2007 Organic Menghai Banzhang Old Tree Pu-erh

Tea type
Pu-erh Tea
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Autumn Leaf Pile, Caramel, Earth, Fig, Wet Earth, Wood, Dark Wood, Mushrooms, Sweet, Wet wood, Cherry Wood, Chocolate, Cacao, Dark Chocolate, Wet Wood
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Edit tea info Last updated by dalril
Average preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec 4 oz / 118 ml

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From PuerhShop.com

from Banzhang Old Tree Tea Factory

The mission is simple but tough: the tea we want has to meet these requirements:

1. Organic 2. Imperial Grade 3. Menghai Leaves 4. Clean and clean 5. Great Taste 6. Low Price!

This is the only tea cake we found that fits the ticket. A small tea factory may not be able to make its Shu as good as Dayi from batch to batch, but this one would be on par with the best from Menghai Dayi, at 1/3 price.

The tea brews a clear and ruby liquor with a satisfying, remarkably smooth taste, it is simply a great buy for its price and quality.

Menghai Tea Factory

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15 Tasting Notes

80 tasting notes

Came back to this one after not having it for awhile. Though a good shou, doesn’t really stack up to the Dayi cakes I’ve been drinking. Used about 4.5g of leaf in a 4.5 oz Yixing pot. Rinsed it and rested it for about a minute, then did steeps of 15s, 10s, 20s, 30s, and 5 minutes.

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec

Your review is spot on, totally agree.

Only difference for me is 7g in a slightly larger pot. I guess the price is alright, but the tea is pretty average, imo

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53 tasting notes

I have tried both the Western and Eastern method of brewing this tea, but neither of them were just right:

- Too many brewings became labor-intensive.
- I don’t typically drink ten cups of tea per day, so the last five or more brewings would go unused.
- Brewings were weaker. (I used a perfect amount for my gaiwan, any more would not have been possible.)
+ There was more evolution to the taste.
+ The stimulating and relaxing effects of the tea were more spaced out.
+ It allowed for more use of the tea.

- The relaxing and energizing effects were too condensed into one cup.
- The flavor was less complex and did not evolve since there was only one brewing.
+ There was more body to the brewing.
+ There were not so many brewings that it became labor-intensive.

As a result of this, I decided to find a compromise between the two. I reduced the brewings from ten to five and increased their duration. This was a perfect midway point between the two brewing methods and managed to space out the effect, create an evolution in the flavor, allow for stronger tea with more body, but was not so labor-intensive.

Here were my results:

Tea: 1 tsp
Water: 4 oz
Temperature: boiling
Instrument: gaiwan

:: Rinse ::
Time: approximately 8-10 seconds swirling the tea in 1-2 oz of boiling water, but more importantly, it was done until the scent shifted from mushroomy to sweet.

:: 1st Brew ::
Time: 2 minutes
Color: deep orange-red-brown
Scent: woody, fresh earth, like taking a shovel and digging in a healthy patch of land, woody like sanding a dark and sweet wood
Flavor: a bit sweet, the taste of fermentation is light and elusive, light dryness, there is a deepness to the flavor but not a lot of body

:: 2nd Brew ::
Time: 2 minutes, 45 seconds
Color: red-brown-orange with ripples dark reddish-brown and lighter orange color when straining the tea at the end, there are clearly clumps still breaking up
Scent: woody, deep, more ubiquitously like fresh earth, but gentle as if you had been working outside in the garden and it permeated the air lightly
Flavor: the sweetness is gone, the dry mouth feeling has become more intense, the earthiness and woodiness is light

:: 3rd Brew ::
Time: 3 minutes
Color: reddish-brown, it has clearly evened out now
Scent: autumn leaf pile, fermentation
Flavor: lightly mushroomy, fermentation, autumn leaf pile, a more ‘wet’ flavor, the dry mouth feeling has leveled off and become more consistent at this point

Note: This is where the relaxed/dazed feeling that pu-erh seems to be known for kicked in for me. If wanting to avoid this effect, this would be where to stop. If not, it would be best to begin sipping more slowly so that this effect is pleasant and light rather than troublesome and intrusive.

:: 4th Brew ::
Time: 4 minutes
Color: lighter reddish-brown
Scent: weaker, autumn leaf pile
Flavor: autumn leaf pile, shifting to a more ‘dry’ flavor

:: 5th Brew ::
Time: 6 minutes
Color: lighter reddish-brown (same as 4th brew)
Scent: autumn leaves
Flavor: autumn leaves, dry leaves, like being outside during a dry autumn day where old leaves are being picked up by the wind

Overall, this method seemed to be a happy medium between Western and Eastern methods:
+ Multiple brewings, but not so many that they became labor-intensive.
+ A progression of flavor notes.
+ Reasonable strength and body to each brew.
+ The relaxing/energizing effects were well spaced out.

I’m not sure if this would be to everybody’s taste, but it certainly worked for me. Feel free to give this method a try if you have had the same issues with Eastern and Western brewing methods as I have. :)

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Dark Wood, Earth, Mushrooms, Sweet, Wet Earth, Wet wood, Wood

Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML

There is no right or wrong way to brew tea. It should always be the way you want that allows it to be right for you.


Thank you, mrmopar. I agree. Even if we all drank the same tea, we would still not all have the same tastes. :)


Everyone is unique. We just have to find our sweet spot. Sometimes takes me a couple of sessions to get it where I want it.


Sometimes, I am so enthusiastic about a tea that I will get ahead of myself. But, you’re right. It is important to give things time. I’m going to keep that in mind, moving forward. It’s an important thing.

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60 tasting notes

Gongfu stylin’ – 9g in a coffee press, 1 rinse at 20s, 1 steep at 15s, so far…

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