Menghai Tea FactoryEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
I received a generous 7.4g sample of this from Liquid Proust. I’m not usually a ripe pu drinker but I’ll try any tea once, especially if it has some age on it and a fancy name on the label. This tea is quite compressed – I was surprised the scale read 7.4g for this little chunk. I broke it up a bit into larger flakes to speed up the opening of the cake. The rinsed leaf has a nice, earthy nuttiness in its aroma.
Despite my best efforts, the leaves look more like shou nuggets than loose tea after 2 rinses and some extended rests with the gaiwan lid on. That’s okay, I’ll let the cake open on its own time.
This stuff brews up very dark and opaque, almost coffee-like. The liquor is super smooth and easy to drink. It has some sweetness but the primary flavor is extremely soft earth forest floor. There are no off flavors or aromas to be found here – this is a very clean, well made tea.
The flavor remains much the same through the middle steeps but it does get a little bit of thickness to it. At this point I was about to set this tea off to the side and come back to it later BUT there’s some sneaky qi happening here. It’s relaxing but swimmy. I’m sweating and a bit numb in the face.
So, I think this shou is pretty good. It probably won’t change your mind if you’re like me and don’t really like shou, but I’m happy to have had the experience of drinking a higher quality shou like this.
This is my second time sitting down with this tea. Rinsed once before tasting, infused for 10 seconds, and drank 6 infusions. The dry leaf has a warm earthy smell typical of ripe puerh. The wet leaf smells of earth, smoked tree bark, and moss. Taste overall is the same earthiness with smoky bark, but has a surprisingly fresh finish similar to mint. Enjoyed it overall, but once this brick is gone, probably won’t buy again.
Flavors: Bark, Earth, Mint, Smoke
So I’ve participated in the last few curated puerh boxes posted by toby8653 and dug into one of these teas this week. I started this tea the day before yesterday and I’ve been steeping it out and taking progress notes several times since then. From the start, it was clear this came from a dense cake. 7g of material hardly took up any space in my gaiwan. The sample has a deep smokey aroma, so I’m prepared up front to get plenty of smokiness in the tea.
I give this a quick rinse and let the leaves sit to open up a bit before the first flash steep, which produces an amber liquor that tastes sweet with notes of tobacco and a hint of earth. The flavors are light, so I can tell the tea is definitely still opening up.
Some tannic sourness and astringency kicks in in steep two. I leave these and come back to the leaves the next day, and there is a very strong smoky aroma and taste to start. After a few more steeps, the taste becomes a bit more mellow and more defined with woody notes and a nice thickness. It’s still got a significant amount of bitterness and sourness going on, though.
I come back to them again today and the taste is significantly more mellow and balanced tasting, with a very long-lasting drying effect on the throat. This has been an interesting drinking experience, and though I gave this tea a couple of weeks to air out and pretty much flash steeped it every time, I’d like to come back to it after an even longer period of rest and to play around with steeping parameters, as well.
Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Drying, Earth, Smoke, Tannic, Tobacco
i’m a shou newbie but as far as i can tell this is pretty tasty. kinda bitter in a coffee-like way but mellows out after a couple of steeps. i did three rinses.
notes of earthy wood and fallen leaves. maybe a dark chocolate too.
i like it
I am not a big shou drinker, so I have been picking away at what I had of this for a couple years now. This past session took up the last chunk that I had left. This is a really great shou. The leaves are heavily compressed and give off no fermentation stank, rather they have high notes of spiced wood and earth. I warmed up my zisha, broke the chunk in half, and threw in both pieces. The warmed shu smells great with burly nuttiness, sweetness, and damp wood. Honestly, I was picking up a definite nutella tone. I washed the leaves three times and proceeded with brewing. The taste is somewhat thin with a slight dryness at first, but it builds in thickness and smoothness as the session goes on. The tones start with a great nutty base along with a great sweet syrupy background. Due to compression, this session lasted for quite a long time. The dark leaves became sweeter and sweeter with more pronounced earth, hazelnut, dry dark cacao. The qi is an intense warming sensation in the face and lower abdomen. I can feel brief bursts of energy the ebb and flow with the session. This is a great tea, but I think its a bit too high priced for me. I couldn’t see myself spending this kind of money on shou. However, it is a stellar tea, and it will always please!
Flavors: Dark Chocolate, Earth, Hazelnut, Nuts, Nutty, Smooth, Sweet
Breaking this out as I love some BuLang teas.
