Menghai Tea Factory

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Recent Tasting Notes

88

This tea is very rich with a slight mineral taste that moves on to an almost oak taste as found in a good dry red wine. This tea brews a nice dark orange color with a light floral or citrus aroma apricot or muskmelon. Easy drinking no bitterness or astringency. Brews up nice and tasty. A nice drink for the end of a long and late work week. Brews up almost creamy. Very good tea.

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

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67

No notes yet. Add one?

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

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20

This was a very unremarkable Shu. I have been on a ripe Pu kick lately and have experienced some great ones but this one didn’t measure up. It is very one dimensional and bland. Theres nothing exciting, no creaminess, no boldness. Its just deep red liquor with a blah flavor. I will use the rest of my sample to mix with young Sheng’s that I don’t want to alter the taste of.

mrmopar

You may want to let this one ‘breathe’ for about a week with some humidity and use a little more leaf when brewing. I usually go at least one week in the ‘pumidor’ before i would even think about tasting it. wait before you mix it and retry if before you proceed. I have one I got from Mandala and it has aged pretty good.

mrmopar

Don’t give up hope on it yet!

Billy

I have had this one for about 3 years and it hasnt changed. I usually use about 3.5 grams but used 4.5 on this most recent session and its still blah. It will mix nice since it won’t impart much flavor, I also used it to season my yixing pot so all is not lost.

mrmopar

Oh my after 3 years it should have changed some, but like you said season the yixing !

Billy

I just bought a cake of this and gonna give it another shot because it got great reviews elsewhere. Besides I just had a sample and who knows how it was handled.

mrmopar

I just got into my 2009 one yesterday. It has changed some since I put it up. It is still developing I think and the color has gotten a whole lot darker in the infusion since I got it. Hope the cake is better than the sample.

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100

This is hands down my favorite Shu! Its smooth and full of flavor. I detect notes of raisin and smooth creaminess. I judge all other Shu’s against this. The liquor is bold and full of creamy flavor. Deep red in color. I will always have this as long as its offered.

mrmopar

This is a good one!

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80

Just tried this one today. This tea gives a very dark infusion right off the bat after the first rinse. It comes across bold and strong with a woody almost like someone had put chestnuts in the pot with it. It has a touch of sweetness that has carried through 5 infusions with no loss of flavor yet. The aroma is just like a new shou with the barnyard smell that is knocked out by the taste. I personally think this one still has the new fermented taste still a little strong for now, but I think this will be really great in a year or two. I have no doubt about these being old tea tree leaves the strength of the brew has not dissipated yet. I will continue to experiment with this one till the flavor is gone. Giving it a so so rating for now because I believe it will age well.

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

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87

I’ve had this tea aging in my cupboard for about 4 years already. The last time I tried it (2 years ago) I remember the flavors being quite vibrant, but I thought I’d give it another try this afternoon.
Parameters: water just under boiling; infusion times 45s, 20s, 25s, 30s, 35s, and so on, for about 12 infusions. I filled up about 1/4 of my gaiwan with leaf.

Dry leaf: Wet hay, a little musty, grassy notes.
Wet leaf: Leather, cedar, loam, finishing with caramel and vanilla notes.
“ChaQi”: A surprising feeling! Heat, all along the neck, and a flushed face. First sadness and nostalgia (infusion 3) followed by calm (infusion 6).

This tea tastes exactly like it smells. The first few infusions yielded an earthy, pleasantly dirty flavor with an utterly creamy mouthfeel. There is no bitterness. As you drink it, you can imagine you are in a cabin in the woods, and that it is raining outside. Infusions 4, 5 yielded new mineral notes. Infusions 6, 7, 8 became increasingly sweet, with the distinct aftertaste of wild blueberries along the sides of the tongue. I look forward to this tea becoming even smoother as it ages.

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92

This is so nice tonight. Really mellow and slightly haylike, but there’s a bit of sweetness here too. This almost smells like honey and wood to me.

