2009 Yunnan Menghai Red Aura Round

Tea type
Pu'erh Tea
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Honey, Mineral
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Edit tea info Last updated by tperez
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 6 oz / 164 ml

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11 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Thank you mrmopar for this fantastic Pu-erh Sample! I really should read up on Puerh’s before I go off brewing up on my own. Somehow, a purist will probably be horrified at my methods here. I was...” Read full tasting note
  • “Sip down! Another wonderful sample from Terri! Gradually working through them. I’ve been drinking this one over the course of the later afternoon. Sadly it’s stupid hot in Toronto so my brain has...” Read full tasting note
  • “Smooth, rich, and chocolaty! Mine came from Yunnan Sourcing as “Red Rhyme”, but I’ve read that the pinyin “Hong Yun” can translate either way, I believe this is the same cake. This is a really nice...” Read full tasting note
  • “I’ve been sipping on this for the last hour or so. This is the 3rd time I’ve sampled this tea, I think. I do not taste any chocolate. I taste semolina & cream. There is a nice bold depth as...” Read full tasting note

From Menghai Tea Factory

This is the one of the highest grade premium ripe teas released by Menghai tea factory for the year 2009! It is also the first release of this mini iron cake which is called “Red Rhyme” (Hong Yun 红韵). Menghai tea factory is the foremost tea factory in Yunnan with more than 50 years of history. Their quality of their ripe pu-erhs have made them the undisputed King of Ripe Pu-erh! This collectable mini tea cake is composed of grade 3 and higher leaves, all smaller leaf fermented material with plenty of flavor to give up when brewed! When brewing keep infusion times very short in the beginning! Sure to be a classic due to its amazing textured flavor profile and limited production quantity.

About Menghai Tea Factory View company

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11 Tasting Notes

676 tasting notes

Thank you mrmopar for this fantastic Pu-erh Sample!

I really should read up on Puerh’s before I go off brewing up on my own. Somehow, a purist will probably be horrified at my methods here.

I was enjoying myself, having a great time with this Puerh!

I have a lovely little seasoned purple clay Gaiwan that I use for Puerh. A pick, strainer and cup is all I need for a good session.

Usually I use less leaf than other people because fibromyalgia has made me very sensitive to taste. I make quantity adjustments because of that and use 3 grams of Puerh when others use 5 grams with the same taste results.

Today, I wanted to try a larger amount of leaves. I used 5 grams, which is a huge quantity for me, then did 2 quick washes.
(I poked the hard nugget of Puerh during the first 30 second steeping to break it up a bit.)
The liquor was dark golden brown with a hint of red throughout.

Steepings 30 seconds unless noted otherwise.

1. First steepings are usually not my favorite. They can knock you down with a fuzzy cedar or redwood taste and texture that’s very strong and sometimes bitter.
But this Puerh…HA!
This tea was extremely Smooth, Juicy and Semi-Sweet, with a light cocoa, sugar date flavor! I was pleasantly surprised!

2. The second steep flavor was like Bittersweet Chocolate or a light Pinot Noir. There was no grit or earthy flavor, but a thick mouth feel that made me think of sipping chocolate.
I added a few grains of sugar and the caramel flavor came up with a richness that I had suspected was hiding deep in the thick, smooth tea.

3. As an experiment, I tried a quick immediate steep.
The color was dark, the flavor…a bit dryer and spicy on my tongue like cinnamon and clove. The creaminess wasn’t as strong and the richness was lighter.
There was more of a wood cedar taste than when I steeped the leaves longer. I liked the longer steeping better.

4. Returning to the longer steeps, this time at 40 seconds, the Puerh was spicier.
Cinnamon, clove and allspice. A bright Paso Robles Zinfandel with Sunshine and Ripeness in the bones of the flavor.
This tea was beginning to remind me of…a Chai base, or Sangria.

It’s the Holidays…and I remembered that the person who sent this Puerh to me…who has become a true friend…has at his side the love of his life. She is fond of Chai.

So, I did what anyone other than me would NEVER do with a great Puerh! I made some Puerh Chai in honor of her, hoping that this is something that he’ll try. Here goes…

I made 2 steepings of Puerh, added half and half, then a little sugar and a little honey (I don’t like too much honey because it can overpower the taste of the tea). Stirred it up…and YUM!

Caramel, smooth, spicy, creamy…(Hey mrmopar, you have 5 cakes of this Puerh, so tell me if you make this for your sweetheart!)

