41 Tasting Notes
I read that the 7572 recipe is the benchmark for ripe pu erh, kind of a standard of quality used to compare other shou pu erh’s to. I bought this 2010 version over a year ago, but haven’t opened it. I prefer my shou’s to be 5+ years of aging for most cakes so I let this one sit. Today I was at a friend’s and we sat down for some tea and chose a 7572 he had just opened. We probably used 9g in a 180ml yixing, rinse and short steeps 3-5 seconds. The brew was nice and dark brown with a sweet welcoming scent. My first taste caused a reaction of ahhhhhh yeah, I see! It has a classic Menghai shou taste, rich but not too strong with flavors of mushroom and chocolate with an earthy note distant in the background. It was truly very tasty. I can see why it is the benchmark for shou quality. This could easily be a go to shou, an every day drinker for shou lovers. I’d be interested to try one with a couple more years of aging, but this is certainly an excellent shou worthy of the benchmark label.
Flavors: Chocolate, Mushrooms
Today I sat down with the last of my second brick of the 2010 version of Menghai’s Lao Cha Tou ripe pu erh brick. I’ve now gone through 500g of this stuff. My remaining chunk was around 9g so I just used the whole thing in a 185ml yixing instead of having 2 smaller weaker sessions. Also, it’s nice to finish with a tea in my daily rotation box as it makes room to take a new one out of storage and add it to the rotation! :)
I like this tea because it is deep, dark, rich, and creamy. Perfect when I’m in the mood for a creamy rich decadent puerh that gives and gives. I’m on my 7th steeping at 15s and the liquor is black, and I mean BLACK! I can hardly see through it when I’m pouring the tea into the pitcher or cup! And that’s after SEVEN steepings!!! The flavor profile is not very complex… notes of dark chocolate syrup, leather, and perhaps a hint of dark cherry wood. Very dark and rich. Not much in the way of cha qi, and some mild hui gan in the early steepings.
This tea becomes interesting in the later steepings as the leaf portions start to open up and change while the nuggets are still giving strength to the tea. In typing this I moved on to my 8th steeping at 20s… still black, but now I can see through it when I hold it up to the light. I love it! I’ll probably approach 20 steepings of this tea today. While it’s nothing too spectacular this is a great tea for a dark, rich shou pu erh experience. Another solid shou from Menghai.
EDIT: On my 17th steeping now, the tea is still giving a golden – amber colored liquor and has really opened up with a deep soft lingering sweetness after an early punch of mushroom with light floral essence. Still tasty!
Flavors: Dark Chocolate, Dark Wood, Leather
This tea was pretty good, as to be expected from a Dayi shou. I used 8g in my 185 yixing for a nice since I wanted a strong tea this Sunday morning. Strong dark liquor, almost black (I love it when a shou comes out dark black!) with notes of leather, raisin, cocoa, and perhaps a little sawdust (or at least the texture was reminiscent of sawdust in some way, maybe not the taste… I don’t want that to sound bad as sawdust is not particularly yummy lol). I noticed a little cooling on the mouth after drinking which lingered for a few minutes, and not terribly strong qi but present. I probably didn’t like it as much as others here but it is a good tea.
Flavors: Cocoa, Leather, Raisins, Sawdust
I thoroughly enjoy this tea. I bought a cake a couple years ago and went through it pretty fast. From what I remember it is a light shou, not too dark or earthy but with a light finish and uplifting energy. It is aptly named “Clouds”. My most memorable experience with this tea is that I brought it in a tea thermos during the birth of my first child. I went through several steppings as we waited nearly 11 hours from the time we got to the hospital until her birth. I ordered another cake and will likely keep it for storage until I can share it with my daughter and tell her that this is the same tea your dad was drinking on the day you were born. Obviously, this is a special tea for me.
So I asked for and received this tea as a Christmas gift. I figured since it is such a young tea I’d just store if for a few years before opening it, so I put in away and didn’t even try it. Now it’s July and I keep reading how awesome this tea is. Then I read how it’s almost sold out and I think to myself what if I’m missing out on one of the best teas one can buy? So… I tried it…
After a short rinse I smelled the leaves. This is one of my favorite parts of the tea experience, second only to the cha qi of the tea. My first impression was whaaaaaaat is THIS!!! I had never smelled such a scent from a tea before, smoky, sweet, floral tones. I did a short steep of 10 seconds with ~200 degree water and sat down for a taste. The smokiness of this tea is abundant with rich flower essence, undertones of straw and sage. By the end of the first session I was already feeling the cha qi which I did not expect. The cha qi was a very introspective experience for me, blurring the edges of my consciousness yet focusing and brightening my present experience. As I was half way through my third steeping I realized that this tea has virtually no bitterness at all, a rarity in a sheng and something I cherish in a sheng as well! I’m sold… this tea is damn good! I bought 2 more to age while I put this one in my tea for a special occasion stash. Truly a wonderful tea, and only in it’s infancy! I can’t wait to taste it when I’m 60! Hahahaha, if I can hold off on drinking it for that long! ;)
Flavors: Flowers, Sage, Smoke, Straw
This is really a great roasted oolong! The tea has good warmth with notes of honey, distant smokiness, and a rich base of… well… deliciousness! My wife loves this one, I could not keep her out of it! My first 50g I got probably only got 4-5 cups worth as I rotated this with other teas. Well, she just went straight for it every time until it was gone! I’ve reordered this one several times and have even kept a pack hidden from my wife to see what flavors it will develop after a couple years. Certainly this is one of the better oolongs I’ve tried.
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For me, this is a tea that changes dramatically depending on the vessel it is served in. I’m not a big fan of this tea in the traditional small tea cups. The flavor is deep and rich with not a lot of complexity when served in this manner. I’d give it a 64. However, when served in a standard american mug the flavor improves dramatically! A sweetness comes out to complement the richness of the tea. Dark, rich and sweet this tea is one of my favorites when I am on the go, such as in the car or at a seminar when I can do gong fu. I’ll still brew it using a yixing or chinese tea pot and combine 2 steepings in the mug. In this manner I’ll give it a 90. Not bad from one of the traditional Dayi recipes.
This is a great value tea for ripe pu erh lovers. Nothing terribly special, but a good tea for daily drinking. It has a sweet slightly nutty, mildly earthy flavor that is pleasing. You will not be blown away by this tea but for $15 (as of posting) for a 357g cake, I think you’ll be quite pleased.
This is a special tea, still in its infancy. It has a wonderful rich smooth flavor profile with a unique characteristic of significantly different taste depending on the temperature of the steeped tea. Brewed the traditional gong fu style with 212 degree water, this tea flavor changes as it cools. The initial hot liquor is smooth with high tones of soft bark and cane sugar. At first I though that this tea really doesn’t have much taste, but as the tea cools complexities come out and the tea becomes more rich and sweet with subtle spice notes.
JK Tea Shop describes this tea as “connoisseur pu er” and the price certainly reflects it. I purchased a cake in May of 2013 for $115 and as of this posting the price has sky rocketed to $450! I have not opened my cake and have not tried this tea since I finished the sample I bought prior to purchasing. This is a tea for long term storage for me that I will gratefully savor at some special occasion in the distant future. This is a special tea for sure!