I’ve debated posting anything about my day yesterday, but it feels good to air it out. While crossing the street yesterday morning, I got hit by a car. Some crazy lady just plowed into me when I was halfway through the crosswalk; she did not stop at the stop sign. Good news: I am okay. After she initially hit me I put out an arm against her hood, thinking she would see me, and when she continued to push me forward I threw myself backwards out of the way of her car. She drove away, never even looked at me or the various people that were honking at her, and she never stopped. I pulled a number of things in my shoulder and around my scapula, bruised my tailbone falling, and have bruises on my legs. Very thankfully, I am alive and not broken. The whole thing still feels really surreal and kind of like a far away movie.

It feels really wonderful right now to just rest and drink some tea.

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

Unbelievable, Claire!
I’m glad you’re ok. Did you report it? That gal shouldn’t be driving!

Sil

O my goodness. I’m so glad you’re ok. What a terrible thing to have happen

Lindsay

yowza. some people. glad to hear you’re ok

K S

Steepster was hanging on to post again. So you are now a day away from the car incident and I can imagine very sore. Recover quickly. Drink lots of tea. It seems to cure everything from what I read on other sites :)

Claire

Thanks for the good wishes!
Terri – I didn’t report it. When it happened I was in shock and ended up getting up and just walking to school. About a half hour later I realized it really hurt. At that point I got checked out by the doctor and called the police, but they said I had to go down to the station to be checked out, and I haven’t had the time/energy to go over there.
K S – Yes, I am very sore! I’m attempting to take it easy, and I am drinking lots of tea. :)

Terri HarpLady

I know in St. Louis they have cameras everywhere now days, which is an irritation, but the accident may be caught on film…
I know that I would never remember what the car looked like even, had I been in your circumstances. Just be gentle with yourself. Sending some good Reiki vibes your way!

ashmanra

Oh my gosh! I will be praying for you today! The soreness after something like that is always nasty!

Claire

Terri – I actually remember that it was a small black car, like a toyota corolla. The lady had long blonde hair and was young too. I have some time in the morning so I will probably try to stop by the station.

I’m happy to say that while I’m still quite sore and bruised, it’s getting better! And now I’m home and can drink puerh to my heart’s content. :)

canadianadia

That’s so scary. It’s so horrifying that you went through that, and it’s especially terrible that that she drove away. I hope your soreness and bruising heal quickly.

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89

called the thick ripe cake. well aged dayi with hints of cherry on the first steep.hints of oak at the back of the tongue. second infusion cherry with lemon a taste almost like a well aged scotch. will explore more steeps. now off to enjoy…..short steeps under 15 seconds for now.

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

sounds yum!

Misty Peak Teas

Hey Mr Mopar. I did a video that you may enjoy about how to brew Pu’er, just posted it online today. Id love to hear your take on it. I was doing gong fu, then recorded the Gaiwan simple method which may be more popular on here.

Let me know your thoughts, if you like :) Cheers

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmNZ3Mqi5F4

mrmopar

Bonnie, Azzrian it’s a good one no off odors or any signs of twigs or anything in this one. A nice clean cake. Misty saw the video it;s nice it should help many out. aA lot of people use the gaiwan style preparation. I tried it but my big hands could not do it righ so i got clay pots for my preparation. I actually have a pot for each of the major producers that are dedicated to each factory. Hopefully the will retain that bit of each one as they get older and more use.

Bonnie

mrmopar, a fat gaiwan is easier to handle (I have one) Or the type with the spout and handle (mine is clay). I think the use of a gaiwan should not be ruled out entirely,because of what you can do playing with the leaves.

mrmopar

I got an easy gaiwan coming in from china soon. I think i will be more comfortable with it than the one i have here. The one i have coming in has the spout so i should be able to master it.

Bonnie

good idea….think you have it all now!

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99

Excellent. However, expensive.

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98

Thank you mrmopar for this fantastic Pu-erh Sample!

I really should read up on Puerh’s before I go off brewing up on my own. Somehow, a purist will probably be horrified at my methods here.

I was enjoying myself, having a great time with this Puerh!

I have a lovely little seasoned purple clay Gaiwan that I use for Puerh. A pick, strainer and cup is all I need for a good session.

Usually I use less leaf than other people because fibromyalgia has made me very sensitive to taste. I make quantity adjustments because of that and use 3 grams of Puerh when others use 5 grams with the same taste results.

