparently not aged though). After multiple steeping, rice flavor may appear, but the tea is still surprisingly strong. Even if it’s cheap, one tuocha makes about 1l of acceptably tasting tea.
Actually helps against cold and minor liver disease as ybtea.com claims.
Flavors: Earth, Flowers, Fruit Tree Flowers, Rice, Round
I purchased this tuo from Yunnan Sourcing and I am tasting it 4 years later than the previous reviewer. This tuo is what I have been looking for in a sheng, smoky and tasting like it came out of an aged wooden cask. I packed the Yixing with this one. Liquor looks like a warmed brandy, a hot toddy. Smells spicy and like old oak. Two rinses.
This is the sort of sheng that separates the men from the boys and women from the girls. Think poker lounge and fine cigars, in fact I lit up a cigar and this tea cuts right through. Lingers on the palate smoking up your tongue. Short steeps and yes it is still bitter if you steep too long, I am at ten steeps now, and still not past 20 seconds but then I packed the pot full so it will likely go on. The tea is not your floral,orchid, write home to mother tea. This is deal the cards or you’re out.
Still only 9 years in for age on this. I am not sure my own storage will do anything to improve this further. It would need a careful humidity, the nest shaped tuo isn’t too difficult to pry apart as it would have been a few years ago. The leaves are whole if you can be careful and digging around I found several 1 bud/1 leaf sets, green after a few steeps with orange around the edges, just what I want to see. However, this is one of those tuos probably meant for like Tibet or wherever, it is not subtle by any stretch. Not sour, but it is a man’s and strong woman’s tea. Cowboy hat and britches, people. Just what I have been looking for.
Flavors: Spices, Tobacco, Whiskey, Wood
I bought this tea several years ago and was not impressed. Not realizing that I had already tried it, I bought another tuocha and was thoroughly impressed the second time around! Prepared in a gaiwan, the first 3 steepings were rich and creamy, dark with notes of coca and molasses. The following few steepings opened up with the sweetness spreading out and hints of floral earthiness coming out. The tea leaves to not steep very many times, but this is a great tea.
This variety is often touted as one of the best ripe pu-erh’s out there, but I must say it did not live up to the hype. That’s not to say this tea is not good, in fact it is very good, but not the best. I have had 5-10 variteies that I enjoy more, but the Golden Needle White Lotus is indeed an excellent tea. For me it’s lacking in complexity. The tea liquor is smooth and sweet and goes down with almost no effort or resistence. The taste is slightly malty, sweet, with very little earthy taste. Again, there is very little complexity which was disappointing, but this is still a top notch Dayi tea. At the price though… I’m not sure I’ll be buying another cake. I’ll just ration out the one I have now. :)
Absolutely no “funk” smell or taste that you get with a lot of Shu. Super clean and smooth. There’s a bit of a nice roast of meat that’s been cooked on the grill in the scent of wet leaves.
Initially I got some vanilla upfront but that goes away very quickly. Mostly getting wood and light smoke. I kind of want to say a sort of wool sort of flavor as well, and maybe a slight touch of watered down coffee.
Pretty solid shu, but nothing spectacular in the depth of flavor. Maybe age will bring out some more of the vanilla and maybe some sweetness.
Flavors: Meat, Smoke, Vanilla, Wood
This is an excellent tea. I ordered mine from tuocha. It brews a nice golden color, all the way through several infusions. The flavor is smooth, with little astringency. Some fruity notes come in at the later infusions. It’s flavor is simple but quite nice, and I enjoyed drinking something with a little age to it. I would highly recommend trying this cake if you want to get some idea about what aging will do to a pu erh, and you don’t have tons of money to spend.
Last night I ran several pots of hot water through my new yixing teapot. Then I used a cheap shu to brew a pot and let it set and steep to help season it before pouring it out. I chose this 2010 Menghai Dayi today for my first session. I like the rich cedar and spice of this one with underlying leather notes. I imagine this early in the life of this pot I am imagining it but the flavors do seem more pronounced. Good start.
I know next to nothing about Yixing. I’ll do a formal review after spending some time with it. This is a very inexpensive machine molded pot. I am OK with that. It has what appears to be hand added graphics lightly etched on the sides. This one will hold about 10 oz and looks much larger than I expected and is quite heavy for its size. I have never used or even held a pricey Yixing so I can’t compare. I am sure the experts could easily tell. What I know is, the pot was hot and the handle stayed cool. it pours well without making a mess and only a small amount of leaf passed in to my cup. I couldn’t be more pleased at this time.
Continuing on with this again today. The sample I have is formed in approx 1 inch squares that are easy to separate but the leaf itself is very densely packed. I thought it might take a few extra seconds to get this going again from yesterday. I was wrong. I almost got it too dark at 30 seconds. Just a hint of roughness late in the sip but that is because I should have gone half the steep time. Still very easy to drink. This is a good one.
I am not entirely sure I am reviewing this in the correct place. This was given to me and mine has “Love of Dayi” on the bag in addition to 2010 Menghai Brick.
I love little brickettes and touchas. I don’t have to figure out how much to use. This one is quite solid. Even after steeping for 45 seconds. I’ll be spending a lot of time with it tomorrow. After steeping the aroma is kind of 4-H barn. But the taste is really nice. It is horse tack and cedar. Smooth as silk. There are no rough edges that need tamed here. Very easy to sip of chug if you are so inclined. Kind of sweet. Me and my Splenda monkey like that. A very enjoyable pu’erh.
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 :)
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.
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.
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.
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.