Menghai Tea Factory

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Recent Tasting Notes

98

This is without a doubt the best ripe Menghai Tea Factory tea I have ever drank with the possible exception of the 2008 Song of Chi Tse. It is slightly earthy in the early infusions with notes of chocolate mixed in. It has a slightly bitter character and just slightly sour character in the early infusions too. By about the fifth steeping it loses all of its earthiness and you have the pure flavor of the tea underneath. All the bitterness, however slight, and that subtle sour taste disappears by the fifth infusion too. At this point I started to notice a distinct taste that could be described as either plum or dates notes. Its hard to put an exact description on it.

I used 8g of leaf in a 200ml Yixing teapot with boiling water. I first steeped it for 15 sec. This was a slight oversteep so I then gave it 10 sec, 10 sec, 10 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 15 sec, and 15 sec. This tea did not need long steepings throughout the eight times I steeped it. The aroma of the spent leaves was intense and had an almost chocolate like character, but not exactly.

I bought this tea from Yunnan Sourcing. The last time I looked they had two or three left. I bought three and wish I could have afforded a tong.

Flavors: Chocolate, Plums

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 7 OZ / 200 ML
AllanK

I was wrong about Yunnan Sourcing having a couple left, they sold out.

Rich

Wish I could bring myself to buy one of these, but they are crazy expensive!

AllanK

Yes, but crazy good too.

AllanK

Yunnan Sourcing has run out but you may be able to find it on Ebay, or perhaps Dragon Tea House.

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82

Chose this one this morning. I keep one broken up in a Yixing container bought from EBay. I am drinking the second steeping. The first steeping went into a thermos for work. Brewed it for 30 sec in an 18 oz teapot with boiling water with 10g leaf. It is a little earthy but not too earthy. There is still some fermentation flavor. Overall it is a good, tasty ripe puerh. There are some complex notes I can’t figure out exactly how to describe. It is sweet, it is a little earthy. But not earthy in a bad sort of way if you know what I mean.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 10 tsp 18 OZ / 532 ML

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Reviewing this tonight as the Chairman has a week off. I broke out 10 grams of this to start with. I impressed myself as the first piece weighed in a 10 grams off the bat. My measuring and judgement on weight is getting better.
I gave this a 20 second wash and have let it sit for about 20 minutes to open up a bit.
First steep 10 seconds.
Color almost Lipton like dark.
Aroma, a little left of the fermented type.
Taste, some wood, a little raisin and almost prune or date in there. Nice and warming on a cold rainy night. I have been on a lot of sheng lately and this is a decent change of pace. probably not as deeply fermented as some to allow it to progress, but with the light fermentation it should progress nicely.

Flavors: Dates, Raisins, Wood

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 10 g 10 OZ / 295 ML
Sarsonator

Sounds yum to me!

MzPriss

mmmmmmm

mars1

20 minutes? I usually give it a raw puerh a 5 second rinse before steeping but 20 minutes is more than I expected. Do you only do the 20 minutes for ripe puerh? Any advice to how I should my puerh to get the most out of it, based on your experience? Thanks.

mars1

(should steep my puerh) yes, I’m clumsy at typing at times.

mrmopar

Oh not a 20 minute wash . I just wash it and pour out the first steep/wash and then I leave it in the dry pot to allow the residual steam and moisture to keep opening up the chunk. I guess it is like letting a piece of grilled meat. Always let it rest before cutting. Same idea with the tea. Soak it in the pot and dump it and rest it before the first real brew.

Cwyn

I rest it a little too if it is a chunk, otherwise the first brew is like nothing. I also let the first brew rest a bit in my cup to get the heat dissipated a bit so my first sip tastes like something instead of a blast of boil.

SimpliciTEA

I appreciate the comments. I will have to keep in mind the part about letting the tea leaves rest after being rinsed; I also appreciate that you both gave reasons why you do it.

yssah

from berylleb?

mrmopar

Berylleb carries this one.

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80

A perfectly fine ripe Dayi, though not as smooth and flavorful as their top products in my book.

mrmopar

Stronger than most other Dayi.

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Typical Menghai Dayi production in the look, aroma and taste. I do not suggest this in a bad way just saying that it is not that distinctive from other decent Dayi factory blends – it is reliably a Menghai Dayi ripe puerh. Rich in color; pleasant in aroma; mellow and rich in taste –woodsy, a little sweet with hints of stonefruit. Worthy purchase as a Menghai Dayi “building block” in your shou collection.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 4 OZ / 125 ML
Stephanie

my brain made me read that as “pillow taste” the first time, heh

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85

Yummy. Smooth and light, clean and refreshing.

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This is a highly regarded Dayi shu and I now understand why – smooth and mellow; very easy to drink over and over again. Medium compression of dark leaf with golden tips sprinkled throughout. Fairly easy to pick apart. Red-brown tea soup; flavors of cedar in early cups becoming more like oak in later cups; sweetness found in each. The tea is lightly fermented – ready to drink now but due to this lighter fermentation, also likely to continue changing as it matures. Therefore, I am enjoying and sharing this cake now and I have another cake on the way to me to hold for 3-5 years. This is a solid shu with a very appealing flavor profile – not complex but a very clean, nice sip.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
MzPriss

Sounds yummy!

