Puerhshop Tasting Group's "Pride of Menghai""


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Puerhshop Tasting Group's "Pride of Menghai""

Postby Salsero » May 5th, '08, 09:30

Jagori broke open a tea that is included in the "Pride of Menghai" sampler kit (though he doesn't have the actual kit) so let's inaugurate that thread with his fine, pithy review:


Jagori wrote:Tonight's tea was the 2007 Menghai Jewel. It's in the Pride of Menghai sample pack, but there isn't a thread for it yet and I didn't order the pack, so I'll just post here.

This tea was light and fresh-tasting, and quite pleasant to drink. Somewhere around the 5th steep, it suddenly got sweet and floral, like I'd added honey and a bit of jasmine. The leaves cashed in shortly after that. A good tea for those times when I want pu-erh, but I'm not in the mood for the more intense ones. I'll probably buy it again when this cake is done, unless I discover a more complex but light pu-erh in the meantime.
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2006 King of Pu-erh Tea Cake

Postby Dizzwave » May 5th, '08, 12:37

2006 King of Pu-erh Tea Cake
The dry leaves on the cake are long and flowing, like a fingerprint whorl.. I'm excited about this one. Dry leaves in warm pot smell nice and barnyard-y, like other shengs I've loved.
Wet rinsed leaves are equally inviting.
I used plenty of leaf.. they don't seem very dense, so I used lots of volume. My pot was overflowing with leaf by the 6th infusion.
Brew is a nice green/yellow/amber color. Flavor is delicious! Hard for me to describe -- just tastes to me like how a good sheng should. I think of it as a citrusy barnyard flavor with green tea undertones.
The unfurled leaves are big (not huge) and beautiful, criss-crossing inside my teapot, filling it to the top.
This one was going strong after many many steeps... I ended up taking the half-used leaves home for the night. They were too good to just dump them.

Would I buy this one? $29, hmmm.... tough call. Maybe, maybe not. It would probably be worth it, but I hesitate to spend more than $20 on a piece of tea unless it's *really* good. But that's just me.
Anyway, the tea is great. I give it 4 stars out of 5.
-dave
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Re: New reader - two tastings for Pride of MengHai

Postby Salsero » May 12th, '08, 20:39

TomVerlain wrote: ... my brewing skills are closer to “slacker-fu” than gong-fu ... To be honest, this was the worst tea I have ever tried.
Thanks for posting, T-V.

I love "slacker-fu." :D You may want to trade mark that name! There's a lot of us out here.

Also, I would probably rate a lot of teas "the worst ever," but I have had so many bad ones, that it would be too hard to select just one candidate for the title.
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Postby Jagori » May 12th, '08, 23:45

I haven't tried the two you reviewed, but today I think I burned the Menghai Jewel with full-boil water on the wash. It started off bland and sour, and it took about four steeps to get back to what I was expecting. It seems it deals better if I let the water stop boiling for the first couple steeps. It's possible that I just got a potful of crappy leaves, since I don't specifically remember letting the water come off the boil previously, but it sounds like something I'd do with a really young sheng. Either way, it was way worse than my last four sessions of that tea, which were all pretty good.

Also, I mentioned this in another thread, but it bears repeating here: I found the Menghai Jewel to benefit from short steeps. I've been giving it a ~15s rinse, and then starting the steeps at about 15-20s and working up to around a minute towards the 9th or so. When I let it steep longer, even towards the end, it gets extremely drying.
Last edited by Jagori on May 13th, '08, 02:00, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Salsero » May 13th, '08, 01:22

Well, after TomVerlain's post, I had to dig into my Pride of Menghai trick or treat bag and try the 2007 Rongzhen. After all, how could anyone resist a tea called Imperial Concubine!

Forwarned is forearmed. After T-V's experience, I kept the brew times ultra short, 13 s to 25 s including the pour in and pour out times. The liquor I got was pale straw to light honey and the taste was very light. It seemed at every moment to be threatening excessive astringency. It did have a nice aroma, the weight in the mouth was moderate, and it made me sweat (qi?), but I can't say I enjoyed this session. I am seriously wondering if (despite Jim's comments on Pu-Shop site) it needs at least a few years age to be drinkable.

