Shuangjiang Mengku Tea Co., Ltd.Edit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
Dry – Thick, refreshing (camphor), sweetness with fruity notes, a candied red fruit scent.
Wet Very sweet, candied fruit, refreshing (faded mint sensation), wood, apricots dried reduced fruits, aged wood bitterness.
Liquor – Golden
1st 3secs Smooth with a clean sweetness that develops herbaceous and fruity character that seems a bit younger than the age stated, yet very pleasant with camphor (which can be indicative of the age and good storage). refreshing and pleasant huigan.
2nd 3secs Smooth with bittersweet to bitter floral notes that transition to a bittersweet to sweet notes while maintaining a tart and bitter fruit base and developing wood notes. The wood note has hints of dried fruits, but ends up becoming herbaceous and refreshing.
3rd 4secs Smooth and increasingly bitter to bittersweet on the front with deep honeyed notes and now apparent wood character with herbaceous accentuation that linger as the notes become sweeter and fresh with the camphor that lodges in the throat.
4th 6secs Bitter and bittersweet , honeyed, fruity some floral notes with wood notes and now some astringency appears with a slight drying sensation, but remains bittersweet and sweet with a refreshing finish.
I had about 11 steeps of this one. I feel like it help up with strong notes up to the 6th steep and started collapsing, but I could easily correct the times by the color of the liquor and scent.
The overall notes are good with only some astringency which is not a bad thing if you are considering aging. What I liked about this tea is that is one of those that is still defining itself in terms of age characteristics. You can see get the traits of youth from the herbaceous and fruity/floral notes; followed by the aging characteristics of aged wood and camphor. I’m not going to score this one yet. I’m going to finish my sample piece another day and updating this note with ‘updates’ and a score.
Flavors: Camphor, Fruity, Herbaceous, Honey, Wood
This is for the 2013 version, which doesn’t appear to have an entry. Sweet and mellow as mentioned, almost grainlike flavors. Not very grassy. There’s a little huigan, but it’s not that pronounced. The main reason I’m rating this as high as I am is the qi. For an hour after consuming it, I was very dizzy and euphoric and found all manner of decidedly unfunny things funny. I was still shaking after two hours. This is far and away the strongest qi I have encountered in my puerh journey thus far. (Though I do have a nice HLH Cha Wang sample sitting unopened for next week…)
The main downsides I can see are the lack of bitterness/staying power and that the qi doesn’t lend itself well to relaxing or to contemplating much of anything. Drinking it in excess also gives me a rather nasty headache.
I flash brewed this tea using boiling or very near boiling water, 5g of leaf, and White2Tea’s standard ruyao gaiwan. I got somewhere on the order of 15 steepings before it began to lose strength.
Flavors: Fruity, Grain, Sweet
Thany you to the generous Steepster friend who gave me this sample. This is good tea, excellent. There was just a little bitterness in the early steeps but just barely noticeable. It was sweet and smooth from the beginning. I steeped this twelve times and it showed no signs of giving out. This is no weak tea. This is among the smoothest puerhs I have ever drank.
I steeped this 12 times in a 120ml gaiwan with 5.7g leaf and 200 degree water. I steeped it for 10 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, 1 min, 1.5 min, 2 min, 2.5 min, 3 min, and 3.5 min. I still have the leaves in the gaiwan and may go back to them tomorrow.
Descriptions of this tea indicate that it is one of the highest grade teas produced by the Shuangjiang Mengku Tea Co. The hand processing and stone compression result in moderate compression of the cake and make it very easy to pick off whole leaves. The leaves look lovely – for a factory produced puerh, they are very large and whole rather than bits, pieces, and stems. The smell of the dry leaf is clean and fresh. I rinsed twice and steeped the leaves three times but I’m not ready to describe the tea in detail for I really don’t think I’ve worked with this one enough. The cups were sweet and mellow but lacked the flavor profile I was expecting. Thus, to be continued…….
My, my, my – ain’t this fine? A very generous Steepsterite provided me with a sample of this delightful sheng. Sarsonator and I were saying this morning we were going to search out teas with great cha qi and from now on and just buy those. Sarsita! Here’s one!!!
This is nicely sweet and delicious with a velvety qi that makes me hum. More (and the song!) on my blog at: https://atasteofmzpriss.wordpress.com/2014/12/06/2006-fall-lao-ban-zhang-ancient-tree-raw-pu-erh-yunnan-sourcing/
Thank you so much awesome Steepster friend.
Clean dry leaves with a woody, sweet nose offering a hint of incense. Golden liquor with good clarity. Vegetal flavor and a touch of mushroom with a touch of sweetness; tiny amount of bitterness in the first two cups. Smooth with definite character in later cups. Ample complexity beginning in the third infusion and lasting through the remaining six resteeps. Good aftertaste in the mouth. Potential to continue improving with age.
Note: good tea but not my favorite Mengku and not even my favorite Arbor King from Mengku.
