Menghai Tea Factory (Finepuer)

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Recent Tasting Notes

The first couple steps are light and sweet with wildflower honey, black tea, dried apricot, and citrus notes dominating the golden brew, with a sweet earthiness in the background. It quickly becomes bittersweet and turns orange. I normally would have reduced the steeping time, but the bittersweet steeps have a deep, aromatic, resinous wood thing that I love, and it disappears in lighter steeps. The bitterness is quite tolerable anyway. The next few steeps move toward a more generic but still pleasant mushroomy earthiness, and that’s where this session ends because I’ve had a lot of puerh today and I can feel it.

Flavors: Apricot, Citrus, Earth, Flowers, Honey, Mushrooms, Resin, Wood

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So there you are, minding your own business, when he grabs a sharp tool and comes after you.

Of course, you’d seen it before. Nobody spent much time around here without witnessing the like. You’re hanging out with your peeps, in comfortable digs, the next thing you know 10g gets hacked off into a baggie, crammed in a small box and flung out to who-knows-where.

They tell you it’s because they’ve asked for you. They want you. Really? 10g doesn’t sound like true desire, real passion. You can’t get to know each other that fast. The pressure is unreal – one shot, maybe two if you’re lucky. You might get to acclimitize, you might not. If you do, it’s probably with dozens of other cast-off shards in a box or a cupboard. They might not even pick you on purpose, when they do, they could just be reaching in and blindly grabbing. Nice to meet you too.

Water is the key, but they’ll have decided their favorite and you’ll have to deal with it. There’s no room to experiment when you’re only 10g. Climate, vessel, the mood they’re in – it’s a crapshoot. You’re only one in a series of unfair tryouts. Consider yourself exceedingly fortunate if they haven’t already got some half-baked idea about you before they’ve even begun. After all, they’ve tried dozens of your kind – once.

The worst – pray it doesn’t happen to you – is if, when the day has come, and you’re ready for it to be over, finally, they come and take 7 or 8g. Almost better to get tossed then, because otherwise they won’t notice you, won’t think about you, except to pick you up months or years later, when you’re dried up and so, so tired, only to look at you with sad eyes and put you down again.

I’m trying a new tea today. How about you?

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I have had great fun with this tea throughout the day— stressful day and I chose this special tea as both an escape and a reward. It worked oh so well! High quality Yiwu material; good storage; nicely aged. Full of flavor; smooth with enough complexity to make it interesting; nice longevity (six infusions so far and my maximum steeping time has been only 8 seconds). An expensive tea but well worth the investment. This will not be a daily drinker for me but one reserved for those I would consider more special or important tea sessions. I am really excited about this one and highly recommend!

Note: Can become astringent and smoky when over-leafed or over-steeped.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 g 4 OZ / 110 ML
JC

Sounds like a treat at work. I’ve done that on heavy days :)

DigniTea

JC — It’s a special tea! Was not at work, by the way, but I agree with the point you were making. Family issue has taken all my time over the last 2.5 days.

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I’m confused now where I got this sample, I’ve received many samples lately. The tea was in a Baggie and then a small labeled box. Something must have happened to it. This tea had no scent, no color in the cup and no flavor. It Refused to Infuse.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 tsp 3 OZ / 100 ML
KiwiDelight

Funny how a tea can “Refuse to Infuse”.

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Got this out to celebrate with tonight. Been saving this.
I got the pack out the box even has a picture of the tea inside. Nice packaging points given.
The dry leaf has a bit of the old book aroma to it. The leaf is an almost pitch color.
I tossed it in the Gaiwan and did a quick rinse. The wash looked very dark so I will steep this quick 2 to 3 seconds. The color is a light gold and I had expected a darker brew from a tea of this age. I would think dry stored. The aroma is a bit musky with a bit of campfire in there as well. This may have been due to the makers still doing hand processing instead of machine. The taste is smoky a good sharp citrus flavor and a good hit of bitter, I have had 6 steeps and this one is still doing well holding up. The Cha Qui of this one is slowly creeping in and I am getting some of the cooling and camphor notes.
A great tea to celebrate with. The car re-build went well and the Dyno results are in.
410 horsepower at the wheel and 448 ft lbs. of torque. For the goal of 500 hp. on pump gas has been met! Come on Summer!

Flavors: Citrus, Smoke, Tannic

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 10 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML
JC

Congrats on the re-build!

MzPriss

Congrats mr mo!

Sil

woohoo!

Kirkoneill1988

i take it it is ripe? i never heard of raw being camphor tasting

JC

Kirkoneill1988 there are plenty of Sheng that offer camphor, usually more a sign of age but there are young exceptions :D

tea123

A specially selected tea to celebrate with – nice!

Kirkoneill1988

JC, i did not know that.

mrmopar

Yeah I think the Camphor comes with the age as well.

Kirkoneill1988

oh, I see :)

Cwyn

Might improve with a few months airing out.

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Several sessions later, I now have a better sense of this tea. Flavor is aged fruity with characteristics of ordinary tea bag black tea. Easy to drink, with strong enough, very well rounded flavor that can be pushed quite far without going bitter. after several cups, I am left with a comfortable, warm, relaxed buzzing feeling that for me is a hallmark of good aged puer.
If I were to find something lacking in it, then I would state that It does not have a volatile aromatic (cogniac/cinnamon/vanilla/camphor,etc..) quality that for me is a sign of really excellent puer, Though its price is far less than teas that I have had with this quality.