I grabbed 10 grams off the cake. Easy to do as the cake was loose pressed for a Dayi. The leaves are a mix of chopped and some full leaf in there. I gave it a wash and let it sit a few minutes. There is some color in the wash so that is promising.
First brew 5 seconds. Golden color. Tastes , a bit smoky with typical shot of BuLang bitterness. It hits with smoke and mineral on the middle part of the tongue.
Second steep, 5 secs, more color getting golden now. A bit stronger on the bitterness with some hints of sweet coming through. Cooling down give some tongue tingle.
Third steep, 5 seconds, color dropping a bit. Still has a good punch some drying at first. Mint and cooling on the breathe intake now. Some more sweetness. Leaves unrolling now and able to see some color variance in them.
I did this tea nine times two days ago and didn’t do many notes. It finally tailed off for my tastes at nine. You may be able to steep it a bit more.
Flavors: Bitter, Mineral, Mint, Smoke, Sweet
I had a hard time reading the name on this sample at first, but glad to have finally figured it out. 5g in 200ml gaiwan. Nice, deep red liquor and the first steep is smooth and light, but has a clear, earthy richness.
Starting with the second steep, this shou becomes super smooth, rich and has a nice sweetness to it that lasts through the next couple of hours of steeping. No qi, but this this is easy to drink with a gentle, but rich flavor.
Flavors: Earth, Smooth, Sweet
I just updated this one after some research. It has older tea leaf in this cake. Stored as MaoCha and then they were pressed into cakes.
I pulled 9 grams off the cake to start with and gave a 5 second rinse. There is color in the rinse that would support the older material.
I started steeping at 5 second increments. The color on th e brews is a nice golden. The aroma has the camphor humid type note to it. This is confirmed upon drinking the tea. You can taste the humidity and the camphor notes along with some mineral in there. The leaf was pretty tightly pressed and there is some bitterness in there as well. This thing is very similar in profile to EoT’s Baotang. It has good storage without being too wet. It gives some tongue tingle and it exudes mintiness breathing it in and out for a minute or so. This thing feels almost like a supercharged ‘7542’ hits all the good notes for me.
This was loads better than the Menghai ’Old Tree Round" I had a while back. Maybe Menghai is something that can be drank without a 5 year or so aging process. I have a couple of more in this same style production to try as well from Menghai.
Flavors: Camphor, Mineral, Mint
Purchased at Uwajimaya Market in Seattle, also sold through Tienxi’s website.
This is my first experience with aged pu’erh tea. I prepared it Western style in a mug infuser – 3 minutes and 200 degrees.
It’s everything I was told to expect: it smelled like fresh turned dirt or flower-bed manure (but without bacterial odor) and fresh cedar mulch. The body of the tea was smooth and somewhat sweet with low astringency. I don’t have much to compare it to, so I’ll be back after a few more samples.
Flavors: Cedar, Dirt, Malt, Wet Wood
It’s a nice and smooth shou.
The soup has some thickness that is not very dense but really nice and sort of a bit oily, it sort of just melts in your mouth.
The taste isn’t that complex nor that heavy, it tastes a bit like shou puer does but nothing special in a sense. But i really like it, it has a nice smoothness and a lovely sort of mellow oily thicknes.
It reminds me of a nice walk among birches on a clear but mild day with the sun shining and heating up the skin in the late spring.
Flavors: Earth, Peat, Wood
Thanks LP for sending this out as part of a puer taster.
I drank this over a 3 day session and to my amusement the densely packed leaves remained a solid chunk until I finally poked them apart before the penultimate steeping. I found the tea very smooth and mellow. The main flavor was woodsey loamy forest taste with a pretty heavy note of decay and mushroom. I occasionally ride a bike on a path that goes near a waste treatment plant and the aroma of these wet leaves reminded me of the cloying rich scent of trash. As terrible as that might sound, I did enjoy this and would probably drink it again, but I’m not sure I’d go out of my way to seek it.
This is a strong and bitter sheng. There was a pronounced bitterness throughout the first eight steepings. Somewhere around the ninth steeping it began to transform into something sweeter. Not sure that I would go as far as to say apricots on this one but it definitely smoothed out and became sweeter. This is probably a good tea to age. But it will have to be dry stored because I have no more room in my pumidor, unless I remove something that is.
I steeped this twelve times in a 100ml Ru Kiln teapot with 8.2g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, 1 min, 1.5 min, and 2 min.
Flavors: Bitter, Smooth, Sweet
Alright, well here we go, this is my first pu’erh review, so here goes.
