Shuangjiang Mengku Tea Co., Ltd.

Recent Tasting Notes

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.

DigniTea

Decent leaf; good to drink right now but should become better each year.

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87

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.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 30 sec 3 g 3 OZ / 88 ML
DigniTea

A nice one to enjoy!

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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!

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

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90

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.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 5 OZ / 140 ML

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93

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.

Flavors: Sweet

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 5 OZ / 140 ML
AllanK

I steeped it in this Yixing teapot bought from my favorite EBay teapot seller called missteapots.
http://instagram.com/p/rz-a8xzDXu/?modal=true

Sarsonator

Glad you liked this one, too. I bought it because of a review from Cwyn, and then also TheTeaFairy and MzPriss were raving about it. I spoke to Garrett at Mandala on Friday, and there were only 4 cakes left. I bought one, and then there were 3. If anyone else is interested, they should probably grab one now!

AllanK

I am glad I bought it. I only steep a good tea seven times. Your review was accurate. You should check out the EBay seller missteapots. Everything I have got from her has been great. I think I have bought 5 teapots and one set of teacups, all yixing.
http://stores.ebay.com/MissTeapots?_trksid=p2047675.l2563

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99

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!

http://instagram.com/p/rp485evkWI/

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 6 OZ / 177 ML
TheTeaFairy

Oh, a farm where no one eats the animals makes me happy :-) and I’m glad you liked this one, I thought my sample was amazeballs too!!!

cookies

Oh, a happy animal farm sounds like absolute heaven!

Sarsonator

You guys can come visit my farm utopia! And in the meantime you can drink this and picture it!! :)

MzPriss

Happy animal farm! Of Happiness! I’m HOME where ALL he good tea is and I got a Mandala box and a Whispering Pines box and my day just got a whole lot better. There is a big fat cake of 2009 Mengku Jade Dew Raw 400g in there too – so WOOT!

I missed my other two teaplets. If I can scrounge up ANY energy at all – I’m gonna sheng.

Sarsonator

If I ever begin a tea farm with animals, I will be calling it the Happy Animal and Tea Farm. Of Happiness!

So glad you made it home and that you had some lovely surprises waiting! Missed you!!!!

MzPriss

How much do you love this Jade Dew?? I s home!

MzPriss

Why does Steepster hate me? It keeps eating my syllables.

Sarsonator

I knew what ya meant. And I love this so very much. It’s deeeelish! And I was all happy sniffing and drinking it!

Cwyn

Yah me too, got 2 cakes of this, insane I know but Mandala did an awesome job aging this.

mj

LOL, Sarsonator, you’re going to have a total sheng over from all the shenging you did today

Sarsonator

Never!!!! I may be tea drunk, but I can never have too much sheng, or a sheng over :p

MzPriss

I love the way Mandala cares for these babies too Cwyn. It is a bigass cake too. Will make me happy for a long time

Sarsonator

I’m buying more to keep for later :)

MzPriss

Best hurry – my not from Garret says there isn’t much left.

Sarsonator

Well poo.

MzPriss

I think 4 cakes. I bought some more Wild Mountain Green too but I love that one so very much. And some kinds I haven’t tried before. You will be getting some of those too in your box.

MzPriss

And that’s “pu.”

mrmopar

I have one of these I need to get out again soon.

Sarsonator

Good idea, mrm. It has the Chairman Meow seal of approval!

AllanK

Where did you buy this tea?

AllanK

Saw in earlier chat you got it from Mandala. I ordered one.

mrmopar

Chairman Meow wasn’t born when I got this one.

Cwyn

Cracks me up every time I read that kitty name.

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80

Brewed a large 18 oz pot of this for 25 sec with boiling water, one rinse. It a nice tasty tea with no off flavors or bitterness.It has no astringency either. An excellent choice for someone new to Puerh.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 12 g 18 OZ / 532 ML
Sarsonator

18 oz? Damn! That is hardcore, Allan!

AllanK

It was my morning tea, one steeping and I needed to wake up.

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90

This tea sends me into a very happy place.

I probably should not have had it at 11 PM. I might not be able to sleep.

In which case, I’ll take the newfound energy I have and continue tackling the neverending readings I have.

Brewed with my new gaiwan, 10 second steeps.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C
Cwyn

Did you get this from Mandala? I bought 2 of this cake from them, their storage of this cake is excellent. Really like this cake and I don’t expect the current price to stay so low once other purveyors sell out of this.

Ag

Yep! I tried a sample from them a few months ago and wound up getting 2 cakes not long after. So glad I did. I think they’ve sold out of them now. (Which might be a good thing for my wallet/limited apartment space, haha.)

Cwyn

Holy cow, it is out of stock!

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90

… 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.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 10 g
Cwyn

This cake knocked my socks off, and it is an amazing value for all this aged flavor. Can be found cheaper elsewhere, but the storage would be unknown. I am convinced it is Mandala’s storage which made this cake far better than it is elsewhere, making a little extra for it well worth it. Ordered two for myself.

Ag

I have it sitting in my shopping cart, just waiting for me to hit the “Place Order” button. I’m trying to hold out until I move back on campus mid-August but it might be a losing battle because my enjoyment of this tea increases with every sip, haha.

ashmanra

That is an interesting point you made, Cwyn. I had never considered the difference that storage would make on the seller’s side of things, just in my own home. Thank you for bringing that up!