Oopsie, I posted my note in the wrong place the first time….
I’ve been enjoying my sample of this :)
It is a sweet, floral sheng, which is right up my alley. Sorry I didn’t have time to write a more detailed note, but this is definitely one I would drink again! Work was nuts today…the energy from this sheng has been much appreciated.
I am relatively new to pu-erh to take this rating with a grain of salt. Per advice from other Steepster members, I used 175 degree water for this young sheng. I also didn’t follow normal pu-erh technique, but used 3 grams in 3 oz water.
(15 s, no rinse): Floral aroma. Taste is a mix of straw and flowers. Quite sweet. 2nd (30 s): Very rich flavor is straw, with hints of earth and flowers. Somewhat sweet. Lovely nose; powerful finish. 3rd (30 s): The aroma is now more fruity than floral. Also, more powerful. The taste is mostly straw but is becoming somewhat bitter at the finish. making the strong finish more of a negative than an asset. Good cha qi. 4th (45 s): nose is fruity AND floral. Taste and finish are weaker than before but still potent; also less cha qi. The tea has a lot of body, but not a whole lot of flavor. Long finish. 5th (60 s): Good mouth-feel and some cha qi, but the flavors aren’t terribly interesting any more.
Overall impression: This reminded me of certain green teas of a grassy/straw flavor, but much more powerful and complex. I much prefer this to those teas, which has already started me wondering how I will use up those green teas if I start buying young sheng.
The cake is quite nice to look at – lightly compressed and nice full leaves with several lighter yellow-tan leaves mixed in. A few twigs and stems discovered when cake is picked apart. A little creamy with sweet mushroom flavor which I rather enjoy. Pleasantly smooth and silky mouthfeel. A fairly light puerh which I wanted today and rather enjoy. Nice leaves. Dark yellow brew – a golden. Nice huigan. The tiniest bit of mintiness creeps out from behind the more dominant flavors. Enough chaqi to warm and tingle the body a bit. A good cake to own!
This tea is outrageously good. Been drinking this all morning and I must say it has really made for a good start to the day! From the opening steeps which present a slight bitter smokiness as mentioned in the other reviews through the fruity period in the middle steeps to the final steeps which seem to me to have a slight pine taste to them I thoroughly enjoyed this. So happy I grabbed a cake of this on a whim last week as it seems as if they sold out. I wish I had bought more but I am happy that other people will have a chance to try this great tea. Can’t recommend this enough but not sure if your going to find a place to buy it where it has been stored as well as Garret and Mandala Tea have stored it. More cakes like this please! Can’t get enough.
This tea is excellent. I bought this because of Sarsonator’s review. It was on the mark. While I am usually a Shou drinker. I do have a Yixing reserved for Sheng. I brewed this seven times in a 140ml Yixing teapot with boiling water. I used 5.2g of leaves. I steeped it for 15 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 30 sec, 30 sec, 1 min and 2 min. There was some bitterness iin the early infusions but none of that Sheng unpleasantness often found in cheap Sheng. By the fourth steeping it was sweet and smooth. If it didn’t contain caffeine I might have brewed it several more times but I will want to drink something from my Teavivre black tea order later. I very much recommend this tea while Mandala still has it in stock.
Holy cow. I’m so damn happy!!!
Method: 6 g, 6 oz, 200 degrees, rinse-15-15, sheng yixing
Aroma: This smells like a beautiful spring day on a tea farm. There is a stream, and amazing trees. The farm has happy animals, and no one eats them. You can smell their hay in the barn! Everything smells fresh and clean and there’s a sweetness in the air.
Flavor: Nom nom nom. I’m really excited about this one. It’s amazeballs!
… Oh dear.
I may have to place yet another order with Mandala within the next few weeks. Preferably after I move in to my apartment for the upcoming semester.
Got a 10g sample of this with— actually, I have no idea which order this came with. One of the three I placed this month (whoops, sorry wallet).
Even though I’ve been slowly accumulating a small quantity of pu’er cakes over the past year and a half or so, I’m still very, very new to pu’ers, especially shengs (I’m a bit better with shus since I started exploring those first).
Anyway, I started steeping this sample early this morning, not long after I woke up. Two quick 5-10 second rinses, which gave rise to a lovely leathery aroma. First few 10-second steeps were leathery and smoky with a mildly astringent bite. The leather and smoke eventually faded and gave way to a succulent, peach-like flavour. The astringency has toned down a little bit, but it’s definitely still apparent. I’m currently on I-don’t-know-what-number-but-it’s-lasted-me-all-day steep and I accidentally left it sitting for about an hour, so it’s now at room temperature. I’m definitely getting a mouthwatering stone-fruit sweet/tartness after each sip that I hadn’t noticed earlier. Wow.
