Mengku Palace Ripened Golden Buds Loose Pu-erh Tea 2007

Tea type
Pu-erh Tea
Pu Erh Tea Leaves
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Boiling 1 min, 30 sec

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77 Tasting Notes View all

  • “My son, my godson, and my son’s girlfriend all came to stay for the weekend, and my son asked if he could grill and invite a friend he knew from church. The friend asked to bring several family...” Read full tasting note
  • “I had three steeps of this tea yesterday, but I have been wondering if I could pull out a fourth steep out of this tea. So, I decided to try it with my tea leaves from last night. I steeped these...” Read full tasting note
  • “I was drinking this Pu-erh for my morning tea because I was feeling very sad and a really good cup of tea couldn’t help but cheer me up! My car is up for sale, I had a buyer and we were to meet at...” Read full tasting note
  • “This is a mug of comfort, and that’s exactly what I need right now. Something has been going on with me lately that is very unpleasant, it started when I was in Boston and it’s been getting...” Read full tasting note

From Teavivre

Origin: Mengku, Lincang, Yunnan, China

Ingredients: Made from 100% pure leaves from Mengku Large-leaf Arbor Tea Trees

Taste: Mellow earthy sweet taste

Brew: 3-4 teaspoons for 8oz of water. Brew at 212 ºF (100 ºC) for 1 to 2 minutes (exact time depends on your taste – a longer time will give the tea a stronger taste and color)

Mengku large-leaved tea is of high quality for tea production. Using it as material, Palace Pu’er Tea has a large number of gold buds and symbolizes great value. Just as its name suggests, it is so precious that only the empire can drink Palace Pu’er Tea. Not only because of the mellow taste, but also owing to the valuable status, it has been quite well-known since antiquity.

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77 Tasting Notes

2219 tasting notes

I apparently lost this tea in the midst of my many small packages. For someone who has 95 teas, a lot of them sure are in small amounts. I should work at finishing some!

Anyways, I’ve only had a couple puerhs before. Golden Phoenix from Silk Road, which is… nothing like this, and Naked Pu-erh from Tealux, which I like in small doses and with a little sugar to counteract the puerh-ness of it. Yeah, IDK.

I didn’t know what this one would be like at all, but I’m trying to try more teas that I wouldn’t normally go for, which is why I asked Heather for this one at the swap/meetup. Thanks, Heather! This tea seems weird, but I’m glad I’m getting to try it. Now if only I could psych myself up to take the first sip! The smell is intimidating.

Ooh. That is good! It’s more like Silk Road’s Golden Phoenix without the cinnamon and citrus. There’s dirt, there’s tea, there’s a lot of deep complex flavours. This one doesn’t need sugar added for me to drink it. I’ll have to note I need to do a comparison of the Naked Pu-erh and this one, to see if I can pinpoint the differences.

I’m gonna pour this in my travel mug and bring it to work with me. This isn’t going to be an every day tea, but now I want to try more puerhs. Success!

(1.5 tsp in almost 16 oz water. IDK that I’d want to use as much tea as they suggest. This is plenty strong for me.)

205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 30 sec

go go sipdowns! clean that cupboard up :)


I don’t have that many teas! Just, most of what I’ve ordered from Butiki are samples, and that’s going to add 23 to the cupboard! And I was thinking of rewarding myself for job hunting with a small order from Zen Tea Life next paycheque, and that would be all samples too. Ack!


Might want to try purearoma if you’re just looking to try a bunch of samples. So far their teas are coming off as pretty decent!


I’ll keep them in mind, but £20 is CAD$31, which is over my budget for a reward. :/ Zen Tea Life does free shipping any size order within BC..


doh. i can get behind that heh


Although, geez. That’s a lot of teas for £20. O.o


LOL yeah i picked up nearly a sample of everything they have to hit their free shipping mark and i’m still working my way through them. so far most of them have been pretty good. Don’t think i’ve had any real misses yet. Kittylovestea inspired me to give them a shot with her reviews for them :)


I’ll definitely keep them in mind for samples! Maybe once I actually have a Real Job™. :)


It’s a pretty strong tea. Some people rinse their pu erhs first, but I never did. I added milk and sugar and it was just shy of coffee with its richness.


Oh yeah. I didn’t bother rinsing this one. I wonder how things would change if I did! :)

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368 tasting notes

Another tea from sample round #3

The dry leaf smells like a shoe store verging on a sneaker shop. Sneakers have that odd smell akin to “new car smell” but particular to themselves. This isn’t a bad smell for an aged tea. It is close enough to the leathery aromas of a shoe shop that it makes the tea quite inviting.

Because this is loose leaf, not a tuocha, the first steeping happens very, very fast. My cup is almost as dark as my daily drinker “wang pu er” from Upton.

But the flavor profile is quite different. Some of the sweetness of the golden buds remains behind all this musty shoe leather. There is a short finish with solid astringency, almost like an Assam. I’ve never had that in a shou pu er before.

If you like quick and easy shou tea, but lament the way in which they all seem to eventually taste the same, give this one a try, it has some genuinely unique notes.

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec

Oo, I tnk I got this one, too! It sounds delightful!