Today, I wanted to try a larger amount of leaves. I used 5 grams, which is a huge quantity for me, then did 2 quick washes.
(I poked the hard nugget of Puerh during the first 30 second steeping to break it up a bit.)
The liquor was dark golden brown with a hint of red throughout.

Steepings 30 seconds unless noted otherwise.

1. First steepings are usually not my favorite. They can knock you down with a fuzzy cedar or redwood taste and texture that’s very strong and sometimes bitter.
But this Puerh…HA!
This tea was extremely Smooth, Juicy and Semi-Sweet, with a light cocoa, sugar date flavor! I was pleasantly surprised!

2. The second steep flavor was like Bittersweet Chocolate or a light Pinot Noir. There was no grit or earthy flavor, but a thick mouth feel that made me think of sipping chocolate.
I added a few grains of sugar and the caramel flavor came up with a richness that I had suspected was hiding deep in the thick, smooth tea.

3. As an experiment, I tried a quick immediate steep.
The color was dark, the flavor…a bit dryer and spicy on my tongue like cinnamon and clove. The creaminess wasn’t as strong and the richness was lighter.
There was more of a wood cedar taste than when I steeped the leaves longer. I liked the longer steeping better.

4. Returning to the longer steeps, this time at 40 seconds, the Puerh was spicier.
Cinnamon, clove and allspice. A bright Paso Robles Zinfandel with Sunshine and Ripeness in the bones of the flavor.
This tea was beginning to remind me of…a Chai base, or Sangria.

It’s the Holidays…and I remembered that the person who sent this Puerh to me…who has become a true friend…has at his side the love of his life. She is fond of Chai.

So, I did what anyone other than me would NEVER do with a great Puerh! I made some Puerh Chai in honor of her, hoping that this is something that he’ll try. Here goes…

I made 2 steepings of Puerh, added half and half, then a little sugar and a little honey (I don’t like too much honey because it can overpower the taste of the tea). Stirred it up…and YUM!

Caramel, smooth, spicy, creamy…(Hey mrmopar, you have 5 cakes of this Puerh, so tell me if you make this for your sweetheart!)

This Puerh is great stuff! Probably the smoothest I’ve ever had and the closest to the experience of drinking wine.

Thanks again mrmopar my friend!

Indigobloom

that sounds incredible Bonnie! YUM. I hope we get a chai review from mrmopar ;)

Bonnie

Me too if he doesn’t boop me on the head for screwing around with such a fine Puerh. It’s a super fine brew!

Terri HarpLady

This is one of the ones I’ve been wanting to try! It sounds wonderful!

Bonnie

Mrmopar says it only is sold in 100gr cakes so it shouldn’t be too expensive or hard to find. It’s really good though! Very smooth.

mrmopar

i wont boop you in the head! it is all about the enjoyment of the tea. everyone of us has our own way to prepare it, and yes i may make a chai out of this one. terri it is pretty easy to find and not too expensive. if you look to pick some up i will find a good priced one for you. keep me posted.

Terri HarpLady

I saw it on Beryleb’s page on ebay. Do you know if there is a place to purchase a sample size of it? I know the 2 of you love it, but I’d like to try it before I buy a cake.

Bonnie

I only have a couple grams left. Need to buy some myself. The small 100 gram cake was under $8.00

mrmopar

jas-tea has them u.s. 7.99 yunnan sourcing usa 7.50 or pm me your address i will send you a sample.

Terri HarpLady

I didn’t see it at yunnan sourcing, but saw one on jas that looks similar, listed as
2009 Menghai Hong Yun Ripe Pu-erh -100 grams
is that the same tea?

mrmopar

yes that is the same one. it is just described a bit differently on the yunnan sourcing site.

Terri HarpLady

Thanks, mrmopar. : )

mrmopar

you are quite welcome!

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63

I love it." but not too much

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63

Just had it in the morning

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88

The gold dayi also has fortitude. Deep into the session, there is still a strength of kuwei and full body that is not present in most of the recent Dayi teas I have tried. It is clear why Cloud and the HK tea forum crowd are backers of this tea.

