Menghai Tea Factory
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Recent Tasting Notes
This is still a little young to drink, but if previous years are the same, this one really will age well too! I LOVE some of the older 7542 I have had, and I think this is one of the most classic teas for big factory teas
It is still harsh now though!!
very good aged pu er but open the wrapper and let air out for a few days. washing this tea is a must a 20 second wash and a 30 second infusion works well. i left this tea in a pot with just enough water to cover overnight and added hot water to it almost 24 hours later and it brewed a very dark brew almost reminding you of a good malty scotch.
i found this tea to be very mellow and smooth with good body water just under boiling one wash of the leaves for about 20 seconds and a 30 second steep. i got 4 good infusions out of it. i may have gotten more but i favor a dark strong tea.
Last night I felt like having a Pu-erh, so I chose this one. Thank You Amy Oh for such a nice one. :)) I don’t usually do this, but I did read Amy’s review before typing this.
I used half of the sample in my glass press for this tasting, and I was struck by how sweet the wet leaves smelled! Maybe it’s because I haven’t had a Shu in quite a while, but they seemed sweeter than the usual pu-erh, and also had a light mushroom aroma. Am I the only one who noticed a purplish hued liquid at the bottom of my tea press??
My first cup probably could have been steeped a little longer, but I still got a rather dark cup with that purplish tea color around the cup. It smelled of light mushrooms. The flavor was light mushroom-like, smooth and sweet.
In my next tasting the wet leaves smelled like burnt sugar or brown sugar and sweeter. The cup was darker as was that hue I noted in the first cup. Aromas were deeper mushroom sweetness, & nothing but smooth, full, and delicious. :)) [1 minute at 180F].
I must admit, it was after midnight when I started cupping this Shu. I don’t know if they have more caffeine, but it seemed like it, because I was really wide awake and had trouble sleeping through the night. Caffeine usually doesn’t keep me awake! :// I didn’t want to let the tea sit until morning, so I had one more cup.
My last cup was steeped the longest, & the leaves smelled deeply of mushrooms and the sweetness wasn’t noticeable. The cup was darkest (purplish ring), and…….what can I say? Mushrooms anyone??! This was also the prominent flavor, while remaining so smooth and sweet on my palate! [5 minutes at 212F].
In my limited Shu experience, this Menghai Pu-erh was the best overall. The sweetness in aroma and flavor was great! I love the smoothness in every cup. I agree with Amy that there was no funky aromas or tastes, and that made this tea special IMHO. I wasn’t finding the chocolate aspects though Amy.
Look for an add-on to this review as I steep the rest of the sample soon. Note to self: No more late night Pu-erh tastings, unless I want to stay up all night! Thanks again Amy for a great Shu experience. :))
Cupped & Reviewed: Thursday, July 5, 2012.
Some tea drinkers like young sheng; but for me, this Menghai was unsatisfying on several levels. Sampled at 200˚F, the liquor was somewhat bitter – the kind of thing that happens when a green tea is scorched. Sampled at 145˚F, the bitter notes vanished, but that taste like an understeeped green oolong; the liquor was a light green, and wan in flavor.
Part of the problem is that puerh consumed this early is going to be substandard, since it hasn’t even begun to age. And then there’s the controversy over young sheng; some tea drinkers like the experience, but drinking this is not dissimilar to brewing an inexpensive Tie-Guan-Yin at 212˚F; you’ll get the same harsh, overcooked flavor, and that’s going to be the case with most young sheng.
It’s the after lunch pu-erh. :) If you like shus you should check these out someday. I love the flavor but the brick is a mess when you try to pry it apart. A small sacrifice, I say! See previous notes if interested.
I’ve always wanted to own one of these 7562 bricks although I can’t quite tell you why. I’ve heard so many things about them and people owning ones that age very well over time. I’ve never had a brick that is so tightly packed before and, having no idea how to break it apart I immediately began attacking it with a kitchen knife, making a big mess. There must be a better way – a chisel?
My cup is elegant with no strange odors in my opinion. The tea is very smooth and dark with a creamy, malty and chocolate-y element. I am enjoying it. I’m a newbie to Menghai pu-erhs but am already a fan of this one. Definitely a good purchase for the price, I got mine from Puershop.com for $11.95 and that will make a lot of tea!
My morning-afternoon tea: It is quite eye-opening and trust me I need it on this dismal day. One thing that has been elusive to me is trying to describe the flavor of Sheng. So, I researched what others are saying: buttery, walnut, orange citrus sparkle, woodsy juniper, cedarwood, apricot, texture of lime and melon, sweet alfalfa, cedarwood sauna, cinnamon, white peppercorn, redwood, eucalyptus, hazelnuts, ginger, cardamon, licorice, clover honey, granny smith apples, tart hibiscus, pine needles, raisins, pipe tobacco, cloves, honeysuckle, hot cabin wood in the sun, biting, harmonious, moss and campfire.What I am getting more than anything would be the wood flavors. The cedar sauna definitely. A dryness. Hot cabinwood in the sun. Definitely. Dry desert sunshine. Juniper. I can see it. I am definitely getting a dryness as opposed to a juiciness. Any input is always appreciated….
