Menghai Tea Factory (King Tea Aliepress)

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Recent Tasting Notes

89

This is a very nice ripe from Dayi. There was a moderate amount of fermentation flavor. It had started to clear but has a while to go yet. There was a little bit of bitterness initially but not much. It was mostly sweet notes from beginning to end. There might have been some chocolate notes in there but I wasn’t really paying attention. I was just enjoying the tea. On work days I don’t have time for a gongfu session so today I started early and hopefully will get to one or two more teas. This was very good and worth the price he charged which was $30 on sale for the 11/11 sale. King tea no longer seems to have a presence on Aliexpress but as I understand it he now has another website.

I steeped this tea twelve times in a 150ml gaiwan with 10.3g 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 leaves were not done at twelve steeps. If I wanted to continue I am sure I’d get another three or four steeps out of them at least if not more.

Flavors: Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 10 g 5 OZ / 150 ML
looseTman

Hi Allan,
John’s new website is:
http://www.kingteamall.com
… but don’t call me an enabler :-)

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88

This was an interesting puerh with a surprising amount of age to it. The color of the tea was a dark orange. It had developed the beginnings of aged flavor of leather and tobacco. I had been going on the assumption that this was pressed from older maocha. But the pictures from the seller clearly show a tea liquid that is very yellow. It does not seem possible that this tea has aged in my storage but it looks like it may have. I did buy this tea in 2015 when it was fairly new. I found no information on the King Tea page to suggest that this was made with older maocha. That leaves my storage by default. We do have humid summers here but it shouldn’t be good enough to age the tea this much. Who knows. I guess the only way to confirm this theory is to find something of comparable age that I have been storing and see what the flavor is. If the pictures on Aliexpress didn’t show such a yellow tea I wouldn’t even be considering this idea. And this tea was not in my pumidor. It is a question I don’t have an answer for. The taste of leather and tobacco did go away after four or five steeps and a sweeter note emarged. It became quite a tasty tea in general.

I steeped this tea twelve times in a 150ml gaiwan with 8.2g 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.

Flavors: Leather, Sweet, Tobacco

Preparation
Boiling 8 g 5 OZ / 150 ML
Rui A.

That is very interesting. I have one of these cakes in humidor storage for few months and maybe I sould try it right now as it seems to have matured so much already.

AllanK

King Tea didn’t have any information about the leaves and the photos on King tea were of a very yellow tea. But Berylleb sells the same tea and says it was produced with 2009 and 2015 leaves.

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99

This tea was nothing short of phenomenal. There was no fermentation taste to this tea. It had completely cleared. The storage on this tea must have been perfect because it had taken on no unpleasant storage tastes of any sort. It was sweet and tasty. It had developed a nice fruity flavor to it in the later steeps. It was dark in the early and middle infusions but not at all thick with fermentation flavor. This tea was a gift from John at King Tea on Aliexpress. I looked for this on his web page but could not find it. I don’t even know how expensive it is. It took several steeps before this tea opened up and then in was a nice dark color, sweet with no bitterness. No real chocolate taste in there but it was really good despite this. I stopped at ten infusions because of my insomnia but I’m sure this tea would go twenty infusions at least. It’s still very dark in the tenth infusion.

I steeped this tea ten times in a 150ml gaiwan with 12g 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, and 1 min. I would definitely like to obtain some more of this tea.

Flavors: Fruity, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 12 g 5 OZ / 150 ML
Rich

Do let us know if it becomes available!

AllanK

I will tell John at King Tea that others are interested. It was one of the very best ripes I have ever drank.

AllanK

Here is the link. Quite a reasonable price.
http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/King-Tea-1996-TAE-TEA-DaYi-LaoChaTou-ChenXiang-100g-Fermented-Puer-Puerh-Ripe-Tea-Cooked/1220054_32657383350.html

Rui A.

Thank you Allan.

Rich

Not cheap, though. Over $100 if it were a full sized cake.

AllanK

Rich, I agree this isn’t cheap. But I liked the sample enough that I ordered 200g of it yesterday night when I had insomnia.

AllanK

Rich, the thing about this tea that is so rare is the fact that there was no fermentation taste left and it hadn’t picked up any storage tastes.

Rich

Sounds like a winner. It’s good that we can buy smaller amounts. Did you have to use more leaf given that it is in nugget form?

AllanK

Rich, I pretty much used my standard, 12g for 150ml. I normally use in the range of 10g to 13g for this size. It took a couple of steeps for the nuggets to open up. Should have probably given it a second rinse. But 12g for 150ml was fine.