This Puerh is great stuff! Probably the smoothest I’ve ever had and the closest to the experience of drinking wine.

Thanks again mrmopar my friend!


that sounds incredible Bonnie! YUM. I hope we get a chai review from mrmopar ;)


Me too if he doesn’t boop me on the head for screwing around with such a fine Puerh. It’s a super fine brew!

Terri HarpLady

This is one of the ones I’ve been wanting to try! It sounds wonderful!


Mrmopar says it only is sold in 100gr cakes so it shouldn’t be too expensive or hard to find. It’s really good though! Very smooth.


i wont boop you in the head! it is all about the enjoyment of the tea. everyone of us has our own way to prepare it, and yes i may make a chai out of this one. terri it is pretty easy to find and not too expensive. if you look to pick some up i will find a good priced one for you. keep me posted.

Terri HarpLady

I saw it on Beryleb’s page on ebay. Do you know if there is a place to purchase a sample size of it? I know the 2 of you love it, but I’d like to try it before I buy a cake.


I only have a couple grams left. Need to buy some myself. The small 100 gram cake was under $8.00


jas-tea has them u.s. 7.99 yunnan sourcing usa 7.50 or pm me your address i will send you a sample.

Terri HarpLady

I didn’t see it at yunnan sourcing, but saw one on jas that looks similar, listed as
2009 Menghai Hong Yun Ripe Pu-erh -100 grams
is that the same tea?


yes that is the same one. it is just described a bit differently on the yunnan sourcing site.

Terri HarpLady

Thanks, mrmopar. : )


you are quite welcome!

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14940 tasting notes

Sip down! Another wonderful sample from Terri! Gradually working through them. I’ve been drinking this one over the course of the later afternoon. Sadly it’s stupid hot in Toronto so my brain has been wandering. I think there are other puerhs that I prefer more than this one, but I don’t dislike this one either. This is one of those puerhs for me that I could drink all the time. It doesn’t feel like I have to pay as much attention to it as others but is still a creamy ish cup of puerh. I can dig it :)

Terri HarpLady

Did I send you some of the Verdant Xingyang golden leaf? THAT’s a tea to really take your time with!


my cupboard says “nope” haha


You asked if you’d sent me any….only way I have any idea is by checking my cupboard… It said nope you didn’t :)

Terri HarpLady

Damn, I thought I sent you that one!

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318 tasting notes

Smooth, rich, and chocolaty! Mine came from Yunnan Sourcing as “Red Rhyme”, but I’ve read that the pinyin “Hong Yun” can translate either way, I believe this is the same cake.

This is a really nice shu with notes of chocolate, oak, and smooth red wine.

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec

this is a superb cake and as obi wan would say… very good my young apprentice!! sorry made a funny on this!


Haha, thank you, Master Mopar! And may the Pu’ be with you!


i am so glad you like this one it is a personal favorite along with the wui ze denke of the same year. right now i am sipping on a haiwan 10 year anniversary cake on about its fourth in fusion. i have found some of the haiwans to be great too. might have to send you some one day.


Mmm, well I’d love to try some :)


Shared some of this with a new pu’er drinker a few days ago and with my granddaughter. Smooth…easy to drink…like a good mellow wine.


Haha, it really is! I’m having a tea party with some friends (or at least “tea get- together”) in a few days, and I’m definitely going to make some of this for them. Lets see if I can spread the pu’erh addiction ;D

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3294 tasting notes

I’ve been sipping on this for the last hour or so.
This is the 3rd time I’ve sampled this tea, I think.
I do not taste any chocolate. I taste semolina & cream. There is a nice bold depth as well, kind of a coffee edge, which perhaps could be interpreted as dark chocolate, but that is not what I taste.
Over the course of several steepings the cream became butter, with a nice buttery sensation lingering in my throat.
It’s a pleasant tea, & maybe next time…


This one reminds me of good wine.

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41 tasting notes

This was the first shu I bought based upon reviews here, but could not seem to warm up to it at first. To my palate it was all mushrooms, minerals and astringency. Based upon it’s relatively high energy, however, I kept returning to it whenever I needed a boost while working. In doing so I kept playing with the steep parameters until, finally, I hit upon a combination that really made it shine in my book.

