2006 Guan Zi Zai Sheng Puerh Meng Ku Bing Dao

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Pu-erh Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by Gingko (manager of Life in Teacup)
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From Life In Teacup

2006 Sheng puerh cake, 357g. Made with ancient tree big leaf from Meng Ku Bing Dao.

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7 Tasting Notes

I feel funny to say so, but it just came into my mind – this feels like a second date! :D

In my last puerh order, the supplier gave me a bunch of tea samples. I knew they were little baits, and the supplier expect me to fall in love with some of them. Overall I am not a super fan of puerh, and this very fact makes me feel safe. Many puerh fans I know are craaazy! They tend to stock up hundreds of, even thousands of bings and tuos at home, enough for many people to drink for 100 years. Why? Because collecting puerh is a long-term commitment. They say, you’ve go to make sure you have good, aged puerh when you are 80 years old! I am not going to stuff my house with puerh. My soul mate is oolong :D

So, last time I tried several samples from the supplier. I liked, but was not terribly crazy about most of them. This one, Guan Zi Zai 2006 Meng Ku Bing Dao, tasted quite special though. It is still young for a sheng puerh, but quite mild. No smokiness, astringency or bitterness. It has a plum aroma typical of good sheng, and leaves a rock sugar kind of sweet aftertaste in your mouth. It makes you want to wave your tongue under the palate after each sip, so that the light plum aroma circulates and rises to the nose. I enjoyed this tea very much when I tried it the first time. Since shipping from China is not always easy, and there was the super long Chinese new year holiday in China last month, I had to wait for a long time before I could get more of this tea. During the waiting, I kind of missed it! Then, finally I got more of it, several big compressed tea cakes!

Today when I started to prepare this tea, I was both excited and nervous. I believe many tea drinkers occasionally feel this way. If you like a tea that’s new to you, then before the second brewing session, you would keep wondering, was it really so good or was it just my illusion? Will it still be so good this coming time? Ha, will you then feel as if going to a second date :-p

Now I am having this tea for the second time, and am delighted this tea is still great enjoyment for me! Still plum-fragrant and rock-sugary! What’s more, this time I am holding the whole cake, not a small sample. The tea cake is not hard to break at all. With a simple puerh knife, I managed to take off its beautiful, big leaves intact, even better than the sample I got last time! It comes in a nice paper wrap, with beautiful ancient style drawing. Guan Zi Zai tea factory is not only famous for their tea, but also for their classic package style. Some puerh drinkers comment that when you buy their tea, you are paying for both the tea and the wrapping. But paying extra for pretty wrapping is totally fine for me.

I am very much in love with this tea now. I will try to keep a level head and taste it for several more times, before deciding whether to make a long term commitment by stocking up some!

As I am logging this tea now, I put it under the company name Guan Zi Zai, which is the manufacturer. But possibly in future I would switch its company category to Life In Teacup.

Boiling 0 min, 30 sec
865 tasting notes

Puerh Sample set 1: Tea #2

The leaf is lighter, less dense than I anticipated with an ever so slightly fecal aroma, but not as dark as shu.

3g/3oz just below boiling water, 15 sec rinse and 20 sec 1st steep.

The rinse is light yellow in liquor and light and sweet in aroma. The flavor is that of the liquor w/ no peppery notes that are typical of Yunnan teas- a personal yay for me. :)

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec

Could you please explain how a tea can be rated a 100 while also having a “Slightly fecal aroma”?

This is important.


Because it’s pu erh- it comes w/ the territory.


I was wondering that too.?

Lainie Petersen

A bit of the barnyard is pretty much standard in pu’erh!


Hmmm I always get fishy not barnyard.


Fecal aroma : )


Still smiling. I know what you mean the more I think about it.