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86

This is a very good sheng. It is smooth after the first two infusions. It is not as good as the 2014 Mandala Wild Monk but has more of an aged taste. The bitterneess disappears after the third infusion. I steeped this seven times for 15 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 15 sec, 30 sec, 30sec and 30 sec. It does not have any real young sheng bitterness left except in the first infusion.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 4 OZ / 125 ML
boychik

love the setup

AllanK

I have about six gaiwans but this is the coolest.

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Dayi introduced this tea to offer an improved version of their classic 7572. The tea produces a clear red-brown broth with sweet mellow flavor and a nice creamy aftertaste. Cake is of medium compression and fairly easy to pick apart; dark brown leaf with a good amount of golden buds. The “staying power” is most impressive – the leaf keeps giving and giving. The leaf quality is so high that I could begin with flash steepings – add water to 5g of leaf and pour it right into the cup. I’ve done 2 rinses and five infusions and I’m only up to 5 sec. A cake worth owning.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
DigniTea

Shorter life than expected; did not get as many flavorful resteeps as I had hoped for but the first six are definitely good. Maybe more time needed beginning with #7. I did 15s on #7 and then 25s on #8.

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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.

boychik

It’s more expensive than 100 tribute.

Tea Pet

Ugh… I deleted my comment by accident.

Yeah. There is so much hype about the Golden Needle White Lotus teas. I think that excitement around them has probably played a part in the high pricing and the amount of fakes that are produced. With that said, I would like to try some of the other years, however, I doubt I will ever buy full cakes of them. I’d much rather spend my money on some 100 tributes! :)

boychik

I ordered some Golden Needle White Lotus Yubang
http://www.tuochatea.com/yubang-golden-needle-white-lotus-p285/
I think Rich said it was good. Still awaiting since end of June . They probably use sea turtles for delivery ;)

mrmopar

The tribute is a good one. I really like it.

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88

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

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 9 g 6 OZ / 180 ML
mrmopar

Yeah this is a good one.

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95

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

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 5 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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I was gifted this sample by a fellow Steepsterite who prefers to remain anonymous. Thank you, anonymous friend.

After drinking the Teavivre 2006 Fenqing Sheng for most of yesterday, it finally ran out in the early evening so I decided to drink a shou for a change. I was struck by how thick and dark it was: a really rich red-black colour. It had a creamy mouthfeel and a very earthy taste with a citrussy copper tang that was not unpleasant. Its real strength was in the aftertaste which was woody and lasted well. There was no bitterness and little sweetness, just a strong, mellow tea. There did not seem to be much depth of flavour either. Still, it is a very pleasant drinkable tea. I shall probably not buy any of this for myself, but I would never turn it down if someone offered it to me.

Flavors: Wet Earth, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 11 g 5 OZ / 160 ML

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84

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

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec
SimpliciTEA

I was smiling the whole time I was reading this review.

I can’t wait until I get cakes that are of enough quality that I can find full leaf and bud sets in them!

Cwyn

Yeppers, I would kneel on the train tracks for more of this tea! Ordered a pack of tuos.

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93

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.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 4 OZ / 130 ML

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92

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. :)

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 6 OZ / 185 ML

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This ripe has all that I have come to expect from a quality warming Dayi shu with six or more years of age – appealing aroma, free of most fermentation taste, no real bitterness or astringency, rich flavor profile, and decent longevity. The leaf brews just the way I like my shu puer – smooth and dark. The tea liquor yields an earthy aroma that is warm and rich. Mellow and pleasant taste; smooth and rich in flavor with a mix of light oak, caramel and creamy flavors with traces of dark cocoa. The sip delights the mouth with a smoothness on the tongue and then leaves a sweet aftertaste.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 10 g 4 OZ / 130 ML

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77

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

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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81

Very nice Puer. I tasted this after same year 7592.

This one was a very similar taste profile to that but two distinct differences. One, I noticed less of the funkiness smell. Instead I got way more wood smell and flavor, and less sweetness. I also noticed more branches, stems, etc. Maybe just the sample I had, but I wonder if that’s why I got more wood or if this is just the formula.

Liquor is a nice deep red. Smell very wood forward, not so much of that typical shu musty.

I like this one a lot but I think the 7592 had a touch more depth and variety.

Flavors: Dark Chocolate, Leather, Wood

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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7g 150ml Yixing 212F
rinse twice/pause/10/10/15/15/15/20/20/25
i loved this shou. Im surprised that one reviewer said its bland. No, its very flavorful, rich, creamy, wood and dried fruits(dried cherries mostly). the brew is bright red color. very potent, many resteeps for 2 days.

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

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86

My second pu erh from Tuocha today! Another good one at a great price. The first few steeps were a bit subdued, with somewhat damp flavor. Then, after about 4 infusions, it got much nicer. Fruitiness, and still thick, slight astringency. All in all a tea worth trying!

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91

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.

mrmopar

Excellent choice.

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The reggular pu er tea. No specific taste. Good color, good pu er taste. Can note nothing

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