This tea is “palace-grade” where they sift the shoot tips (the ‘golden buds’) for the tea after the pile fermentation step. Unlike other palace-grade tea, according to TeaVivre it is 100% pure palace-grade with no additives or substitutes, not a mixture. Sounds good to me. lol

The dry tea consisted of golden brown and dark leaves with not much of an aroma, to be honest. The liquor begins as a light red but becomes a very dark, bright red color. The taste is a very pleasant, clean, mild Puerh, with nutty, woody and smoke notes. There are sticky rice notes throughout the infusions, some cream. As usual with Menghai, there are the classic earth and mushroom notes in both aroma and flavor. Some slight bark notes, and sweetness developed somewhere in the middle. Many reviews said it wasn’t quite smooth enough for them. Maybe because they were from years ago but the one I tried was very smooth with no bitterness, mellow. Lots of notes of roasted nuts, mainly of chestnuts and walnuts. The sweetness was more like caramel, not honey. There is a thick slickness feeling on the tongue. Buttery almost. Maybe a little sticky. At the end of the sip, there is almost a mint or cooling feeling on the tongue. I enjoyed it. I think it’d be good for beginners because it has a very clean taste to it, not heavy on fermentation notes.

Gaiwan, 10g, 212℉, 110ml, 11 steeps: rinse, 10s, 10s, 10s, 10s, 10s, 20s, 30s, 40s, 60s, 90s, 120s

Flavors: Bark, Chestnut, Earth, Mushrooms, Smoke, Walnut

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 10 g 4 OZ / 110 ML

This is one of my favorites from Teavivre. I should revisit it soon!

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This is one of my favorites from Teavivre. I should revisit it soon!

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Longtime casual tea drinker. In the past, mainly Sencha, Matcha. I’m currently into Oolong, Black & Pu’erh.

Gongfu cha is the main way I prepare my tea (gaiwan or Yixing teapot). I drink all tea… Usually unflavored. I do try some flavored now. I don’t like artificial sweeteners.

Favorite stores: TeaVivre, What-Cha, Mandala Tea, Yunnan sourcing, White2Tea, Lupicia. (Note: I love the teaware from TeaVivre and Yunnan sourcing.) Good experiences with 52Teas, Harney & Sons, Whispering Pines

Flavors I dislike are artificial flavors, especially artificial sweeteners. Strong lavender, violet, any strong floral-perfumey tea; cantaloupe, ripe papaya, sweet honeydew.

Can handle a little of the following: Rose, licorice, anise, jasmine, mint, spearmint, peppermint, leather.

Favorite flavors: Citrus fruits (especially grapefruit & tangerines), granny smith apple, bananas, guava, mango, tamarind, watermelon, stonefruits, all fruits except cantaloupe, chocolate, caramel, vanilla, milk, cinnamon, creme, bread, nuts, toasted, roasted.

I generally don’t add anything to my teas.

As I explore, my ratings may shift. 90+ generally means I’ll keep it on my shelf.





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