Erm…I need to put “trying a young sheng at 8:30 at night” on my list of tea-related things I should never ever do again. This is the second sheng I have tried, and while it is better than my first experience (which was awful) it still isn’t great. Granted, I know that a big part of the problem is trying teas too young. So I will still be searching for a sensible sheng.
This was kind of smoky, a little bitter, and just kind of harsh. It is from batch 901, but as a puerh newbie I’m not sure how much variation there is between batches. It made me feel jittery (and not in a caffeinated way).
Note: The review ends here. What follows is a late backlogging/recount of my first sheng puerh experience because now I am all twitchy from drinking this tea and have nothing better to do.
So…I got a small sample of a 2011 sheng – I can’t for the life of me remember what it was, only that it was free. So I figured it couldn’t hurt anything to try… (famous last words). From the first sniff – the tea seemed, well, mean. I’m not one to attribute emotions to tea, but this tea was somewhere between cranky and mean. (warning sign #1)
And it was strong, too…oh, it was strong. Smoky, astringent, and just overall unpleasant, like having a conversation with a snotty coworker (warning sign #2). I think I kept up for 7 infusions, just for the “experience”.
And then it hit me…it was one of the worst things I have ever felt – kind of like a panic episode..but stranger. It felt like all of my molecules were vibrating to the point where twitchy was putting it mildly (result of not listening to warning signs 1 and 2). My head felt funny, I felt anxious, my stomach hurt, and so on… I’m not really sure how else to describe it.
I have heard people discuss the “qi” of tea, and kind of wondered how you would even detect that sort of thing – but I think I get it now. This tea had a nasty qi. And I learned my lesson (or so I thought) about trying sheng too young. Here’s hoping the one I’ve got in my order from Verdant Tea turns out better!
This is not my first tea of the day. I have been starting off my mornings with a Yongming 2004 Sheng that was graciously sent with my last order from Verdant. The Yongming has finally weakened so it is time to fill the Yixing with this 2007 7532. The only word that I can conjure up would be invigorating. Along with the energy that this tea is warming me with that Sheng glow. I can only drink so much. This is how I can enjoy it for a few days in between my other tastings. PS, The Yongming is not on the Verdant site. It was sent “just for fun”. And fun I am having. Tea does rule. This Menghai is much better than the last time I had it. I guess it’s the usual combination of the teas subtle aging and my improving brewing skills. I upped the score….
I am brewing this in my Yixing with generous leaf. It is very energizing. The flavor is powerful and assertive. I received this today along with 4 other Sheng to sample and hopefully be able to get to know this type of Pu’erh. One thing that I must note is that there is an energy to these Sheng. A life force. Not a caffeine energy. The liquor is a dark amber orange. And for whatever reason still, I have a mental block when it come to trying to describe the flavor of Sheng. They truly are in a class by themselves….
This is a very nice young Shu that is the best of what I have had recently. It is dark and mellow and soothing and without any funky odors or flavors. It is very good for every day drinking. The price is right. I am on the second cup and it is giving me that warm, glowing feeling. Or maybe it’s Hope my dog who is asleep on my lap as I type? Anyway, it’s a warm and luscious tea that is good for beginners.
This is starting to taste more like a grassy-green tea with earthy and woodsy notes. Not sweet wood like the 1st or 2nd infusion…more masculine and musky! It evens out towards the end and the aftertaste isn’t as hardcore as the beginning of the sip. I like that it morphs noticeably tho…neat tea!
Smells more woodsy
Tastes less sweet and more woodsy
I pairing this with some Punjab Eggplant for lunch! It’s MARVY!
Dry aroma was slightly sweet AND sour and a little woodsy.
Once infused it’s a warm bark type smell.
Color is very light yellow-brown.
Flavor is very sweet for a pu-erh. Very young. Crisp!
I like this! I’m going to do an infusion test with this one today before sending the rest to LiberTEAs
In many ways it is a shame that Menghai Golden Needle White Lotus ripe puerh has been hyped up so much online. It is a very good ripe puerh but not the best that I have encountered although to its credit it is better than most. I think the best thing about this puerh is its overall balance and lack of rough edges and an enjoyable but complex taste that can be hard to nail down into words although I’d say more of soft wood and not dirt. It has a medium level fermentation which has more body than many of the lighter ones but stops short of the strong malty taste that some of the heavier fermentation brings. Also as others have mentioned before this tea has really good staying power for a ripe puerh but as always the number of infusions you can get from the leaves depends upon how strong you like your tea but you will get more than normal for this one.