I know I have this one too! I haven’t had a puerh in a while…

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525 tasting notes

Shou pu-erh. It just always triggers something in my memory. It’s the taste of a dim sum restaurant. In my mind, pu-erh is a noisy crowded place filled with the scent of greasy foods and pungent sauces. It’s sitting at a table with my family and a small cup of some dark harsh liquid. Needless to say, the tea was pretty subpar. They servers simply fill a pot with leaves and boiling water. Then they set it at the table. The first few cups are always too light. the last few cups are always too dark. Then the pots are refilled with water and it’s a slightly better brew. But with the leaves they tend to use, it doesn’t get that much better. Until a certain age, my grandparents would just get me a can of soda. Then I learned I could just ask for jasmine or chrysanthemum tea and it was better. So the pu-erh of my youth was not really a good example of this illustrious tea. Yet every time I have a shou pu-erh, even a quality one like this offering from Teavivre, I always remember those dim sum places with my family. and that sub-par tea. The flavor is so familiar to me I don’t even notice what tasting unless I really think about it. All I get is memories.

If pressed, I’d say this tastes like autumn leaves. There’s a leather-y flavor and a smooth sweet finish. And that’s all I’ve got. :) I think shou pu-erh isn’t really my thing, but I think this is a good one. From the few sheng pu-erhs I’ve tried though, those might be worth exploring for me.

Thank you, Teavivre, for this generous sample!


You know, at least you have a memory associated with it. Save that memory for when you’re a grandma. Pull out some Pu-erh and tell the story to grandkids of having dim sum with your family. The scene will come back and you can relive that part of your life if a vivid way!


True! I wonder how well loose pu-erh ages. I don’t think I’ll be a grandma for at least 20 years, probably longer. I’d hope my kids won’t be having kids so young. Then I’d have to wait for them to be old enough to have caffeine-ful tea. So another 6 years? Then they’d get a sip or two. Don’t want caffeinated kids running around. Yikes! I guess I’ll purchase some newer pu-erh when the time is right. :)


I just saw some 1994 listed online. I had kids at 20, my daughter married at 20 and had a daughter at 21 who’s now 18 and would love to be married and a mom. I’ve decided that I don’t want to be called great grandmother. I will be called Bonnie The Great. I’m too young to be great grandma.


I’ve heard that pu-erh in cake form ages well. I don’t think I’ve heard much about loose pu-erh though. As for age for having kids, I guess it’s a personal thing. My mom had her first kid at 20 and I think she always wished she had waited a few years.
I think we can start calling you Bonnie The Great straight away! You could change your username. :)


At 40 my son was 20 and my daughter was 16. By 42 they were on their own. Great adults! I’m young enough to do fun things with the grandkids like drink tea and took a cruise to Alaska with one and went to a hookah bar. We do concerts and so on.


You sound like an awesome grandma. :)

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16 tasting notes

This is a very pleasant puer!!! It seems I have been drinking almost exclusively puer lately. This is probably due to the fact that my dear wife’s stomach is acting up and Puer is the only tea she can drink. The Chinese attribute a lot of health benefits to Puer, and in a culture where, “food is medicine”, puer does seem like a very healthy drink. If even half of its attributed benefits are true, I should live be ~178.
Anyway, I’m rambling…onto the tea
Usually one can describe puer specifically, and tea generally in associative terms, i.e. leathery, nutty etc. This puer, however, is a little different. Both the aroma and the taste don’t necessarily have noteworthy associations. Rather, this tea is pure, clean, whole, complete. I’m really enjoying this! It is soooo smooth and crisp, not like tea at all.

I normally steep puer short, from 5-15 sec. After several short steeps (all enjoyable cups), I decided to let it steep for 90 secs to see what would happen. I was yet again rewarded with a smooth, subtle and wholesome cup.

I enthusiastically recommend this tea. Not because of its complex flavors, but because of its complex nature.

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec

I agree that this one is hard to mess up. Very forgiving and easy to drink. A good pu-erh for people transitioning from coffee I think.


I love this one, too! Inspired by Bonnie I did one steep hot and cold steeped the leaves for an iced tea and it was magnificent!

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8857 tasting notes

sipdown! really enjoyed this one a bunch! Thanks for sharing with me Dinosara!

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6770 tasting notes

I wasn’t overly fond of the intense earthy/mossy aroma but the flavor is pretty good! Special thanks to Liberteas for this one! It’s malty and mellower but has nice sweet-woodsy notes to it with a hint of cocoa powder!

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294 tasting notes

I let this one steep for perhaps 5 minutes and the result was a gorgeous dark brown-reddish liquid. Very strong yet none of the offensive flavors or odors we sometimes encounter with Shou. I have come to love and appreciate a fine Shou and this is on par with some of the better ones that I have had.
The second steep is lighter yet still full of flavor.
I enjoyed this last week as well and after the third steeping I used the rest for iced tea. I left it sit for maybe a week in the fridge and actually forgot what it was until I tasted it. It was nothing short of wonderful.


Hooray for you!!!! I thought I was along here making Iced Puerh! It’s really good and satisfying…and I like this one too! I like to take this in the car when I’m running around town because it keeps me from being tempted to stop and eat something and blow my diet!


