Factory Focus


One of the intentionally aged teas, Pu-Erh has a loyal following.

Factory Focus

Postby VinceBLG » Sep 3rd, '08, 09:47

I was shopping through vendors' sites for some sheng and I wondered which factories I could narrow down my search to.

Then I wondered about how Menghai, Guangdong and Boyou seem to have a lot of cooked pu available while other factories like Xiaguan, Yunnan Six Famous Tea Mountains and Golden Sail seem to have a lot more Raw pu available.

This caused me to wonder, yet again (I like to wonder), about a rule of thumb that may exist that I am not aware of. A general guideline that pu-enthusiasts follow when selecting their tea. I'm hoping there is, though I'm sure if varies from person to person.

But there may be some steadfast beliefs about which Factory excells in production of one type of pu-erh or another.

So...what do you think?
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Postby hop_goblin » Sep 3rd, '08, 11:19

You sound like a new commer to pu-eh. If this is the case, you would do well to start collecting from the 'bigger' factories until you are more educated. Big factories are those which for the most part had their inception before 1997. They include, Menghai Dayi, Xiaguan, Haiwan, Feng Qing, and KunMng. However, I also include MengYang Guoyan in this bunch as this factory has gained my respect over the years. There are others, but these come time mind first.

For the most part, these bigger factories typically own their own trees and thus can provide a consistant product year after year and don't have to rely on tea buyers and sellers for mao cha.
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Postby VinceBLG » Sep 3rd, '08, 13:42

Thanks for the info, Hop...

I'm not brand new to Pu, per se, but I do not have a lot of experience with the more in-depth aspects of it and I have not, in the past, regarded it highly or sought more knowledge - until now. Mostly I've consumed inexpensive cooked Pu-Erh but I am in the market now for some excellent Sheng.

So I'll be looking for Menghai Dayi, Xiaguan, Haiwan, Feng Qing, KunMng and MengYang Guoyan in my search for sheng pu to taste.

I've noticed there are about three factories with the name Menghai...is the Menghai Dayi the original?
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Postby tony shlongini » Sep 3rd, '08, 14:29

I'm far from an expert, and don't even play one on tv, but I'll have a go at it. Menghai is a county in Xishuangbanna, Yunnan. Many producers seem to have attached "Menghai" to their name, no doubt due to the fame of one factory in particular: Menghai Tea Factory, owner of the Dayi brand name. The Menghai and Kunming tea factories were among the first to produce cooked puerhs, so it's not surprising that they're two of the big boys in the world of shu. Xiaguan seems to specialize in tuos, but I wouldn't want to paint with too broad a brush. These three factories, as mentioned earlier, are the old guard who have "earned" a number (2,1, and 3 respectively), along with Haiwan [8] and Feng Qing/Lancang, who, as far as I can tell, are fighting it out over the rights to the number "4". :lol:
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Postby VinceBLG » Sep 3rd, '08, 15:39

Thanks, Tony. I appreciate your input.

I'm looking forward to doing some tastings with some sheng.
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Postby thanks » Sep 3rd, '08, 18:11

I'd also like to really recommend Haiwan as it's price/value ratio is outstanding, and I've never been disappointed by a Haiwan product. Same goes for Menghai Dayi, but when it's a year old or more the prices just are excruciating to look at. I haven't had any 08 Xiaguan, but I think the general consensus is Xiaguan has been off their game the past two or three years except for their FT offerings which are somehow almost always good, especially considering the price (tea mafia COUGH COUGH). Mengyang Guoyan, to me at least, is sort of a mixed bag. I've had Guoyan teas that really impressed me, and then others that were pretty disappointing. Mengku is also another pretty consistent brand though, as light as those teas tend to be sometimes, they always carry great flavors.

Buy a bunch of samples, is the best advice anyone could give, really. Also throw in a couple samples of the aged stuff to really educate your palette. A word of advice though, is to brew the aged stuff after learning all the nuances of gonfu brewing young sheng and shu. I've tried samples that I've hated, only to retry them just months later to be blown away by them. Our skills are constantly improving whether we realize it or not.
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Postby Salsero » Sep 3rd, '08, 18:27

Wow, this is really a great thread. I've learned a lot about factories and have copied much of your comments into my pu notes. Thanks!
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Postby shogun89 » Sep 3rd, '08, 18:47

My christmas order will have a few Menghai cakes in it, including the 7542, 7532, and 8582, along with the Mengku arbor king and some other stuff. I am really hoeing I like one of the Menghai recipe cakes because I would love to stock up on it. Maybe even a tong!

This cake looks like a true winner! to high of a price tag for me though.
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Postby tony shlongini » Sep 3rd, '08, 20:11

When the box makes it around to my neck of the woods, I'll be putting in some 7542, 8582, and 8592 from Menghai, so you'll have a chance to at least taste those.
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Postby shogun89 » Sep 3rd, '08, 21:13

tony shlongini wrote:When the box makes it around to my neck of the woods, I'll be putting in some 7542, 8582, and 8592 from Menghai, so you'll have a chance to at least taste those.


SWEET! Thanks Tony.
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Postby teakid » Sep 3rd, '08, 21:17

If you like the 2006 Mengku Wild Arbor King, then try this:

http://cgi.ebay.com/2008-Yong-Pin-Hao-L ... dZViewItem

You won't regret it!
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Postby tony shlongini » Sep 3rd, '08, 21:24

teakid wrote:If you like the 2006 Mengku Wild Arbor King, then try this:

http://cgi.ebay.com/2008-Yong-Pin-Hao-L ... dZViewItem

You won't regret it!


That wrapper looks a bit like this one from PS-

http://www.puerhshop.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=64_71&products_id=441
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Postby shogun89 » Sep 3rd, '08, 21:48

teakid wrote:If you like the 2006 Mengku Wild Arbor King, then try this:

http://cgi.ebay.com/2008-Yong-Pin-Hao-L ... dZViewItem

You won't regret it!


Yeah I really want that one. It sounds and looks really good!
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Postby VinceBLG » Sep 4th, '08, 09:03

I've got a Mengku coming.

Green Label Mengku Rongshi
Meng Ku Qing Bing Cha 2006 Raw Cake
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Postby VinceBLG » Sep 4th, '08, 14:46

thanks wrote: I haven't had any 08 Xiaguan, but I think the general consensus is Xiaguan has been off their game the past two or three years except for their FT offerings which are somehow almost always good, especially considering the price (tea mafia COUGH COUGH). Mengyang Guoyan, to me at least, is sort of a mixed bag. I've had Guoyan teas that really impressed me, and then others that were pretty disappointing. Mengku is also another pretty consistent brand though, as light as those teas tend to be sometimes, they always carry great flavors.


Thanks, Thanks - great info to keep in mind while shopping around.
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