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85

This was actually advertised as 1988 tea when I bought it. But John at King Tea said it was actually 1998 tea and asked me if I wanted to cancel the order. I decided to try it as 1998 is still fairly aged. And this tea has all the hallmarks of an aged ripe. It has no fermentation taste that I could find, except maybe just enough for you to tell it is ripe and not raw, sort of an aftertaste. There was a certain amount of wet storage taste to this tea which is common in older teas. The note of wet wood was there and noticeable for the first two steeps. There was a tiny amount of this left in later steeps. Not sure if I found the orchid flavor that was advertised for this tea. It was fairly good overall. I really didn’t notice notes of chocolate in this, and it had lost that creamy taste of a younger shou. There was a sweet note that developed in this but I am not sure how to describe it. Overall I liked this tea. It was not too expensive for an aged tea, I paid slightly less than $30 for 100g of aged tea. The only thing I have really to confirm that this is a Dayi is that I trust the seller. It is old enough that the symbols famous now for Menghai Tea Factory were not yet in use and I can’t read the Chinese on the packaging. It did say 1998 on the package. As to the dry leaves of this tea, they were very fine leaves, looking like Gong Ting grade or at least first grade leaves. They smelled strongly of wet storage. The actual wet storage taste was not as strong as the smell of it.

I steeped this twelve times in a 140ml teapot with 10.3g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse and a 10 minute rest. 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 mini, and 2 min. There were a couple of steeps left in the leaves but I had had enough caffeine for today. I don’t think John from King Tea on Aliexpress is still selling this tea.

Flavors: Sweet, Wet Wood

Preparation
Boiling 10 g 5 OZ / 140 ML

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91

This is an excellent ripe. It’s got a fair amount of fermentation left of course because it is only a 2015 tea. It is however sweet with little bitterness. I am not in the frame of mind right now to notice the specifics but it is good.

I steeped this twelve times in a 85ml Yixing Teapot with 7.1g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse and a 10 minute rest. 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.

Flavors: Earth, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 7 g 3 OZ / 85 ML

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88

This is a tasty ripe tea. It had a fair amount of fermentation flavor in the early steeps. It was thick and somewhat creamy in nature. There were some chocolate notes in there and it developed a fruity flavor in later steeps. Broke in my new small Yixing teapot for this session. Got it from one of my favorite EBay teapot sellers liwz88. He sells nice teapots at reasonable prices. This one was only $35 and I like it. I gave this tea two more steeps than my usual because I was using a smaller pot than usual. I unfortunately still have to watch my caffeine intake.

I steeped this tea ten times in a 110ml Yixing Teapot with 8.2g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse and a 10 minute rest. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, and 1 min. I’d say that I would get another four or five steeps out of this tea if I was to continue.

Flavors: Chocolate, Earth, Fruity, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 4 OZ / 110 ML
x-ray

hi alan, i got the same here, i always wonder why people brew with boiling water and longer than a few seconds because it will get that “fermentend” flavour.. i call it fermented bitterness ;), i think 90 °C for the wash is quite hot enough and the latter steeps should be around 85 °C.. at least this is how i can avoid that fermentation flavor that covers everything else. it really had a nice creamy smell when washing, but i couldn’t find it anymore after steeping with boiling water. this tea was so compressed in flavor i was able to brew it up 10 times with immediate pour and couldn’t see through the liquor, just black and brown (8g on 150ml) until the 8th steep.
the flavour was still the same, even when pouring with 75 °C !
but apart from that typical dayi flavor and fermentation flavor i got nothing too pleasant and the creamy one was totally gone after the wash. i bet i did it pretty much the same way you did, steeps for 5-10 seconds max, 8g leaf, 5 second rinse, 5 minute rest. i couldn’t get any fruity aroma from it or sweetness at all, just very earthy and maybe chocolate (bitter chocolate though ;) ). do you have any advice on how to make it smoother ? it tasted exactly like my 2012 7262 to be honest. only difference was the creamy smell when rinsing it.

AllanK

Generally as you resteep the tea it will improve and lose it’s fermentation flavor. I find that with most ripe after four to five steeps the fermentation is not so noticeable. I use boiling water with ripe because that is what has been recommended to me. I suppose there is no reason you cannot use lower temperature water. I generally find that if a fruity taste is going to develop in is in the later steeps such as eight and nine etc. It has been quite a while since I drank this one. Not even sure where I put it in my collection.

x-ray

i find its the same with sheng.. i always get a bitter note in the first 4 steeps. i can avoid it totally though when using 50 °C for rinsing and 80 °C for steeping (immediate pour every time). i have to try that with shu, too. maybe it works the same.

Cwyn

X-Ray you are right about the temps and mellowing the off tastes. However, for tasting purposes, boiling water is the test at which only the best teas will hold up, in terms of leaf strength and quality. It is a litmus test, so to speak, that will reveal the good and bad. The lower temps will improve the flavor and lessen the bad, whereas boiling reveals everything about the tea and the storage.

AllanK

X-Ray, the best way to avoid fermentation flavor in shou is to get a cake that has cleared. I have come across a couple, one is the 2008 Song of Chi Tse from Berylleb King Tea on EBay. Another is the 1996 CNNP ripe from Yunnan Sourcing. I think it was 1996 CNNP Green Mark but can’t remember for sure. It was definitely 1996 CNNP though. I have not come across many teas that have cleared but those two are two I remember have.

x-ray

what does “cleared” refer to ? can you clear a cake by yourself ?