A couple of times I have cold brewed some leaves that still had staying power. I was surprised to find I quite liked it that way!


I figured that you might…you have good taste Amy!

Charles Thomas Draper

This was the brewed tea. I tried to cold-brew Puerh before and it was’nt that good. Black teas also. I will save cold-brewing for greener teas….


I DON’T cold brew it I use a gaiwan or brew basket then brew how…let it cool down and bottle. If it is too strong I sometimes dilute a bit and sweeten then bottle.

Jim Marks

I love shou iced, but I brew it hot and then pour it over ice. Because shou brews so strong, it works out very well and an interesting sweetness comes out.

This shou from Tea Vivre is surprisingly good — as are many of their teas.

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52 tasting notes

I finally recieved my beautiful gaiwan tea set from Teavivre yesterday. This morning when I woke up I knew exactly what I was feeling ready for, a pu-erh. Now I haven’t really tried much pu-erh yet so keep that in mind.

I spent lots of time last night pouring with my gaiwan and getting a feel for brewing this style. I feel so important and involved with this process.

I’m not really sure how to review pu-erh tea. I’m not really familiar with the termonology I see other people using to describe pu-erh but I’m going to wing it here. I’m using the suggested gaiwan brewing times from Teavivre.

The first steep is curious. Not as overwhelmingly strange tasting as I was expecting it to be. It’s an interesting flavor, something I’ve never really experienced before. Maybe a tiny bit fishy? But it’s actually not offputting….very weird…

Wow. The second steep looks like a completely different tea. It’s so much darker than the first! The wet leaves smell a little smokey. This steep tastes like the first one, but with a little more oomph.

After a third steep the wet leaves are starting to smell leathery. Now I understand what people mean when they use “leathery” as a description. This steep is surprsingly sweet in a way. Much different than the previous steeps.

By the fourth steep I’m starting to get stuck on the fish smell for some reason. It doesn’t really taste fishy, but it smells just fishy enough to be getting a little weird. I’m having trouble focusing on anything else. One thing I am noticing though is that my tummy is feeling much better than it did when I woke up this morning. It could just be in my head but either way it’s a plus.

I think I’m going to have to stop here. I know I could continue steeping but I think I’ll have to dive into a few more pu-erhs before I take this one all the way. I’m going to hold off on a rating for now.

And I almost forgot to thank LiberTEAS for sending me some of this! What an interesting start to the day =) Oh, I forgot to add I haven’t burnt my fingers once yet! Woohoo!


How fun to have a new set! I don’t know how long your steeps are but maybe too long? They should be 20-30 seconds in a gaiwan and you should have rinsed once first for that long too (which you probably did). I find that this helps. But, there are lots of milder pu-erhs out there too. Some like vanilla, some like bread, some like cedar wood or mushrooms. I wouldn’t stop trying.


I used the suggested times on Teavivre’s website which were : rinse(10s),10s,15s,20s,25s,30s, etc.

I’ve got quite a few more pu-erh samples around here that I have been saving to try so I’m looking forward to how the next one will compare. It’s not that I didn’t like it….just that I’m not sure what to make of it yet. Who knew tea could be so complex?

Brewing this way is so interesting and relaxing to me. It’s so much different than putting the tea in my Breville and letting it do all the work for me. Yeah, I’m definitely enjoying this tea set!

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Bonnie, can you recall one that was especially cedar-like? I’m looking to find one – since cedar is one of my favorites :)


WP 2 that are carried by Mandala are 357 gram 2007 Menghai Jade Luster and 357 gram 2008 Menghai Dayi Hong (I reviewed both). Both have nice cedar. The Menghai Dayi 8592 2009 has nice Vanilla.

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Mmmm the Dayi Hong sounds delicious!


Thanks for the tea suggestions Bonnie!

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3229 tasting notes

I received this as a sample from Teavivre – thanks! Figured I would try it out as it’s one of the samples I had yet to get to, but the reviews have been good… so why not!

As soon as the water hit the leaves, I smelled a distinct fishy smell. Not super strong, but enough to make me a little wary. I’m still not a fan of pu’erhs with any fishiness, although I’ve found that sometimes, an initial fishy smell doesn’t translate into the flavour. So, hoping for that!

The initial flavour reminded me a ridiculous amount of Verdant’s Cornfields Shu Pu’erh that I tried recently. Except a bit fisher, and a bit stronger. Difficult to describe. A bit of sweetness, a musty flavour, fairly smooth… definitely a pu’erh, but beyond that, I can’t describe much else. It’s actually a bit too strong for me, and making me cringe a bit, for whatever reason. Too much mustiness per mouthful.

I’m not sure that I’m a fan of this one, but will definitely try a shorter infusion time and less lea next time, as I think it’s best drank a bit weak, for me! I’ll reserve a rating until then, but I don’t think this will ever really be a favourite.

Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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541 tasting notes

I’m still sick and I guess pu’erh is the only thing I can really taste, so here’s some more for today! :)
I can’t taste much, but this is leathery, bread, and broth like. I really like this one! Hopefully I can continue getting better through today!

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