Read more below:

http://www.twodogteablog.com/2012/12/06/2011-jin-dayi-gold-dayi/

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94

Thank you mrmopar for this sample Pu-er!

What a lovely gift I received one day a about a month ago from my friend mrmopar. Samples of Pu-er! Tears of delight, really!

Tucked into the package were little tuo cha’s that I can’t read the names of (written in Chinese) so I won’t be reviewing them, but they look like pieces of candy. Colored wrappers full of mystery.
I’m having so much fun with them!

This morning, I picked one of the chunky samples in a labeled zip bag. It looked like dark, hard and gnarly Shu Pu-erh bark. Excellent!

A quick wash first, and I was set for several infusions in my purple clay Gaiwan.

Only the first infusion had a lighter brown color. The rest was deep red-brown. The wet leaf scent was mild, more on the vanilla bread side than leather.

Taste:

My first impression was, this is a good Pu-erh.

I could tell right away with the first light steeping, that there was something different about the taste. It was slightly sweet, very juicy with a spice to it that I couldn’t sort out and pin down.

The feeling of the tea in my mouth was light and smooth…with the flavor of banana skin way off in the background. At first I wasn’t convinced of that, and I walked around the room to make sure I wasn’t picking up a scent from somewhere else. Banana skin, yes.

Steeping again, a much thicker brew this time, and quite red-brown. The flavor was still not earthy or woody and no flavor of cedar either.(This was another surprise because I would have expected woodiness with such vibrant color.)
What I tasted was vanilla cream, some salt and a hint of caramel.
There was something else. Spice or herb, a savory something that I could not identify. The Pu-erh was playing with me gently.

Pouring a third time, the thick and rich broth tasted more like cedar wood with a tang that lasted just a moment…then melted away into a smooth, sweet velvety finish.

I am always tempted to add a few (very few) grains of sugar when a Pu-erh comes to the caramel, cedar, salty stage. I know what will happen next! The same flavor that you taste with quality caramels is what this Pu-erh tastes like with just a little sweetness added to it. (a little cream is nice too). I love salted creamy caramel!

Don’t misunderstand, I like my Pu-erh straight, but sometimes…it becomes dessert towards the last of the steepings.

This is a very good Pu-erh!

I wrote a story for my blog and here’s an intro if you want to read more, it’s about a time long ago when I was working at the Children’s Shelter School, Christmas (1979). www.teaandincense.com

Shelter School Christmas

Our facility was a room in an abandoned Psychiatric Hospital from the 1930’s. A big, drafty, wood and plaster building that creaked and groaned. It looked like a set from an old Hollywood movie!

Two social workers sat in the hallway at all times, while the teacher and I were alone with 10-15 students in a classroom lined with floor to ceiling bookshelves and tall windows, (a scene right out of a Harry Potter movie set). If you peeked in, you’d agree it was a strange looking scene, old radiators and wood planking.

During the Christmas Holidays I decided to plan a party. Without a kitchen, I was still able to teach the kids to make snacks. Then, we decorated by cutting colored paper rings and streamed them across the room. We made strings of popcorn and glittery stars. Each student made a soft, stuffed ornament that was theirs to keep and take to whichever group home or foster home they would be sent to.

It was important to show how to create something from little or nothing, how to celebrate when life is frightening and uncertain. It’s a great lesson in life.

We were going to finish with a party!

I taught some of the tougher hard to reach boys how to properly serve tea and snacks. We even used serving trays for our party.
These boys took their job seriously, practicing over and over again.

(the story continues)

Oh, by the way…Happy St. Nicholas Day! Dec. 6th this is celebrated in many places around the World. 4th Century Nicholas of Myra gave to the poor and defended children and women. He paid the dowery for poor women to marry (something important back then).

mrmopar

so glad you like it. i was stunned when i first tasted this one. i think it is a great one and got a 2007 and a 2012 version of this one to age. yummy stuff i do declare!

Indigobloom

Oh Bonnie, what a lovely Christmas story. I wonder where those children are now. I’ll bet you are part of their fondest memories :)

Bonnie

Thanks for reading it I-bloom. They’re always a part of my memories too and my daughters as you read, and we talk about it now and then. I’m sure others have similar stories.