This is one smooth tea even being a new shu. The first infusion is a creamy almost vanilla flavor that completely fills the mouth coating it with a viscous cream sensation. Infusion number two brings out some cherry tobacco notes. I would also argue that a coffee drinker might enjoy this tea due to it’s viscous heady nature. The color is beautiful reddish brown almost the same color as my yixing pot. However the party lasts a short time as this tea gives it all and is finished by the 4th infusion.
I was getting some cheap glass teapots from Yunnan Sourcing, and I couldn’t resist taking a couple of pu’er cakes as well, especially with the expensive shipping of them. I don’t now a lot about young pu’ers, and I chose to get three vintages of 8582. I have sampled a couple of older 8582’s, and I liked them, and these young cakes where cheap. So I bought this one made 2008, another from 2009 and a third being made 2010. A vintage comparison! Although Steepster doesn’t (yet?) support comparative notes, I’m gonna give some thoughts on the comparison on this single note.
FIrst, they all were clearly the same tea. The taste was about the same, difference was more on how the taste behaved.
‘10 first attacked me with a taste I believe most describe in English as astringent bitterness, but the initial nastiness made room for a liquiricelike sweetness quite common with young cakes. Although first shocking, the initial taste moved aroung quite smoothly, it’s roughness was quite round if one can say like that. Aftertaste was pleasant. I’d say potential, but I won’t probably be drinking this for a couple of years.
‘09 was most interesting one. First I thought this was slighlty more tamed version of ’10, but at some points it gave some weird tastes. It didn’t behave consistently. At some brews this was definantly the weakest one, but sometimes it really shined. I really don’t know why.
‘08 was my overall favourite. It’s taste was most harmonious, balanced. There was quite a bit of roughness, but this tea wasn’t as bipolar as the ‘10 and ’09. If these three cakes really form a valid timeline of aging, I’d say this is my vasual pu’er in a couple of years.
Now the interesting thing is, are the differences in taste due their ages, or are they resulting from different harvests? Their age differences are relatively large, the ‘08 being three times as old as the one from ’10. On the other hand, they are only a year from each other. That will probably clear out in a couple of years, as their relative age difference lessens. I’m excited in onberving the aging of these three.
Comparing teas side-by-side is always fun. Today, pushing the ’09 Gong Tuo hard with an initial one minute steep, for an espresso-like brew, I was amused to see the weak last steeps of the 80s shu (http://steepster.com/teas/jas-etea/16232-80s-loose-menghai-79092-ripe) seem incredibly sweet when held up against, the more bitter, terse, and earthy ’09. Enlightening was that when brewing shu so aggressively, the faults of the tea come right to the surface, as it showed little sweetness or depth, instead giving a chalky coarseness and a watered-down earthen flavor, making the 80s tea seem so much more interesting. However, comparing young and aged shu in such a manner is probably not fair.
Full blog post: http://tea.theskua.com/?p=511
Farewell, fair Nannuo. Okay, THIS was the best in the series. No, really. In the second of two brew sessions, I finally got the flow down with this tea. It takes some intuition, otherwise it gets crushingly dry and cottony. Otherwise, light, perfumy, and with delicate fruits. I think it’s a solid, punchy tea, but responds to a lighter hand of brewing. The steeped leaves certainly showed the largest leaves of the set, as well as the least cooked and most consistent processing.
Almost done with the Peacock series. One left, after this one. I do believe this is probably the best in the series. Still, I consider it only above average. It opens with a strong orchid and fresh mushroom aroma that subsides into the cup. The first steeps are delightfully sweet and thick, but the middle steeps can be easily over-brewed to produce an astringency that strips any and all saliva off the tongue, making your mouth feel like sand. It lightens up in the later steeps, but empties out quickly. There is some “orangeness” to this tea that makes it a little tame, but otherwise, I think it’s an above-average Menghai sheng.
Not too much to be overly impressed by in this Dayi ripe puerh brick. A typical ripe puerh with a slightly malty taste to it. Well suited as a cheaper everyday casual drinking ripe puerh, that falls into the good upper middle range but falls short of the exceptional upper end ripe puerh.
Continuing to work through the last of these Peacock series samples and I must say I think I’m fatiguing of Menghai’s compression and of plantation tea. In many ways, there’s nothing wrong with this tea, but there’s also little exceptional about it. I do appreciate being able to single out a region, but the production kind of renders down and sanitizes whatever character might show. There’s moderate fruitiness, classic sheng glow, and lots of astringency from the abundant dust. Finishes in honey.