Received an 8 g sample of this from Mandala Tea, and thought it is one of their pressings, so I didn’t think anything in particular, aside from expecting the usual fruit n floral pleasantries that Mandala is known for in their young sheng cakes. Not the “tie me down and make me beg for mercy” type of drink. In fact I was eating ice cream at the time. Noted the compression in the cake chunk, took two rinses to git ’er to open up. Nice amber tangerine color. Took a whiff n sniff of the liquor.
Wait, what? This isn’t a Mandala tea at all. Whiskey, leather and apricot wood with a touch of smoke, this is serious. Nope this is a factory tea, but it is only 2014 and this cake is a 2009? Something is going on here. We have the usual aged flavors of what I associate with a Menghai, but at half the kick and not the astringency Mengku has had for me before.
A few small burnt particles from the wok gives the touch of smoke here, but it is not overpowering. Digging around in the Yixing I see a few tips, small leaves and a couple larger whole leaves. Six steeps and I am feeling mighty fine, beautiful cha qi, got my mental clarity on. But looking at the listing on Mandala, I am either really, really tea drunk or confused. A 400 gram cake for only $29? I am hallucinating or this is the deal of the century.
Researching this cake, I found it priced at $18.90 on EBay from Red Lantern Tea. Yep, that would be AllanK’s hated seller of the slow mule courier shipping. (Aside: seller has 100% feedback, 3000+ ratings). Then I found a review from shogun on TeaChat dated 2008, for this 2009 cake. A mistype? Or did shogun drink an Autumn cake. Or is this cake pressed from older material? Would that explain the nice aging going on…shogun noted a yellow tea soup, high astringency, and a “hay like” flavor, none of which I am tasting here. He paid $7 for this cake back in the day.
Or…has Mandala taken a middling tea cake and turned it into something wonderful. What I might be tasting here is a fine aging job from incredible storage. This cake is a bit of a conundrum with how old it actually is, but I can definitely conclude 100% that Mandala’s storage is fantastic, simply has GOT to be. No storage flavor and I think this tea is perfect now. I punished these leaves with boiling water all the way and got only a mild bitterness and astringency throughout, at a level I personally prefer. I want my tea to have at least some light bitter and astringency, I am not a drinker who likes tea to taste like food.
Could go another year or two for the lightweights new to sheng, but to me this is ready. The market for this cake prevents Mandala from charging a whole lot more, which is a boon for us, and sad for them because their fine storage here should be worth more, here is the breakdown:
Mandala: $29+ 5 shipping = $34 × 15% coupon = $28.90 for 400 g of tea at top quality storage.
Red Lantern: $18.90 + 9 shipping (by mule) = $27.90 for 400 g of tea at unknown storage.
Garret, I hope this doesn’t make you cry, because your aging here is top notch. Go buy this, people, 10+ steeps in and this is still going for me, tea this finely stored is a steal of a deal. Mandala will raise the price someday, once the other sellers wash out of this cake, and it will still be worth twice the money. Bravo, you have made a silk purse of this one.
Hope some pu-heads with better harvest knowledge than I can clear up the date conundrum I found on TeaChat.
Flavors: Apricot, Smoke, Smooth, Wood
We have the great fortune to learn of sellers of very fine puerh through Steepster (and other tea blogs/sites). As a result, we are each able to enjoy some excellent teas. This 2006 LBZ from Yunnan Sourcing is just such a tea. A very good tea with purity, power, hints of mushrooms and nice sweetness. The cake is of moderate compression – quite easy to pick apart. The leaves are large and hearty, with some very nice tips. They produce a clear tea soup which turns rather orange. The scent as the brew cools is darkly sweet, with plenty of power. The liquor has a heavy, thick body that conveys a solid sweetness and finishes cleanly (no real bitterness in the finish). It is big in the mouth – swelling nicely and causing the mouth to water. After 4-5 swallows, the huigan [returning sweetness] finds its way to my throat along with a light mushroom aroma in the back of the nose.
This cake is clearly made from leaves of high quality, I found it to be clean, well-balanced and very enjoyable as it offers good huigan and nice chaqi.
This cake is 100% Ban Zhang Wild Ancient Arbor material. Leaves seem to be complete – undamaged during gathering and processing. Very clear pale yellow tea liquor. Nice leaf; medium compression but quite easy to pick. The tea offers a nice bitterness followed by a quick, pleasing sweetness. Plenty of energy in this one. The cake may seem pricey but actually a bargain given the difficulty of finding 100% high quality LBZ material with a few years of aging.
Note: If interested in this same high quality Lao Ban Zhang material at a much lower cost, Yunnan Sourcing has 25g samples of this 2006 leaf or 100g bricks using 100% 2007 LBZ material.
This is a nicely priced somewhat aged shu I purchased from Dragon Tea house, a 2005 145 gram cake for around $10. It is a very nice tea. It brews somewhat dark, roasty, and is fairly smooth though there is some bitterness. It’s not a perfect tea, but great for the price. It faded rather quickly, but the first few infusions were quite good. Similar to a Menghai shu, that kind of deep compost earthy flavor. I would recommend giving it a try!