Indigobloom

Probably,but you tell it so artfully well :D

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84

Thank you, Bonnie, for the sample :)

Dry smell: This tea smells really nice. It smells very very sweet. It has an unusually vegetal smell for a puerh. It is a moist smell like a fresh forest. I can also smell a little hint of green bean.

Wet smell: This tea smells really great after the first steeping. It still has the extremely sweet smell and vegetal taste. The most prominent smell is still something that reminds me of green snap pea’s

Taste: The taste is kinda funky. It has a sweet taste but also a starchy note and feel. There is a deep woody flavor that tastes like a freshly cut down tree.

EDIT: After 1.5 litres of my red aura cake and a litre of this I’m feeling really calm, happy, and relaxed. I’m assuming this is what people describe as qi. I’m not sure if it’s just this tea or a combination of both

Preparation
Boiling
mrmopar

oh the red aura is a great tea. i got 3 different production years of it. i can’t wait to see how it ages.i agree about the star of menghai it will be better in a couple of more years i think.

Bonnie

The cut down tree is probably cedar and the starchy is like a thick feeling like avacado but not that thick pasty. Hard to explain isn’t it. You did well…got to your happy feeling.

Insence&Tea

Yup that sounds exactly what I experienced. It’s so difficult interpreting and passing on all the complexities that a tea has. Hopefully I’m getting better so my reviews can be of use to others

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95

Thank you Bonnie for this fantastic puerh sample!

Dry smell: The dry smell is very woody and, surprise surprise, dry. It doesn’t have a deep wet earth smell but a dry smell resembling bark and cork board. I would describe it as a cooling smell but still very deep. It also has a hint of leafy sweetness, like fall.

Wet smell: It still possesses the leafy sweetness and cooling scents. Nearly all of the cork smell and dryness, however, is gone. There is a fairly large difference between the smell of the dry leaf and wet leaf. It is a nice and light smell.

Taste: The taste is very interesting. It is fairly light but very very sweet compared to other puerhs I’ve tried. The most surprising thing happened on my first sip. The very first flavor that jumped out at me when I tasted this tea is, wait for it, MARSHMALLOW. I don’t know what it is or how else to describe it but every sip I can clearly taste marshmallows. This mixed with the typical puerh flavor makes me think of a night on the beach enjoying smores with my family. I can’t wait for christmas so I can buy some more of this tea!!! :)

Preparation
Boiling
Azzrian

Mmmmmarshmallow! I want!

Lynne-tea

I love marshmallow! I almost bought a bag of marshmallow root to add to teas just in case it tasted like marshmallow. Thankfully I asked a clerk prior to buying it if it actually tasted like ‘mallow. Turns out it doesn’t. Shucks. Still searching for a natural ’mallow herb to add to teas =)

Insence&Tea

Ya it was really strange, but the first 5 or so steeping had a nice roasted marshmallow taste. It would be nice to have a marshmallow flavored herb to add to certain teas.

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87

Amount: 10g in 120ml Yixing teapot. 90C water temp.

Prep:
Rinse

First infusion: Flash (length to pour)
woody smokey lightly astringant orange peel and BBQ sauce??

Second infusion: flash
Slightly more astringent a little more woody. and more citrus peel, dry chalky finish

Third infusion: 10s
the BBQ sauce is back. astringency has ramp’d up a bit also citrus is dominated by the astringency

4th infusion: 15s
citrus now is the main flavor just behind the astringency still dry.

5th infusion: 20s
Smokey. Dry.

6th infusion: 30s
sweetness is coming through now.

7th infusion 1m
Mushrooms and sweetness.

8th infusion 1:30
Sweet but still dry odd smoke blast in the extended finish.

9th infusion 2m
Sweet and lightly smokey dry finish.

10th infusion 3m upping water temp to 100c
Sweet and minierals. still dry

11th infuson: 5m
Slightly floral?

12th infusion. 6m
Still floral but starting to thin out may get one or two more infusions out of it.

13th Infusion: 8m
Florals are starting to diminish right on track for dieng out.

14th infusion 10M
Sweetness dominates. got one more in it before its dead.

15th infusion 15m
Light floral sweet. Orange on the extended finish.