Question—does it taste good, even when you can taste…feces? [I’m considering trying the Chocolate Puerh]


Shanti, I do NOT like fecal tea but the fecal taste is so extremely light (and in the 1st infusion only) that I really do enjoy this… and there so NO fecality in the chocolate pu erh. The chocolate pu erh is amazing all ways- neat, milk, creamer, coffee, etc. I much prefer sheng over shu, but even w/ shu I notice that the fecality is greatly reduced w/ shorter steeps. That’s why I still can’t fathom 5min shu steeps lol.

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280 tasting notes

Thanks to Ginko for the free sample of this tea back in February this year!

Since I recently sampled a sheng from Verdant Tea, I wanted to try this quickly, so I could make a better comparison and hopefully learn a bit more about sheng in the process.

Similar to the Artisan Stone-pressed from Verdant, the leaves from the sample were mostly loose. Since I don’t know if the whole cake is loosely packed (via stone pressing) or this is just because Gingko broke off a sample, I don’t know. But I liked the look of the twisted, grey-brown leaves anyhow.
I also went ahead and did a gaiwan brewing, to try to replicate as much as possible the way I drank the other sample.

After the rinse, the leaves smelled incredible! Like maple syrup, or honey-smoked. The liquor of the real first infusion was also very good… this sweet, maple-like flavor was very present, and I was totally impressed. I thought that if the flavors continued like this, it would be by far the best sheng I’ve had (out of very few) and I would really have a grip on what’s so delicious about puerh (or, at least one aspect).

That maple (though not quite like sugar) sweetness was, as I said, on top of a nice earthy, smokiness. The first steep had it most strongly, and the second slightly.

After this, the tea seemed to simply smooth out. I detected some bitterness…it didn’t bother me, but I’ve learned by now this is a feature of ‘young’ shengs. The tea aroma and flavor remained woody and earthy for many more steepings… probably to about 9 or 10. It actually didn’t weaken much at all, but neither did it grow more interesting. About this far I did detect some hints of flowers and the aroma of the wet leaves was very interesting – exactly like baked beans (honey-baked, I think). This didn’t exactly translate into the flavor, but that was still fun.

I went to 15 steepings or so, and it didn’t seem to change much, just starting to weaken in the last cup or two. Anyway, this seemed to have a lot of potential, and was definitely interesting, but maybe it would be great in another 5-10 years. As for now, it’s about par for the course with my sheng experience thus far.

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec

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348 tasting notes

It probably didn’t help that I didn’t observe a typical gongfu prep for this. It also probably didn’t help that I was eating sharp cheddar-laden chimichangas at the time. That said, I brewed this as I would an oolong (but with boiling water), and it was a perfect sheng. Muscat grape notes, shades of maple leaf, pear, and some earthiness trailing on finish. When I think of aged sheng pu-erh, I think this. Flawless.

Thanks to seykayay for this little treasure.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec
CMT 雲 山 茶

Mmmmm. Puerh Chimichanga. Maybe 52 teas will do something with that.

Geoffrey Norman

@Seykayay – Do it! Right this second!

@Cloud Mountain – Y’know…I would actually drink that. Heck, I had their bacon tea and liked it.


How about arroz con habichuelas? What’s a savory dish more earthy and pu’erh friendly than the staple protein combo of the western hemisphere?

Geoffrey Norman

Can’t say I even know what that is.


Sorry. I’m from Florida, so you might know it as arroz con frijoles? Also known as rice and beans.

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6770 tasting notes

This is gentle but flavorful. It’s not earthy – it’s sweet! It has hints of something like raisin and/or plum, perhaps? This is nice! If you think you have the taste of Pu-erh nailed…think again! Try this – it will change the way you think and feel about Pu-erh!

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144 tasting notes

This one is good. A bright puerh that opens with a golden raisin sweetness and a pleasant zing similar the taste from the skin of an unripe plum. There is a subtle yet distinct seaweed bass anchoring the taste providing an interestingly meaty aftertaste to go along with the delicious sweetness that lingers well after the cup is placed down.

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