This is a solid tea, easy to drink and brew. Definitely recommended. Well priced.
Its a chance to taste a reproduction of what is arguably the most famous puer recipe of all time, so it should certainly be near the top of the ‘must try once’ list of any puer fan.

mrmopar

Agreed this is pretty nice for the investment.

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sufficiently complex flavor and decently aged. has a herbal, almost fruity quality to it. no musty storage notes. has a hint of what might have once been a smokey flavor.

I am happy to have picked up a full beeng. Its quite different from 2004. actually I liked the (no longer in stock) 2004 better. It had what seem to be higher quality, plump leaves and more thickness, with a distinct prune aroma. but this one is more aged, mellow, easier on the stomach.

mrmopar

I love this one. It is on the way as I may have got the last one.

Asaf Mazar

by the way, the printed ticket inside the wrapper on the cake I got is a bit different from the picture. The last row is not ‘menghai tea factory’, but cnncp instead. I wonder if all of these cakes are the same. http://www.finepuer.com/files/images/chinese-tea-(green-tea-or-green-puer-tea)-2003-menghai-wild-arbor-red-mark-discus-tea-cake-6.jpg

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Nice cake made of high quality first flush tea leaves. The cake has a pleasant light and fresh aroma. Clear dark gold liquor. In terms of flavor, there is a lovely forest honey sweetness in the sip without any bitterness or smoke. While very sweet, I did not detect any fruit. Sometimes able to detect the floral of meadow flowers. This is definitely a rather light and gentle cup with a clean and lingering finish and a pleasant aftertaste. Overall a very enjoyable Menghai Dayi product. I went light on the leaf this time but plan to increase the dry leaf by 50% the next time I prepare a cup.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 90 ML

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A lovely morning with an elder member of the Menghai family. At first, the wet leaves smell spicy and sweet; in later steepings, the aroma shifts to grains and honey. The taste conveys red berries, sweet wood, and grain. Offers hints of a calming qi and a cooling/tingling sensation throughout the body. I was left with a pleasant long-term aftertaste.
Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 90 ML
mrmopar

Yep this is a good one. Asample from Fine Puerh? If so I had the same one. Very nice.

DigniTea

This one is from FinePuer. But I must tell you that I do not know which of their selections I enjoyed more this week – this 2003 Menghai Red Mark or the 2006 CNNP Yiwu Wild Arbor. Both treated me quite well and I hope to drink their YongDe DXS later today or tomorrow.

mrmopar

I agree. I just placed another order with them Friday. Their service is really good. I have the 2006 but I haven’t gotten in it yet. The 2003 was fantastic as you found out also. The 2005 7542 is nice too.

Asaf Mazar

I am am glad to read two positive confirmations on the 2003 as I loved the 2004 sample and just ordered a full piece of the 2003 without realizing that its not exactly the same vintage. the 2006 yiwu wild arbor is 1/2 the price of the red mark… if its similar quality than it sounds like a no-brainier. unfortunately I delete this exact sample from my shopping cart to make room for a 2006 snow mark sample. make sure you order the free sample 97 brick shu its great. Has some fermentation smell but also a wonderful rich vaporous quality very much like a good aged sheng!

DigniTea

I’ve not had the 2004 red mark so I am unable to compare. I can only say that I definitely enjoyed the 2003 and I am happy to have the whole cake in my collection. Personally I do not feel that the yiwu is quite as powerful as the red mark but I tried them both during the same week of tea drining and I still feel that both are good cakes for me to own. Hope you enjoy the red mark!

Asaf Mazar

sipping this lovely tea as I type. just picked up the beeng from the post office this morning. Its much more aged than the 2004 that I sampled a year ago

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80

Working 10 grams of this up in the Gaiwan to see how it does. This is the oldest Menghai Spring that I have that was purchased as a set of samples from Finepuerh. They seem to another pretty good seller in the market. Their packaging and labeling was really nice.
Enough about them and now to the tea. I picked this one after Scratch the kitty tea randomizer picked the White2Tea Amerykah 3 times in a row! I don’t think I can do that tonight and work tomorrow.
Wet lea still has the green scent with a little wisp of smoke in there. brew is a little darker than the 2008 cake I had a couple of days ago. This has evened out into a sweet brew without much bite or astringency to it. Honey and flowers in aroma and taste to this one. it is a little unassuming compared to the tea I had earlier in the day. Smooth and mellow would be the notes on this. Not much vibrancy or punch but an easy drinking brew.

Flavors: Floral, Honey, Smoke

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 10 g 10 OZ / 295 ML
awilsondc

you’re gonna have to explain the Scratch the kitty tea randomizer part…

MzPriss

Yep – inquiring minds want to know about Scratch the kitty…

mrmopar

I just bring in 2 packs or cakes of tea and what she paws out at is the one I drink.

MzPriss

My dogs would just slobber on them and try to eat them

SarsyPie

I wonder if Chairman Meow wants to pick my tea from now on… I gotta at least try!

Cwyn

LOL now that pun is appropo…

yssah

maybe Scratch likes the packaging coz it’s so colorful? lol

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80

Still has that “punch you in the face” bite in the first infusion. The green taste is still strong in this one . It has been dry aged I believe as much of this remains. The leaves are still showing a lot of green with the red starting on the edges. It became less harsh after the third infusion and became nice and easy to drink. I think this one with the strong qi will age very nice in proper storage.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

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