Menghai Tea Factory
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Recent Tasting Notes
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.
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.)
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!)
Thank you mrmopar for this sample Puerh!
After morning prayers, a favorite way to begin my day is PUERH!
I had a choice of several samples to choose from thanks to my Steepster friend, and this one had a note that said it was a good every day Shu, mellow and thick (which I love).
I rinsed the leaves (chunky dark brown bark) 30 seconds and then for each infusion steeped 30-40 seconds in my PIAO before releasing the tea into a Gaiwan.
The wet leaves took time to break up from the bark stage into a sponge and finally a clump of chocolate brown mulch.
The wet aroma is something I love about Puerh. It’s so organic and sensual. A perfect match for my wild Highland Scot heart.
The smell began as coffee, breadish breakfast aroma then a wet wheat and hay scent on the second steep and finally a sweet pastry steam bath taming down into a grass and hay scent on the final round.
The liquor was clear and ranged from red-brown to coffee color to root beer brown on the last steep.
Each steeping was mildly scented with a savory aroma closer to light mushroom broth than earth and dirt.
Steep one, the flavor was delicate, smooth and nutty with light saltiness and sweet juicy mouthfeel. The flavor was a bit bready with a light mushroom taste.
Steep two was heavier and more savory. Full, rich, with lots of juice and a flavor that was elusive…so I came back again and again…until I found berry in the tea…a dry raspberry taste which as the tea cooled became mellow. A sweet pipe tobacco scent arrived on the finish.
The third steep was the most delicious as is often the case. Sweet and salty, savory and juicy but mild. There was a pleasent tingle on my tongue.
I added a little sweetening and thought how I would love a Thermos of Puerh like this when sitting on a beach. Somewhere like Lake Tahoe with the alpine climate and clear blue lake.
I took some photo’s, you may notice a figure on the bench…me… http://flic.kr/s/aHsjBg47K3
This Puerh is very good…the kind I would keep as an every day Puerh and I’m going to steep the rest as my ICED treat for later!
(Just in case you don’t read the notes below, mrmopar has the icon of the blue Charger so I have a clip of my first car which was a 56 Merc
so cool…with the Beach Boy’s singing… http://youtu.be/DaoMRQsQ-tw )
One of my favorites wish they made it into a cake larger than 150 grams. dark mysterious woody and subdued floral hints. I resteep about three times. I liked this so much I purchased a 750 gram tin of five and it is a go to when I want a smooth tea at the end of the day. 100 percent top pu-er! You must be a pu-er drinker not for the faint of heart! Re-steep adding about 15 seconds to your prior time I get about 4 out of it.
purchased as a fairly new production tea. i think a few years aging will mellow this tea out some. i think it has too much of a licorice taste for me as of yet,but i am sure with aging that will go away to the smooth menghai taste that i am used to. btw the 2010 star of menghai entirely different.
a very tight packed cake 100 grams this was one of my first pu-er teas that I bought and it hooked me. very smooth just be sure to wash this tea and let it open up for 20 to 30 seconds toss the first brew or wash. steep about 30 seconds on the first time and increase your steep after that.good for about 4 infusions you may get more but i prefer a strong cuppa tea.only downside is this can only be bought in a 100 gram cake(I have bought 5 so far)
I’ve ignored this tea for a while so I thought I’d give it some attention. Of course this Pu-erh has a wonderful earthy aroma and a dark copper liquor(I brewed double the amount..). It has a lovely taste, kind of earthy and sweet with a very, very subtle floral-ish under notes. Overall I have enjoyed this tea (especially with breakfast :D)!
7572 is a classic…kind of like going to a restaurant you know really well and getting your favorite dish! It is always the same and reliable – I drink this tea often, it’s good as an “everyday” kind of thing. Like eggs and toast for breakfast
I am actually drinking a 2009 now, not 2010, but i didn’t see where to list it, and the difference is prolly not so big :)
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.
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.
first time I tried this tea was in a TaeTea shop in Beijing. I sat down with the shop keeper and had maybe 8 brews or so. Very easy and warming on the body and adds a sense of contentment. This is my mid day tea. I steep for around 20 seconds to start- similarly to how the shop keeper prepared it. The tea is almost syrupy even at such a short steep. It coats the mouth and there is a mild numbing the way Sichuan peppercorn’s numb, but gentler.
I let this steep for 5 minutes in the Yixing and I knew what to expect. A strong, dark very flavorful brew. No rinse. This went straight to my head. I could feel this tea immediately. I noticed a vast improvement since my last tasting. I have several young Shu such as this that I will sip from time to time to see how they are aging. This one is getting there. Another raising of the score….
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….