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89

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

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 4 OZ / 115 ML
TheTeaFairy

Lord…just placed two orders within two days with Mandala…why oh, why are you doing this to me now??? Lol, sounds too good to pass…sigh.

Cwyn

Yup, that was my horse galloping off with two cakes of this one outta Rochester. Back over the state line in Wisconsin, cops can’t get me now. For I have stolen 800 grams for $53 and change.

TheTeaFairy

Haha! Beware, now that I know about this best kept secret, I might have to hunt you down!!

Cwyn

Eep! I got no chance with a winged creature!

awilsondc

Man, I’m in the same boat as Tea Fairy. I’ve already placed 2 Mandala orders within the last 45 days! My wife is growing tired of my tea orders, but this one is going on the short list. Thanks for the review!

TheTeaFairy

I’ve only recently started collecting pupu cakes, I’m a total novice and I feel like a kid in a candy store…I’m all over the place and I can’t keep my hands off!

Sarsonator

Wishlist. sigh

:p

DigniTea

Cwyn – Nice tea notes on this little gem. I have appreciated this tea since I acquired it last year but your thoughtful comments have enhanced my appreciation.

Cwyn

Thanks! Hope we can figure out what the dating is for it, maybe the TeaChat date is an error.

mrmopar

I guess I need to pull my Mengku cake out and see how it has aged.

TheTeaFairy

I’m having this right now cwyn…I can’t get over how good it is!!

awilsondc

I just got this one for my birthday. Haven’t tried it yet, but after reading this, I’m excited to!

Cwyn

Yes I think Mandala could probably charge a little more for this cake because of their storage work. Can get cheaper elsewhere but who knows how good the storage is.

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87

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!

DigniTea

Yea short life is what I’ve experienced with these Mengku minis but as you suggest small in price and good flavor for a few cups makes it OK.

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85

I call this “the bottle rocket”. It’s lifespan is brief but intense. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, depending upon what you are in the mood for. I reach for this shu when I want a modest infusion of energy, a rich and full bodied cup, and a minimal time commitment.

This shu comes out of the gate fully opened up in steep one, burns intensely through steeps two, three and four, and will give a flavorful medium bodied cup in steep five.

This mini bing is composed of tiny leaves that appear to be chopped up, yielding a cake where you can just snap a piece off the edge with your hands. My normal regimen is 6 grams shu in my 100 ml gaiwan, 212 F water, 15 second rinse, 2 minute pause, break up large clumps with a toucha pick, then 15/15/30/60/120 second steeps.

This is very smooth puerh with no harsh or off flavors or aromas. It is very rich in a good way. There is a mild pepper note, some cedar, a slight yet pleasant bitterness, and an underlying sweetness. I get sweet notes in the aroma (raw cane sugar, vanilla) over wood, clean earth and leather. It leaves me feeling energized but not wired.

I’m reminded of the scene from Blade runner when Roy Batty meets his maker, Dr. Eldon Tyrell, and is told “The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long – and you have burned so very, very brightly, Roy.”

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Yang-chu

Great review.

TeaExplorer

Thank you :)

Terri HarpLady

Nice review! And of course, I love the Blade Runner reference. I’ve only watched that movie SO MANY Times, although it’s been a few years since my last viewing, but I always seem to notice something new each time I watch it. :)

TeaExplorer

Blade Runner is among my top 10 favorite movies and, like you, I’ve seen it many times and I notice new things on every viewing. It’s one of those rare cases where the ideas explored in the movie far exceed those of the book it was drawn from. I’m going to put it in my rotation for a re-watch as soon as I get some free time :)

Terri HarpLady

I actually was thinking I’d watch it on netflix, but it’s not available for streaming, so I’ll have to add it to my Q

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84

I have come to admire and appreciate puerh cakes produced by Mengku Tea Co. Ltd. Golden Buds is a blend of smaller sized leaves picked, fermented and pressed in 2009. This tea cake is tighly compressed – you need to use a puerh pick (or an awl from your toolbox). The brew is dark and yields a very smooth tea – robust and rich in mouthfeel and flavor . Readily available from several ebay or Aliexpress sellers, this mini cake is a must-try and a great value. Maturing nicely as Mengku teas do.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML
boychik

Do you mind sharing who did you get it from? I see one on DTH for $17

DigniTea

Yes. I picked mine up at DTH.

boychik

Thank you. It sounds very good

TeaExplorer

Added to my list … thanks!

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85

Smooth, sweet, dark amber color. Small leaves. Makes me wonder if its whole leaves. I think I had around 5 steeps and it looses taste. I got it from Dragon tea house

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec

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87

Had more of this tonight.

I really do not get tired of it.

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87

This puerh is very good. It has earthy tones without having that “composted” odor or flavor.

On the first hot water pour, it gives off a very earthy tea scent, but the aroma is evanescent, replaced by a more traditional black tea smell.

This is a solid performer in your cup. Beautiful reddish orange color, reminding of a autumn sunset. The tea has body to it and just a teeny tiny amount of hou yun, not much, and had this been an aged raw puerh, I am certain it would have been there.

My only regret about this puerh is that I did not buy two beeng cha when first purchased!!!

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

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82

a super smooth aged pu-er. faint aroma of a forest undertones of berry taste.a complex assortment of flavors. only downside is i only got 4 steeps from it till i exhausted it.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 45 sec

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