I believe I was initially steeping too long for the amount of leaf I used, running in the 15-30 second range. Turns out it’s really good with shorter steeps. The combination I eventually settled upon is 7.8 grams in a 130 ml pot, one 20 second rinse, a 2 minute pause, then I gently break up most of the now-pliant clumps with a toucha pick. A steep pattern of 10/8/8/8/10/15/30/60 seconds brings out wonderful cedar flavor with undertones of sweetness, citrus and spice. I get hints of mushrooms and/or minerals in some steeps but they no longer dominate the flavor profile, and the astringency is gone.

To me this is a rich, robust, full-bodied shu and has moved back into my rotation as a favorite.


Yeah these rascals are pressed pretty tight. Sometimes I hit them with the rinse and let them set (after draining) in the Gaiwan or Yixing till the next day to open up. Lao cha nuggets are even harder than these are.


This one comes apart pretty easily when allowed to sit a couple of minutes after the rinse. Will try the overnight-sit-after-rinse with the lao cha nuggets.

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304 tasting notes

a very tight packed cake 100 grams this was one of my first pu-er teas that I bought and it hooked me. very smooth just be sure to wash this tea and let it open up for 20 to 30 seconds toss the first brew or wash. steep about 30 seconds on the first time and increase your steep after that.good for about 4 infusions you may get more but i prefer a strong cuppa tea.only downside is this can only be bought in a 100 gram cake(I have bought 5 so far)

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec

I know what you mean! I love my Pu’er but I keep giving the little I have away to people who’ve never tasted it before. I want everyone else to love it too!

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493 tasting notes

last night i took my newly seasoned Yixing and made it. it was nice but i think my Yixing is absorbing too much flavor. it was bold smooth and flat… On one hand, it left me disappointed, on the other – if i won’t make any tea in this Yixing it will never be useful.

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 tsp 5 OZ / 150 ML

When I was first using mine, I would leave teas in there overnight. I think that helped the process along…


I dont know, its too hot now. i’m afraid it will get mold. i took leaves out for the night, but now im back to brewing. i dont have to drink it, i just want to speed up the seasoning. i do leave overnight in gaiwan or glass gongfu pot because im lazy;)


I do the same as Teabrat, I seasoned one for 2 years like that, every time I had tea, I left tea overnight, never saw mold. It’s a great way to speed up the process I think. (Then I broke it a few months ago. Sad. )


Did you leave leaves or brew? i might leave brew overnight. Broke?! it is sad, how did it happen?


Both the brew and the leaves. I’d empty it first thing in the morning. I usually have pu’erh at night so it sat there a max. of 8 hours really.
Lol, my own clumsiness! I broke three within 2 months! That’s why I have three brand new Yixing pots sitting there looking pretty…unseasoned! Figured they are safer this way:-)


I left in the brew and the leaves as well. Definitely helpful if you don’t want your tea to end up tasting like clay.


Just leave the tea in there tipped up in a cup to drain and you should be fine. I brew for a couple of days like this sometimes.


Thanks will follow your advice;)

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1 tasting notes

I decided to try this tea after reading some reviews here (see, you guys have a lot of power over other people’s lives, and you don’t even know it! :P), and bought 2 cakes from YS.

Sorry for being over realistic, but this tastes like… Shu pu-erh (ha! surprise, surprise!). But this one doesn’t make you sad like many other Shu do. It’s actually drinkable :) no off-taste, nothing fishy or weird going on, just a decent Shu taste and aroma. It’s sweetish, but there are definitely no chocolate notes.

On a more positive side, the thickness and mouthfeel of this tea are great, and I swear by the all-mighty cosmic Potato that this has some Cha-Qi… funny that no one mentioned that in the reviews here, I had more than one strange experience with this. Who needs illegal stuff when you have Puerh? :)

If you want something like this that won’t force you to break the piggy bank, I suggest the 2008 Tulin/Phoenix 100g brick. Inexpensive and kinda similar to this one.

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17 tasting notes

I believe the sample I have is from 2008
This is actually the first shu I have been able to drink all the way through.
I used 5 grams and did two 30 sec rinses.
I had some great advice to not inhale before I tasted. So I put this in a travel type mug so I couldn’t smell it at first. Lol It worked for me! I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the taste. I tasted some mineral and lots of sweetness. Left an aftertaste of both
After several steeps the aroma was so much better. This 5 grams lasted me two days! Since it just kept giving I decided to steep and put in a mason jar to cool down and have it iced I enjoyed also. Some honey notes came out as it chilled.
I am a big fan of sheng. And I just maybe starting on the shu journey :)

Flavors: Honey, Mineral

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

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