Thoughts:
A bruiser of a tea if brewed carelessly and has quite a caffeine kick once you get a few infusions in. Best not to be drank on a empty stomach or you may fall over if you hit it to heavy. But also has a rather unique flavor profile. This could be partially to my storage methods so YMMV.
Leaves are fairly large and mostly in tact you can notice in the dry leaf that this tea includes a smattering of downy buds when broken apart these buds are still present so its a good quality cake. Definitely a good buy for ageing or to drink as a young shengpu

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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93

this is a premium dayi well worth the cost. it is called Wei Zui Yan which i think translates into the dense flavor of the juice. this tea is so rich it almost resembles a fine assam blend. strong and dark without being overpowering. very nice flavor with almost the tartness and sweetness found in a blush wine. heavy mouthfeel on this one. did a 20 sec wash and a 15 steep a very enjoyable tea that carried over to 4 infusions of sweet taste. the first impression of the cake was a small amount of mossiness. the wet leaves unfolded beautifully with the aroma of a wet leather shoe. and the taste was great sitting outside and enjoying the warm sun of indian summer. i will have to repeat this dance with the tea on another warm evening.

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

Your knowledge of puerhs is astounding!

Bonnie

Your descriptions are getting better and better. I could taste the puerh and see you sitting outside with your cup, relaxed without a care in the world.

mrmopar

not knowledge yet but i keep searching and reading all i can. thanks ashmanra i try to learn a little more each day. thanks bonnie yesterday was an early day off from work and i tried too enjoy the indian summer while it lasts.

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95

Smooth, rich, and chocolaty! Mine came from Yunnan Sourcing as “Red Rhyme”, but I’ve read that the pinyin “Hong Yun” can translate either way, I believe this is the same cake.

This is a really nice shu with notes of chocolate, oak, and smooth red wine.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec
mrmopar

this is a superb cake and as obi wan would say… very good my young apprentice!! sorry made a funny on this!

tperez

Haha, thank you, Master Mopar! And may the Pu’ be with you!

mrmopar

i am so glad you like this one it is a personal favorite along with the wui ze denke of the same year. right now i am sipping on a haiwan 10 year anniversary cake on about its fourth in fusion. i have found some of the haiwans to be great too. might have to send you some one day.

tperez

Mmm, well I’d love to try some :)

Bonnie

Shared some of this with a new pu’er drinker a few days ago and with my granddaughter. Smooth…easy to drink…like a good mellow wine.

tperez

Haha, it really is! I’m having a tea party with some friends (or at least “tea get- together”) in a few days, and I’m definitely going to make some of this for them. Lets see if I can spread the pu’erh addiction ;D

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95

This pu’erh had very deep, chocolaty flavors with hints of mushroom and a rich, velvety mouthfeel. Reminiscent of a deep, mellow red wine.

Overall I think this was my favorite :)

mrmopar

it is the very first pu cake that i liked!glad you like it too!

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88

Deep burgundy color. The flavor is smooth and earthy with a medium body and has slight cedar, cocoa, and coffee flavors upfront, and ends with lighter citrus and hay notes, followed by a run-on sentence. :)

Bonnie

Welcome to puerh heaven fellow earth dweller! Seems that there are a few of us the crawl in the mud and love the taste of these cedar, cocoa, bready, mushroom, etc. tea’s. mrmopar is a great puerh friend!

tperez

Haha, I don’t have to perform any kind of blood pact or something, do I? lol :)
I’m really quite addicted to those samples Mr. Mopar sent me, I think I’m going to have to order a cake before a run out! I hear pu’erh withdraw is a horrible thing :)

mrmopar

blood pacts not necessary just being friends to and with pu-erh is the key. you watch bonnie she has a great palate for tea check some of her reviews i learn a little more from her each day.

tperez

Aww, man! I was kind of looking forward to the blood pact :P hehe

I’ve noticed Bonnie’s posts are always very descriptive, and reading her notes on some of the pu’erhs you sent me I see a lot of things that I tasted in the teas, but wouldn’t have thought of myself

Its great to find such an awesome community here

Bonnie

Wow, Wish I was younger I’d stalk you guys!

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