The tea brews up a nice deep reddish orange, and at first, tastes quite fishy, fruity, like tangerine orange, woody with some mint in what, at first, seems like a rather thin soup. Well not thin, but not thick either, there’s hints of chocolate as well.
Later, it’s darker and thicker, not fishy, but with molasses, lots of orange notes, no more mint, minimal wood, but there’s a bit of sweet earth, it’s quite delicious once the fishiness has faded out.
Flavors: Chocolate, Fishy, Fruity, Mint, Molasses, Orange, Wood
Honestly, I think the 2014 version is better because it’s more upfront in its boldness while they has more of a smooth nature to it’s taste. The texture is thinner as well. While this taste quite nice and the color of it is wonderful, showing a slight red hue coming about, I find it to be a bit more complex for my taste as I am not too much into shou as I am sheng.
Interestingly enough, almost everyone has guessed the 2015 (super fake), 2010, and 2007 incorrectly :)
It’s been fun talking to people as they have been trying these three out; it also helps them find out if they like a BS $10 cake labeled GNWL.
Bought from, now sold out: https://world.taobao.com/item/527814873990.htm?fromSite=main
Wet leaf smells like old wood and earth.
Brews dark brown quickly.
Tastes rich and sweet. Hard to describe taste – maybe some dry cocoa, wood and sweet dates. Lingering mouthwatering taste in mouth. Very nice.
Thank you for sharing this mrmopar!
(Not sure if this is the correct year/tea but am putting review here anyway).
Have this tea now from two sources. This one is from Berylleb King Tea and it is quite good. I really don’t remember how much I liked the other. Have to dig it out for a taste comparison on the different storage. This one was thick with fermentation flavor but that flavor was not unpleasant or fishy. It was sweet from the beginning with little bitterness. I do hope this ages into something nice.
I steeped this twelve times in a 150ml gaiwan with 10.2g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, 1 min, 1.5 min, and 2 min. The leaves weren’t done but I had had enough tea.
Flavors: Earth, Sweet
This started out as a bittersweet shou. There was a fair amount of fermentation flavor, noticeable into the fourth or fifth steep. The bitterness lasted about two steeps. What was left afterward was a mildly sweet ripe puerh. This is a good quality Dayi brick and tastes like it.
I steeped this eight times in a 50ml gaiwan with 4.2g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, and 30 sec. It would have gone quite a few more steeps but it is late and this is too much caffeine already.
Flavors: Dark Bittersweet, Earth, Sweet
From a first try this tea seemed too much bitter, astringent and smoky/tobacco for me. After I shorten the brewing time, those flavors bacame more pleasing and balanced . The liquor came in a light brown color with a thick body. Its spicy, sweet honey aftertaste and light floral aroma lasted well in my throat for a long time.
Flavors: Bitter, Brown Sugar, Honey, Pepper, Thick, Tobacco
Picked this up recently from King Tea on Aliexpress. It is quite good. It had a fair amount of fermentation flavor left. It was noticeable for the first four steeps or so. It was bittersweet at the start. It slowly evolved into something sweet. I think you could call it creamy and their were some notes of chocolate in there. This is a high quality long lasting shou. I gave this fourteen steeps which is longer than a lot of shou will go. Most shou is made from lower quality leaves than this is. Once I started this I knew I would be resteeping the hell out of it. This was somewhat expensive even though King Tea has it for noticeably less than EBay has it, cheaper by about $35 or so. It is real. I checked for the hologram that Dayis all have starting about this time in 2008 and it glowed green, both the outer seal and inner ticket or neifei glowed green. Taste wise it seems high quality too. The initial fermentation taste was not unpleasant or fishy in nature to my taste buds. This is definitely a ripe worth buying if King Tea is still selling it. He had discontinued it before my purchase but when I asked him about it he brought it back. It is noticeably cheaper than the 2007 version that goes for around $115 on King Tea. You may be able to find this cheaper on Taobao but this is one of the few Dayi ripe teas that you are risking getting a fake at. Most ripe is not valuable enough to fake. This one is. This was the best ripe I have had in quite a while. As to qi I can’t say I noticed much, maybe a little. Ripe rarely has any qi. The processing of the ripe tea tends to remove the qi from it.
I steeped this tea fourteen times in a 150ml gaiwan with 13g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse and a 10 minute rest. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec,15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, 1 min, 1.5 min, 2 min, 2.5 min, and 3 min. I’d say I could get another three or four steeps out of the leaves at least if I wanted to continue but fourteen steeps is enough caffeine for one day.
Flavors: Chocolate, Creamy, Dark Bittersweet, Earth, Sweet