Menghai Tea Factory
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Recent Tasting Notes
A great buy for someone who’s only had bad, fishy shu pu’er, Dayi’s Yunxiang cake redeems the name of shu. And for any doubters, this tea’s traits define why I love Menghai Factory shu pu above all others and worth its price. When I’m in the market again for cooked tea, this cake is on my list.
Notes: Malt, clean, walnuts, soil, dried bamboo, grains, black pepper, sweet, winter squash, rocky.
Other features: stronger on sides of tongue, one infusion left a tingly feeling on my tongue, no acidity or awkward flavors even when infusions cool down.
My sample was from the core of the bing, so it was compressed tighter than steel and composed, seemingly, of dust. This was not an appealing cake from the get go. The first few steeps were scattered and blurry, with plenty of green bitterness, some light melon, and a dapple of honey. It produced one of the paler soups I’ve seen in sheng and had light aromatics. Smoothing over towards the middle of the session, the confusion ebbed to blandness, with a plain white sugar and cream of wheat character dominating. Unexciting.
A completely different beast than Bada, the Peacock of Bulang is a very thick and robust creature. Immediately, smoke comes through. A hint of the pine-scented Lapsang shows up in the first steep, and unlike the often coarse cigarette-like smokiness of the Xiaguan teas, this is cleaner, richer, and more enjoyable. As someone who appreciates the hearty Bambergian rauchbiers, I find the rustic hill quality of this tea enjoyable. As the leaf opens up, it yields a really dark orange soup, a bit murky. Normally, an associated strong oxidized hongchaesque tannic bitterness would dominate, but it’s subtle and not unbearable. Otherwise the tea is clean, complex, hearty, and satisfying. The chaqi is smooth, settling, and warm.
A perplexing sheng, for sure. The cake had intense, iron-fisted compression that made flaking new leaves difficult. The opening aroma was a stellar display of fresh strawberries. Unfortunately, this character quickly faded. The first three steeps were thin, dry soups of green-tea-like grassiness, a faint hint of bile, and some raw grains. Around the fourth steep, the soup thickened up and gave a very generic sweetness, losing raw edges, but not gaining much depth. I’m not in much hurry to return to this one.
After breaking up the tuo and letting it air out for a couple of weeks I tried it again. All the fishiness is gone and the tea is really pleasant to drink, thick & smooth with a great aroma. Considering the price:quality ratio this is a very good tea afterall
wow! my first raw (sheng) pu-erh and its simply amazing. amazng pear and tropical fruits on the nose, very smooth and thick in the mouth, no bitterness at all. 5 infusions and still going strong! i’m not an expert on sheng but this is really tasty for a 2006 vintage tea
Has a strong fishy smell and taste. Also a strong muddy component. Has a long lasting hui gan and decent cha qi. Didn’t like it one bit cause of the overwhelming fishiness, Maybe it’ll improve with time!?
Tastes even better than usual in my new Yixing pot. This is the smallest one I have, around 4.5 oz. Got about 5 or 6 out of around 4.5-5g of leaf.
This tastes extra good today – I brewed it on my new tea table/tray. It’s really a thing of beauty.
I was on vacation last week and didn’t have any tea that was worth drinking, let alone any good shou. This tastes extra good today!
Starting the week out right with some shou pu (deja vu).
Starting the week out right with some shou pu.
Didn’t have any tea this weekend, and I’m rather enjoying this shou this morning.
This was very good prepared gongfu as usual. I’m enjoying all the steeps despite being on sort of a shou overload. I’ll try something different tomorrow at any rate.
Very good shu, prepared gongfu in a 6 oz. Yixing pot. Used 6g of leaf and rinsed once for about 10s with about a minute rest. Used short steeps at around 15s increasing the time slightly after the second infusion.
These Dayi shu cakes are really good, and I don’t even see the need to let this one age for a year or two like the description says. It brews up clear and tastes clean and malty with some caramel and pipe tobacco notes.
First cake from the big batch of pu we just received. Did this one gongfu and it’s very good. Probably the best ripe I’ve had thus far.
A 15 year plus old tea cake. A limited production from Menghai using aged leaves combined with large new leaves. The tea is exhibiting dust on the nose, with a ruby complexion in the cup. Consistently so, brew after brew, in an aged dark purple clay pot, around 200ml in size. Brilliant finish, and sticky in the throat, leaving an overall sense of well being.
Another two sessions with this precious tea before putting it to sleep. I think I’ll get a tong of this. The dusty aroma is even stronger now, using a pot containing a blend of blue clay and tuani. Even after being left overnight after 8 or 9 steeps, the tea continues to yield strong bodied liquor, perfect for the morning. Best purchase for a while? Maybe, will have to brew the 8892 to compare tonight.
First produced by Menghai after the name change to Xishuanbanna Menghai. Production started in ‘97. This specimen part of a tong. Slightly loose, and damp ’shu’ beeng cha. Quick rinse and first two brews were very dark due to presence of loose leaves. Subsequent brews mellowed out, with hui gan appearing, and slight ‘dust’ notes. Beeng has been opened to air and ‘re-vitalise’.
Brewed 12g of tea in a 350ml ‘seasoned’ pot. The first brew aroma carried caramel and herbs. Colour as a good cognac. Body was substantial, coating the tongue, palate and throat, creeping down into the stomach. Hui gan persisted and occurred in waves. Amazing patience with consistent brews up until the 9th, when extra time was introduced. We brewed this pot for 2 1/2 hours, until we lost count of the brews.