** My rating "I didn't like it"
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Re: New reader - two tastings for Pride of MengHai

Postby Dizzwave » May 13th, '08, 11:25

TomVerlain wrote:my brewing skills are closer to “slacker-fu” than gong-fu.

I love that! :lol:
Welcome to TeaChat! I liked reading your reviews, and now I'm looking forward to trying the teas you mentioned.
-dave
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Verified it's true

Postby Jim Liu » May 13th, '08, 14:54

I read your notes on Rongzhen Imperial Concubine Aromatic Pu-erh Tea Cake with disbelieve, :o so I brewed up a cup to try - I had not tasted this tea for months.

The most statements you made were true, :cry: I appended the following on the product page:

Update on May 13th. Above taste notes were written when the tea was just arrived. Apparently this tea is in its worst state into the aging. Guess we have to wait patiently for a while before this tea becomes good again, let Nature do its wonders.
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Re: Verified it's true

Postby Salsero » May 13th, '08, 17:09

puerhshop wrote:I read your notes on Rongzhen Imperial Concubine Aromatic Pu-erh Tea Cake with disbelieve, :o so I brewed up a cup to try - I had not tasted this tea for months.
I think it could age very well, however. This is only a 2007 cake after all.
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Postby Dizzwave » May 14th, '08, 10:48

Hi T-V,
That's interesting that you had lost of twigs and leaf bits -- my King of Pu-erh sampler is basically a piece of the cake -- long flowing leaves that pull nicely off of the chunk. I guess it was the luck of the draw. Anyway, my slacker-fu setup here at work doesn't include my camera, so I can't post a picture at this point. :) Maybe later.
but -- nice review! I enjoyed reading it.
-dave
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Postby Salsero » May 25th, '08, 23:37

So far I have tried two sessions with the 2007 Rong Zhen Imperial Concubine Aromatic. While I love the name, I found the tea to be weak and uninteresting.

Initially, I found the same with the 2007 Nanqiao Tea Factory Menghai Jewel. In the first session weak, uninteresting, watery. But about the 4th steep of the second session (more leaf than the first), it seemed to take off for me. I found a nice viscosity, an aftertaste that encouraged me to go back for another steep, maybe a tad too astringent (a good sign for aging, however), a honey and mushroom aroma became dominant. Now I am thinking this tea may have real aging potential. I wound up going a full ten rounds!
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Postby knix » Jun 18th, '08, 09:15

I am trying to review all the samples for this tasting kit. So to start here is two for ya. Just follow the link to my blog. It is reviewed there.

http://knixtea.blogspot.com/2008/06/2007-rongzhen-imperial-concubine.html = Rongzhen

http://knixtea.blogspot.com/2008/06/2006-king-of-pu-erh-tea-cake-pride-of.html = King of Puerh

http://knixtea.blogspot.com/2008/06/2007-bulang-spring-tips-pu-erh-tea-cake.html = Bulang
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Postby Dizzwave » Aug 20th, '08, 12:05

I finally tried the Concubine today, and... I was surprised! It's fairly decent!
With low expectations, I did it up thermos-fu for my bus commute. (method: 4-5g in a 150ml teapot, do 4 or 5 infusions as I normally would, but dump them all directly into the thermos. So on the bus I end up drinking a blend of the first 4-5 infusions. Note that I wouldn't do this with a primo tea, but I thought it would be a good way to start using up all these samples I have lying around.)
There is a little astringency, a little bitterness, but overall the flavor is fairly thick and.. gosh I'm not good at coming up with the right tea words.. But it does have bits of that sheng flavor I do like. Let's see if I can do it, stream of consciousness, here I'll take a sip...
"Round"...good aftertaste...strong.. a tad sweet...thick... see I'm not very good at "flavor" words. :)
Anyway.... Would I buy a cake for $21 + shipping? Probably not.
I'll have to try this one again (preferably for real in a yixing pot) before coming up with a "star" rating, but preliminarily let's say 3 stars. "I like it, but won't be buying a cake for that price."
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Postby Salsero » Aug 20th, '08, 16:31

I have been pretty happy with virtually any sheng brewed Euro style. Gong fu is the acid test, but Euro gives the "also rans" a useful niche to fill.
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