Menghai Tea Factory (Dragon Tea House)Edit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
Tasted this the day after having the 2006. Only the second or third shou I’ve had, take this with a grain of salt. Compared to the ‘06, this one comes off with a little more cherry/fruit/spice/wood on the nose, and I’m getting more of an old book/paper aroma as I exhale after a sip. A very round/earthy tea, very thick and creamy. It’s nice, but a little boring for my taste.
Flavors: Cherry Wood, Creamy, Earth, Leather, Paper, Thick
This is an excellent ripe. There was a lot of fermentation flavor at first but it was not of the unpleasant sort. It had the taste I have come to expect from a Dayi ripe, not sure what to call that note but a Dayi ripe has a certain type of fermentation taste. The seals also glowed green indicating that this was a real Dayi. There was little bitterness to this tea. The fermentation lasted four or five steeps and then was history. I think you could say there were some chocolaty notes in this tea. In the last couple of steeps it even developed a bit of a fruity flavor but subdued. This was an excellent ripe.
I steeped this tea twelve times in a 180ml teapot with 11.3g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, 1 min, 1.5 min, and 2 min. The tea was pretty much finished after twelve steeps but then again I didn’t use a huge amount of tea considering the size of the pot. This was a very inexpensive tea. A two pack of tuo chas was only around $28. To me this was a bargain because it was excellent but young ripe. There have been some issues with Dragon Tea House selling fakes but this one seemed real, both in taste and in the security seals glowing green where they should.
Flavors: Chocolate, Earth, Fruity, Sweet
first i gotta say.. it’s not what i expected.
i got this tea in 2013 (2012 production, 201 batch), about 6-12 months after production. it had a full aroma with a slightly sweet twist and i quite liked it.
i stored it for 3 years now with the paper slightly opened so it gets air, no direct sunlight in a shelf. as it is a shu/shou tea (ripe) the quality is not really expected to get better like with a raw sheng tea, and it didnt.
after 3 years it just tastes like pure dark earth with a slight sinensis aroma. it’s kind of interesting, but the good sweet aroma really went away with the years and did not improve or get more intense.
i wouldn’t say it tastes really good anymore. sweetness is gone and it’s more bitter without beeing really bitter but also not sweet. that’s why i give it only 85 points for the original taste. after 3 years i would give it only 65 points.
steeping time needed is still very short for the first steeps, like 5-10 seconds, but needs quite more time with the 6th steep (like 25-35 seconds).
you can brew it up to 7 times, the following steeps will have a lighter color and a more watery flavor and it doesn’t feel very healthy anymore but you can brew it up to 12 times if you really have to.
first steep feels like nothing, 2nd feels like a real steep, 3rd gives your body energy and you feel the blood flowing freely through your veines, this is a very good tea for tai chi or yoga. starting with the 5th steep it will make you calmer and sleepy. and the 8th steep will make you feel uncomfortable and give your body a hard time. at least this is my experience.
i would recommend it, but you should use it within 6 to 12 months and not store it for years like a a sheng.
important to wash it with boiling water for 5 seconds first as the leaves got very dry after some years, they will get very soft after washing it though and you can spread them in your pot.
temperature: important to let the boiling water cool down for 10 seconds so it is not boiling any longer. with boiling water you get a slightly burned flavour, 93 °C will give you a round and pleasant flavory aroma with no burned bitter-old flavor.
caffeine: 2 grams is ok in the evening so you can sleep. 3 grams is a normal amount in the early afternoon, 4 grams is too much and i had a hard time trying to sleep, heart beating and feeling dizzy. this happened a few hours after drinking 3-4 grams in the evening every time. it’s perfectly fine when you are awake and while drinking, but even hours after drinking 4 grams and getting tired, i had severe problems. this could be related to the first batch of 2012 (batch 201) where the leaves contain a higher amount of caffeine.
Flavors: Dirt, Earth, Mushrooms, Wood
I’m a newbie but I’m going to review this tea…
It has a really strong smoke flavour and medium bitternes. I couldn’t found any sweetness in it. Too strong for me. If you like strong smoke flavour you’ll enjoy it, but that’s not my case.
I steep it 5 times. 5sec (rinse), 10sec, 15sec, 20sec, 25sec.
Flavors: Bitter, Smoke
This is a really good ripe production from Menghai Tea Factory, aged really well by Dragon Tea House. Even though it is only a 2009 tea it has very little fermentation flavor left. As teas rank its good. It is not as good as the 2008 Song of Chi TSe but its close. There were some complex notes and some sweet ones. I really did not pay that much attention to the specifics but it had the usual suspects of ripe puerh, chocolate notes and sweet notes reminiscent of plums. It did not have as many of these sweet notes as some teas, they were more subdued.
