Mei LeafEdit Company
Popular Teas from Mei LeafSee All 130 Teas
Recent Tasting Notes
This is a very nice silver needle. Is it worth the price point? I don’t know. I’ve tried my sample once, now I want to compare it to other silver needle teas including Mei leafs before I decide if it’s worth springing for.
Prepared mostly as directed, 4g to 100ml 205 degree water, with a 30 second first infusion after a short rinse. Added about 5 seconds to each infusion after and got 9 infusions.
Very creamy and nutty. I could def taste the soy milk note they talk about. A bit of a grassy note in infusion 5, but mostly, creamy, nutty, and slightly sweet with a very pleasant aftertaste.
This is the best tea that I have ever had (so far). This ripe PuErh is buttery smooth, and really takes me back to Fall with it’s maple flavor and vanilla undertones that increase with every infusion.
Flavors: Caramel, Chocolate, Maple, Vanilla
Above average Green Tea. I am usually more of a PuErh/Oolong person, but this tea was a nice change of pace. Very broth-y with flavors of herbs and vegetables. Very fine tea for the Spring as the plants begin to bloom. Each infusion brought out a sweeter undertone that was fun to explore.
Flavors: Broth, Creamy, Cut Grass, Herbs, Vegetables
This tea is nothing short of incredible. It is the best soothing experience I’ve ever had, and could bring down my migraines to a manageable level. The soothing from the GABA is almost immediate, and keeps getting deeper with each infusion.
Earthy, yet sweet, with a very deep and robust flavor.
Flavors: Earthy, Plum
I bought this tea based on Don’s selection of it as one of his Teas of the Year. I wish I could get a refund. I do not see this as a pinnacle tea at all. I am truly surprised and feel disappointed, as I put my faith in Mei Leaf. In my opinion, this tea is way below average. For me, it is weak in mouth feel, taste, smell, and body sensation. I tried to convince myself the tea has merits. I let the cake rest for over a month. I waited two weeks between first tastings. But each time the tea just did not deliver. I would give this away. With the heavy marketing about Mei Leaf teas being pinnacle, I cannot understand how this tea even remotely upholds that standard. And it was not inexpensive. I feel duped.
Weak tea. I got this tea from my recent Mei Leaf order, and it really just lacked potency and a fair bit of nuance as well. Beautiful leaves with a nice proportion of buds, decent aroma but could be more potent, as well as a decently vibrant liquor. Flavour is weak with a slight typical white tea nuance of hay and florality in it. Texture is decently okay, nice smooth and slightly juicy. Character is poor to average as the session is very unidimensional and uninteresting. Finish & aftertaste is average to decent, slight lingering hay note with a bit of a spice finish. Cha-qi is almost unnoticeable and steep longevity is poor to mediocre, lasting up to steep 7-8.
Overall, a weak tea that isn’t worth the price. Unless you’re a fan of hot water, I wouldn’t recommend buying this tea. I’ll be experimenting more with this tea though, as maybe I’ve missed something out for what it’s worth. Maybe I’m just too critical of potency, as I could see someone who likes something light become acquiescent to this tea.
Flavors: Floral, Grassy, Hay, Herbs, Honey, Juicy, Smooth, Spices, Watery
Relatively disappointing. I got the 2021 harvest of this tea from my Mei Leaf order some time ago, but as far as I remember this tea hasn’t provided the greatest of sessions. Beautiful leaves with a slight golden sheen, rich yet nuanced aroma both in the dry and wet leaf, and a beautiful deep liquor that portrayed its golden ring slightly. Flavour was average to decent and I really had to brew it hard to bring out a nice and complex flavour, texture was smooth but nothing else to note of it. Character was lacking as the session was pretty one-dimensional, the finish & aftertaste was average to mediocre, the cha-qi was unnoticeable and the steep longevity is not very good either. Overall, spend your money elsewhere as this unsmoked lapsang isn’t worth your time in my opinion.
Flavors: Chocolate, Cinnamon, Creamy, Fruity, Malt, Nutty, Sandalwood, Sawdust, Smoke, Smooth, Spices
Middle of the road. A good ripe pu’erh for the cost, heavily nutty as the name implies. I got strong flavors of roasted brazil nuts, red skinned peanuts, hay, and some strong earthy tones as the infusions went on. Has a somewhat intense flavor; probably not a good starter ripe for newcomers to the style. Brewed Gongfu.
brewed Gongfu style. First infusion is heavy on the tangerine flavor. It’s pleasantly sweet, like a woody orange hard candy. The woody flavors stay, while the sweeter notes fade with later infusions. Overall a pleasant experience.
Flavors: Smoke, Tangerine, Woody
An okayish white tea! I got the 2022 harvest of this tea from my Mei Leaf order, and it is decent, but not good enough. Beautiful budded dry leaf with a very nice dry and wet leaf smell. Liquor was full of trichomes and the longevity of this tea was surprisingly good. This tea had a okayish flavour that lacked a bit of potency and nuance, and it didn’t really have much going for it in terms of cha-qi, finish, and texture. Not a bad tea, but not good enough.
