Menghai Tea Factory

Recent Tasting Notes

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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74

Just tried this one again it has mellowed out in the pumidor. The brick has become more easy to “break”. The flavor is very nice now with just a touch of astringency no bitterness or off flavors or aroma. This has turned into a better tea with a sweetness on the palate now with an almost wineflavor to it. bumping it up a bit.

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

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74

an aged shu that will be better with more aging still too much of the young shu in general

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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91

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 )

Thomas Edward(Toad)

I’m going to try one of these soon :)

Bonnie

I think you’d like it. Wish you were close by because I usually have noone to sip tea with and that’s a shame. My only recourse is to teach some people. I just spoke to my Priest and I’m going to have a small group of college students from my Church over to tea taste with me and my granddaughter Schey.

Thomas Edward(Toad)

I’d love to come sip some Pu with ya if i were nearby, College folks from church getting together for tea sounds like a really awesome idea, I have been trying to get a Teatime & Bible Study going around here but everyone is always too busy to come over.

mrmopar

hey bonnie let me know how it is iced!

Bonnie

I drank some cold and a little sweetened and it was almost a light honey fruit, smooth and delicious. I love puerh at about the 4th steep stage cold when they’re this type of Shu.

mrmopar

i think this is going on my to do list!

Bonnie

Love your car!!! My first car was a 56 Mercury Monterey (White and Turquoise with white roll and tuck interior…so cool!)
Here’s the closest to it…and the Beach Boys, http://youtu.be/DaoMRQsQ-tw ode to my youth!

Bonnie

Tommy, take it to the college or something. The group my granddaughter is in meets at the University down the street from me so I happen to be close by. Bikes and bus right outside. If it’s stop in and go, cool. I’m sharing hospitality and tea.

mrmopar

bonnie it is a 73 dodge challenger the result of 8 years work so far thank you for liking it!

Bonnie

I had a VW bug painted that blue. Really pretty. I called it cadillac blue, don’t know why. I think the bug was a 65. I had a rootbeer El Camino from the 60’s and a Ford Fairlane. Wish I had them now…I’d be rich!

ashmanra

Tommy and Bonnie: if I were close by I would MAKE time to come have tea with you! And invite you to tea at my house, too! :)

Bonnie

Good deal Ashmanra. I have some puerh to review from mrmopar and you could help me!

hannabling

I liked all your pictures Bonnie – where you live it looks very peaceful.

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75

a great tea for the price i bought this one to age a bit but temptation got me . smooth woodsy and great color in the cup. i think this will be great with more age.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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83

I do not own that many bricks, but this is a favorite cooked puer brick of mine. I think I still like the 7572 puer cake better, but this is a still super lovely!! I always have one in my cupboard

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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99

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.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 45 sec
Bonnie

Oh shut up! Bragger! You had better not go anywhere carrying this on you is all I can say…you won’t be safe!!!

Bonnie

I went to Church today…I forgot Thou Shalt Not Covet…well…drats!

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77

very smooth with a hint of natural sweetness. earthy and dark good for multiple steeps.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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98

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)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec
Bonnie

I know what you mean! I love my Pu’er but I keep giving the little I have away to people who’ve never tasted it before. I want everyone else to love it too!

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100

This is one pu erh I always have on hand. I’m not sure why but it’s my favorite. It’s sweet, earthy, and has a nice floral note. Always my go to tea when I’m not sure what to have.

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100

Having a big mug of this today. It’s cold and I don’t want to go to work D:

BrewTEAlly Sweet

I was so torn between this one and the rose one when I placed my Black Friday order. Luckily this one will be in my hands soon:) my dad saw me drooling over tea Black Friday sales during thanksgiving visit and he have me a little money :) I was ecstatic

KallieBoo!

MMMMmmmm this one is my favorite. It’s really sweet :]

BrewTEAlly Sweet

Good! Then it looks like I made the right choice:)

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100

I really love this pu :] I’ve had it three days in a row now. See previous notes!

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100

Bleh. I don’t feel good and I wish I had more of this in my travel mug :(

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100

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

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100

Tried blending this with a TINY bit of pineapple kona pop… Honestly, it’s pretty good. It adds a bit of a sweet note along with the earthiness.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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100

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)!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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88

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 :)

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec
Alexander Ponomarev

agree with every word) The regular everyday cheap puer tea

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89

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!!

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

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84

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.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more
Bonnie

Yum! Just the way I like it! I’ll be right over!

Bonnie

How much did you soak in water?

mrmopar

i usually eyeball it about two quarters worth or enough to cover the bottom of my brew basket. zip on by i will brew up cups of v93 from all the years i have.

Bonnie

Don’t tempt me! You’re probably in Canada or Italy or somewhere like that …so sad! I got it! Move to Colorado!

mrmopar

i am from virginia originally a north carolina boy

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