Mensung Secret Garden 2013

Tea type
Pu-erh Tea
Ingredients
Not available
Flavors
Bitter, Camphor, Fruity, Menthol, Pleasantly Sour, Sweet
Sold in
Not available
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by moot
Average preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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2 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Just grabbed a random Bana sample, & this was the one. Quick rinse & leaving the leaf to settle for 10 minutes. Firstly, the aroma. yes, its nice & complicated fruity smells. I’m...” Read full tasting note
    100
  • “This is such a perfect example of the Bana / Vesper Chan house style. It’s got quietly, under a delicate surface, tons of the classic puerh feels and flavors in a kind of hyper-tense balance....” Read full tasting note
    88

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2 Tasting Notes

100
338 tasting notes

Just grabbed a random Bana sample, & this was the one. Quick rinse & leaving the leaf to settle for 10 minutes.

Firstly, the aroma. yes, its nice & complicated fruity smells. I’m looking forward to this a lot. I mean it really smells good.

First steep, & its a murky one. Thick-looking liquor, wonderful taste. Its soft & sweet but with just a hint of bitter. Its deep thick & lovely, with a honeyed edge.

Second steep & theres a little intense chi energy building already, but im also a bit hungover so that has an effect. Taste is great, i share some with my friend whos never had any puerh before. She cant place any of the flavours. Its lovely.

Lovely mouth coating thickness, & soft bitter streak on the finish of each sip & a lively bunch of flavours. Its a bit fruity & sweet, leafy & has some great floral/leafy/menthol aroma & huigan, its one of those nice ones that goes up into your head & fills your brain with steamy cooling lushness.

By steep 5 the flavour is an interesting complex menthol leaf flavour. I’m finding it hard to place the flavours but its going down a treat. Theres a lot going on.

Always a subtle bitter outline to the taste but at its core its thick, sweet, fruity, leafy, menthol. I’m basically really digging this, as Moot said its a kaleidoscope rather than one melded flavour & that is something I really appreciate in a tea. I can taste something a bit like green Wine Gums, which happen to be my favourite sweets. Totally making me smile. This was steep 5 with a 20 second around 85c/90c I think.

I LOVE the balance of this tea. I could never work it out, its exciting to drink, i’m relishing the changes happening in my mouth as I type this. The leaf never got ruined, bitterness never became dominant, every steep was a fresh one with its merry-go-round green-wine-gum vibrancy (while still being honey-sweet bodied & also leafy-bitter). I could also taste something akin to high-mountain Taiwanese Oolongs, although I had one this morning so It could be that.

I think I could write about this tea for a while, oops I left the gaiwan brewing on the 8th steep. Still vibrant & drinkable. I ponder if this is the sort of enjoyment animals that eat fresh bitter leaves get?

Also my nose is a bit blocked, is this is adding to the enjoyment by catching the aroma?Maybe sticking things in your nostrils to catch puerh vapour will be my next invention.

Great tea.

Flavors: Bitter, Camphor, Fruity, Menthol, Pleasantly Sour, Sweet

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec
Rasseru

Only thing bad about this tea is that it was so nice, I drank it too fast im a bit uncomfortable from the caffeine

Sqt

Strong review! Would you still stand by that score today?
In other words, how tea drunk were you when you wrote that? :D

Rasseru

I must admit the only other time I had some more recently it wasnt as good as the day of this review, which was a perfect session.

Try a sample and follow the instructions on the website exactly, I remember thats what I did when I tried it first.

i’ll have to do it again but follow them to the letter

Sqt

Will do, thanks. Not often once sees a 100 rating so it made me curious :)

Rasseru

I’m drinking this now. It tastes more floral, bitter & menthol than how it tasted on the day I reviewed the sample. The huigan is a kaleidoscope of flavours, bitter-floral. Its a hard tea to pin as it changes a lot.

Today almost yiwu-esque but without the vegetal roundness, more flowery

Sqt

Interesting :) Only one way to find out now. Yes I do find that teas not only change over time, but day to day (more due to environmental factors and the state of one’s own palate)

Rasseru

the huigan is super cooling, really feeling it now, steep 6.

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88
16 tasting notes

This is such a perfect example of the Bana / Vesper Chan house style. It’s got quietly, under a delicate surface, tons of the classic puerh feels and flavors in a kind of hyper-tense balance. There’s the nearly harsh vegetal bitter, that weird near Sichuan-tingle energetic glow, that warm almost soy-malt, the nearly vicious astringency, the dairy, the sweet. But unlike, say, W2T, these things don’t meld into a single warm thing. They stay apart and tussle and then they enter an extremely active balance. W2T stuff like this is often a hug, and but this tea is a tightrope, a see-saw, some careful balance.

Also, if you don’t brew it right, you’ll totally fuck it up.

But: when it’s right, it’s super-active, restless on the tongue.

This is, in my book, a classic Bana Tea. (it’s really weird to me that their top-rated puerh here is the Purple Tips, which is the least Bana-like of the Bana Teas I’ve had.) Delicate, subtle, giving, responsive, dynamic, restless, subtle, will slap you if you do it wrong and give you oodles of crazy electrical goodness if you do it right.

Also: classy. My wife agrees me on this. If W2T is always warm and bass-deep, Bana stuff just seems highfalutin’ and classy. I don’t know any other way to say it, or where to pin it, but this stuff just feels refined.

Rasseru

That sounds like my sorta tea. I love a kaleidoscope of flavours with the balance of an experienced tea maker

moot

I haven’t written up a note yet, but their Ambush is a darker and throatier version of that same active balance.

Rasseru

That ‘rise of the curator’ thread is a goldmine for boutique tea vendors, a few I hadnt heard of before (or hear very little). Plus Bana do cheap sampler packs I have noticed, which is nice

Zennenn

Sampler pack!!! Thank you, Rasseru!

moot

They also sell some 100g mini cakes and 100g packs of their more expensive stuff which I feel is a nice compromise – for subtler more difficult stuff to brew I’m just figuring it out at the end of a normal sample.

Rasseru

Yeah I’m going to get one, just enquired about shipping to the UK

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