I steeped the hell out of this tea. I brewed it seven times in a 207 Taiwan Clay Teapot with 8.6g leaf and boiling water. I steeped it for 10 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 30 sec, 1 min, and 2 min. It was slightly weaker on steep seven but not tremendously weaker. This was an excellent ripe puerh and a classic if there is one. A tea they make every year since 1985 has got to be good, right?
Flavors: Chocolate, Plum
I’m sick. Stayed home Monday, WFH yesterday, went in today, and left at noon. I feel exhausted and congested and blah.
This arrived today as a sample from a friend of mine. I decided to drink some and try to take a little nap. I’m really liking this tea, so I wanted to get a quick note down. Now admittedly I did take some meds earlier, but I didn’t start feeling woozy til I drank this tea!
I’m getting a very pleasant body-feel, which is quite nice. I have enough left to do another session when I am not sick, but this is definitely making me feel better, even if it’s in a small way. It’s yummy and I like it!
Brew of the mid day here.
Broke this one out an in between on fermentation. It is said to be an only slightly ripened/cooked/shou that doesn’t have as much shou kick to it.
Got 12 grams off the cake , it is pretty tightly compressed cake and it took a bit to pry off a chunk. Brewed up it has the “metallic” aroma of some shou. Taste of the brew gives a bit of stone fruit ansd plum notes with enough of the raw material blended in to give a hint of sheng to it. A deep and full textured tea that sits and drinks nice in the cup.Some hints of molasses and sweet chocolate mixed in.
This robust tea is to be savored and contemplated. Smooth with slight astringency in early steeps. This raw puerh cake has a pleasing mineral flavor and is very easy to drink.
I began with what has become my routine process with puerh cakes (both sheng and shou): boiling water; two 5s rinses; then let it sit for 15m to loosen the chunks and open up the leaf. Dark golden tea soup with the tiniest bit of cloudiness. First sip hits the tongue and mouth with lots of mineral flavor; easy to swallow; just a hint of light astringency; drying in the mouth and tongue. Softens and mellows with successive infusions moving towards vegetal flavor rather than honey sweetness – I’ve been through seven so far and this tea has more to give so I’ll likely continue tomorrow.
This one brewed smells kind of like pond water. I don’t mean fishy. I mean the scent of green wet leaves. This is definitely sheng. The taste is mineral and a bit bright. It does not have an astringent bite but is slightly drying. There is a slight sweetness and a hint of fruity or floral late in the sip but not strong enough to identify.
Now the real enjoyment for me with this one comes after sipping. There is a deep inside cooling sensation without any menthol scent that makes my lungs feel fresh, free, and alive. This lingers on and on long after swallowing. There is also the tummy rumble that I love. I find sheng is more likely to have this affect on me than any other type tea. I can literally feel it working its healthy benefits on me. Excellent good tea energy here!
I am so endebted to eurasia-cafe for selling me this nicely bundled tea. It was not a dark brew at first, and I could tell from the inital clarity of the liqour in colour that it was free of the additives and carmel colors associated with poorer quality leafs, et al. Descriptors abound when drinking chinese black tea, but let’s steep to the high path and talk about the velvety mouthfeel and moist Earth and eucalytptus flavors in every cup. It decreases amplitude and then the bitterness increases at a pace relative to the amount of water per brew you use. In the end it comes out of the pot looking like dried chinese prunes, and you better believe they’re still pretty bitter and could go in there again.
Flavors: Earth, Seaweed
Continuing this week’s focus on shengs, I’ve been working on this Menghai over the course of four days. The aroma of both the dry leaf and the brew is at first a bit leather-like. The tea yields a clear golden broth. The sip is smooth and richly textured – complex flavors with some aged undertones leaving a pleasant robust mouthfeel. The brew softens with more steeps and sweetens a bit. Although I have really enjoyed this one, I feel that I have alot to learn about the finer points of shengs.
I have been working this one for three days now. It is a truly amazing tea. The strength of this one is amazing. It comes across with a mineral, citrus and honey notes. At times it has hits of camphor and “saltiness” that stays on the tip of the tongue. You can feel this one way down after drinking. I wish I had made some notes of the earlier steeping s. I plan to brew this one till it has nothing left as I think it will continue to yield more. This is probably the oldest sheng I have had and I can understand why people talk about aged sheng. Pure unadulterated Menghai at its best before the commercialization of it the following year. I think a whole beeng of this is on the shopping list.