Flavors: Chamomile, Chrysanthemum, Hay, Honey, Jasmine, Potato, Sweet, Vegetal
A decent, delicate white tea! I got the 2022 harvest of this tea from my Mei Leaf order, and it really is quite nice. Great aroma with a decent flavour and nice longevity. I wish this tea had more complexity, character and texture, which would elevate the tea drinking experience further.
Flavors: Beer, Creamy, Floral, Grass, Hay, Lemon Zest, Milk Chocolate
A disappointing sheng. I got this tea from my recent Mei Leaf order, and everything about it was just lacking. This tea had beautiful leaves and a decent cha-qi, but the flavour was weak and one-dimensional, the aroma was weak as well, and the finish & aftertaste was just not good enough. The texture was surprisingly unpleasant, with a bucket load of dryness and a slight “throat lock” ensuing in my mouth. Other than that, this tea really wasn’t “offensive” or downright bad in anyway, but just bang average and definitely not worth your money.
Flavors: Bittersweet, Citrus Zest, Garlic, Hibiscus, Honeysuckle, Rose, Soy Sauce, Sweet Potatoes
A mediocre yellow tea! I got the 2021 harvest of this tea from my Mei Leaf order, and unfortunately I still haven’t found a yellow tea that I love yet. Beautiful leaves and liquor with a decent texture and character. Flavour was delicate but a bit lacking, especially when it comes to nuance. Finish and aftertaste is almost non existent and so was the cha-qi. Average longevity and an okay aroma to boot. I’m still looking for a yellow tea to really shout for.
Flavors: Brussels Sprouts, Candy, Creamy, Cut Grass, Dried Fruit, Floral, Grassy, Hay, Mango, Rainforest, Sweet Corn, Tangy
An okayish meh green! I got the 2022 harvest of this tea from my recent Mei Leaf order, and while the tea was quite good on the first steep, it really just went downhill from then on. Very nice, complex and potent aroma with a decent aftertaste. The tea had beautiful leaves with a vibrant and active liquor. The first steep provided a unique and complex flavour with high and body notes. However, the flavour didn’t last long and gave way to slightly bitter vegetal staleness by the third steep. This tea needs to offer more in its texture, finish, cha-qi, and character for it to be something I’d recommend.
Flavors: Chicken Soup, Creamy, Cut Grass, Elderflower, Fruity, Pepper, Vegetable Broth
A lackluster tea. I got this tea from my recent Mei Leaf order, and there’s not much to say other than it’s mediocre and disappointing. This tea had a really strong and complex aroma between the wet and dry leaf, as well as the empty cup. It also had a smooth texture with a nice medium thickness. The flavour however was weak and shallow, lacking body even when steeped for longer. Little aftertaste and finish, with a lack of character as well as cha-qi. Worst of all, this tea only really lasted for around 5 steeps, unlike the 10 steeps advertised by Mei Leaf. While the tea is not offensive in nature, it is a poor representation of what Rou Gui and Wuyi Yancha is.
Flavors: Beans, Cinnamon, Citrus Zest, Coffee, Milk, Mineral, Mushrooms, Plum, Pumpkin Spice, Raisins
An amazing green tea! I got the 2022 version of this tea from my recent Mei Leaf order, and it honestly was pretty darn good. A beautiful, deep and complex aroma, paired with a nuanced yet delicate flavour. Smooth texture with a very nice slight arresting astringency for the finish. A beautiful character with a potent calming cha-qi. A lovely tea that would’ve been even lovelier if the flavour held up for more steeps, and if it had a more potent and longer lasting aftertaste. Another qualm I have is that the leaves look a bit staler and less vibrant compared to the photos provided by Mei Leaf. All in all, a really good tea for a good price that I would recommend to all.
Flavors: Blueberry, Caramelized Sugar, Cut Grass, Elderflower, Floral, Mineral, Mint, Peanut, Pear, Rainforest, Roasted, Roasted Nuts, Vegetal, Whipped Cream
Mediocre at best. Got this tea from a Mei Leaf order, and while the aroma was really nice and complex, and the first steep was pretty good. The subsequent steeps were quite disappointing.
Flavors: Cauliflower, Guava, Soy Sauce, Stewed Vegetables
My first time trying any type of Kuding. It was light and herbal, vegetal with a slippery feel. Not as pungent as I expected, but that may be the amount of leaf I used. Brewed western style with half of the sample packet, below boiling for… 4? minutes. I wandered off and forgot about it. It went well with my artichoke rice bowl for breakfast. Not sure how I feel about it in general.