AllanK

X-Ray, cleared refers to the fermentation taste. It means that over a certain interval of storage this flavor will slowly go away. You can clear one by yourself but it takes years depending on your storage. Generally higher humidity will clear a cake faster.

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85

I recently bought two different 7572’s from Aliexpress King Tea, this one and a 2008. The 2008 was pretty bad and I don’t recommend it. This one was pretty good. There was almost no fermentation flavor, it was 98% cleared. What fermentation flavor that was there was barely perceptible. There was a little more bitterness in the early steeps than I expect from a ripe Dayi but that disappeared after a few steeps. A nice sweet flavor was left after that. I was not really paying that much attention to the specific notes but it got somewhat fruity in the later steeps. I ended up giving it ten steeps and I’m sure it would have gone another four or so in steeps.

I steeped this ten times in a 180ml teapot with 12.2g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse and a 10 minute rest. I don’t know if ten minutes was enough for the leaves to open up but I wanted my tea. I was not patient enough to wait an hour. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, and 1 min. Overall this was quite good tea.

Flavors: Fruity, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 12 g 6 OZ / 180 ML

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20

I wish I could give this tea a good revue. But wishes will not make that happen. While I know that a Dayi 7572 can be an excellent tea this one is not. Simply put this tea had an off taste to it. I gave it eight steeps in the hopes it would dissipate. Only in steep eight did I notice a slight improvement. That off taste, combined with a lot of fermentation flavor make this a tea to avoid. I bought this tea from Aliexpress King Tea and it is the first truly bad tea I have got from him. Even the one I got that had some mold on it tasted better. (I found enough of that without any mold to drink it.) I do not think this is his standard tea by any means as I have gotten some good tea from him. Perhaps six months of storage will improve the taste of this tea. The problem I have is I don’t know how to describe the off flavor. It is not a taste of wet storage as I know it. It may be that this tea picked up an unpleasant taste during it’s storage from it’s surroundings. In any case it is the worst puerh I have drank in a long while, perhaps ever. I should also note that this tea appeared to have been unwrapped and rewrapped. The Dayi seal was broken off the tea wrapper.

Steeped this tea eight times in a 180ml teapot with 12g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse and a 10 minute rest. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, and 30 sec.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 12 g 6 OZ / 180 ML
boychik

Fake maybe ? sorry

AllanK

I might be a fake I don’t know.

mrmopar

Send me a pic if you have one Allan.

tea123

In hindsight would you have drank it with a broken seal? A suspected fake is really bad… not a good sign.

AllanK

Seals sometimes come loose. At that point I didn’t suspect it was a bad tea.

teatortoise

Maybe a little less leaf/little shorter steeping. This changed two ripe puerhs I’ve had from initially “off-tasting,” to pleasant teas for me. Mind that I don’t have experience with fake or mistreated cakes, though.

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93

This is the second of my teas purchased from the King Tea Aliexpress store. It gives all indications of being a legit Dayi product. It is tasty with a moderate amount of fermentation flavor, not too much. It is sweet in nature with almost no bitterness. During eight steeps I found a variety of notes including chocolate or cocoa notes as well as sweet notes reminiscent of berries without of course quite having the sweetness of true berries. This tea was a good value at King Tea. I think most other retailers would have charged over $100 for this tea. I got it for around $66 or so. King tea has excellent prices that is for sure.

I steeped this eight times in a 180ml teapot with 11.3g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse and a 10 minute rest. A longer rest would have let the leaves open up more but I did not have the time. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, and 30 sec.

Flavors: Berries, Chocolate, Earth, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 11 g 6 OZ / 180 ML

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91

This is the first of the teas I recently bought from King Teas on Aliexpress. It is also the largest Dayi bing I have ever seen advertised at 750g of ripe tea. It is a tea I found quite tasty. There was a fair amount of fermentation flavor in the early steeps but no flavor I would describe as nastiness. It has partially cleared. After about four steeps all traces of this fermentation flavor were gone. There was also a little bitterness in the first couple of steeps. It evolved into a nice sweet ripe puerh tea. I would not claim that I found chocolate notes in it like many seek although they could be there. I did find sweet notes reminiscent of dates. A flavor that good ripe puerh often develops. All the indications on this bing are that it is the real deal. It does not look fake at all. It seems that this seller is on the up and up although my feeling is based upon one order. I did not put the black light on this tea for I figured it is too old to have the Dayi green glow. I did put the black light on the one 2014 Dayi I bought from him and it did glow green. Overall I liked this tea and would buy it again if I didn’t have so much of it. This is one I am tempted to buy again as an tea investment but probably won’t bother. After all I have about 740g of it left.

I steeped this eight times in a 180ml teapot with 10.3g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse and a 10 minute rest. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, and 30 sec. This tea was definitely good enough to keep going but I had had enough caffeine at eight steeps. I think there were at least four or five more steeps to this tea minimum.

Flavors: Dates, Earth, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 10 g 6 OZ / 180 ML
boychik

750g must be huge cake. happy you like it

AllanK

I’ll send you a sample when your back from the Poconos.

boychik

thank you Allan ;)

tea123

I look forward to your other reviews from King Tea.

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