Flavors: Brisk, Green, Herbs, Vegetal
I had a longish tea session with a friend yesterday. They were drinking Lao ManE, so I wanted to drink something special, too. I meant to drink this one sooner, but I like to hold onto the last bit of tea for as long as possible. Someone sent me a sample of the Aiyana after boasting on the quality of Mei Leaf teas. They told me that this tea would make me a follower and permanent customer of Mei Leaf. Sure, they have a lot of hype, but I had my doubts about a few things (I don’t feel like getting into here).
The dry leaf didn’t have much of an aroma. I like to compare my notes to theirs on their site because their notes are waaaaaaaay out there.
They noted, “Bayberry syrup, fennel seeds and toffee licorice.”
I noted, “Youngish sheng/hay.”
Even their tasting notes were well beyond what I tasted. I tasted floral (nothing specific) and a touch of strawberry.
Their notes: “Strawberry jam, Victoria sponge, vanilla cream, flint and mountain flowers.”
Yeah, if I read their notes and purchased the cake at their incredibly high price, I may have been heavily disappointed. Was it good? Yeah, I thought so. Was it as good and complex as Mei Leaf said it was? No, not really.
PS. The leaf died after 9 infusions. Is this typical for gushu?
Flavors: Floral, Strawberry
This is one crazy tea. A lighter fermentation Bulang ripe fermented using black tea kombucha instead of spring water. I couldn’t resist trying it out and even felt lucky enough to go straight for a blind cake. When it finally arrived, I could just bring it to my nose, smell it through the wrapper and tell it’s not your typical ripe. It has none of that typical shu barnyard/compost smell that essentially all ripes have when dry. Instead I get this scent of gingerbread dough, perhaps some plums as well. Needless to say I was hyped to give this one a try.
After a mere couple days of rest, I could wait no longer. In went 8+ grams in my 100ml Jianshui clay teapot and after a brief rinse the stage was set. The smell of the wet leaves is very similar to the dry leaf. Slightly more sour, obviously richer and deeper, with an added note I can’t quite put my finger on but which makes me think of something similar to soy sauce.
Then I get to that always-so-magical first sip, and, yes, this tea tastes very much like it smells. Gingerbread dough, mix of spices, woody notes, sourdough, slight medicinal character and a surprisingly strong immediate cooling sensation in the mouth. I’m not sure if I’d call the coolness minty, menthol or something along those lines, but it wasn’t the typical camphor I most often get in ripes. This stuff is quite strong for a shu and potent to boot. After just a few small cups I was already feeling the tea in my body and soon after my head began to feel tingly and I started to feel intoxicated.
Midway through the session some bitterness started to creep in briefly, showcasing how some of the Bulang character has been preserved thanks to the lighter fermentation. Overall the tea wasn’t too dynamic though. The mouthfeel is good though, livelier than most ripes, and the tea even has a nice lubricating feeling in the throat, speaking to the quality of the material. I did push the tea all the way to the long multi-minute brews and while the small 100ml vessel size meant heat wasn’t maintained that well, the results were still decent enough. While light, the tea revealed a slightly citrusy character, accompanied by slight fizziness.
I’ve found Mei Leaf teas to be really hit or miss for me, but when they hit, they really hit it out of the park and I’m happy to say that is the case here. Not only is Playground Rendez-Vous really unique, but it is an actually good tea to boot. I would still classify it as a ripe, but it is unlike any other ripe I’ve ever tasted. I’m always somewhat skeptical of claims of the material being gushu when it comes to ripes, and even in cases where I can believe them, the supposed higher quality doesn’t always translate to the cup in an easily perceptible way, not in the same way as with raw pu’er. Here though, while I’d already disregarded all gushu claims, I can actually buy this coming from older trees. While this is no sheng pu’er, some of the qualities I look for in a high-quality raw have managed to make their way into the final shu in a way that seldom seems to happen even in the most high-end ripes I’ve tried.
If you’re a fan of ripes, you’ll most likely enjoy this tea. It is at the very least worth a sample. At £69/200g (~$0.46/g) it is far from a cheap tea, but at least for me the price is (nearly) justified. Most teas past $0.40/g simply can’t deliver the same quality-to-price ratio as teas below that, and when it comes to ripes that often ends up being even more challenging to achieve. Here you are paying some for the uniqueness, but also for the quality, and the end result ends up living up to the expectations better than most shus with a hefty price tag.
The tea has absolutely zero of the typical ripe funk and I found it extremely clean tasting at the time of writing, a mere year after being fermented. If you absolutely hate ripes, this is unlikely to change your mind, but if you’re kind of on the fence and feel like you just haven’t found any ripes you like (that was me for many years), this one might be worth a shot. I drank this together with my mom who can’t stand ripes and her descriptors for it were: bitter, medicinal and cat piss. She really hated this one. Fortunately she loves sheng.
I will need to spend more sessions with Playground Rendez-Vous, but so far I really enjoy it and it’s certainly among my favorite ripes. I am seriously considering buying a second cake.
Flavors: Citrus, Cookie, Medicinal, Mint, Spices, Wood