Mengku is an area in the Yunnan Province in southern China. It is also the name of a town in that area. And it is the name applied to teas grown and processed by tea factories in that area. Small wonder since there are almost 667 hectares of wild tea trees in the forest of the Mengku Great Snowy Mountains. They grow at an average altitude of 3,228 meters. Unlike cultivated tea which is usually kept trimmed to a manageable size, these wild tea trees can be about 22 meters (around 65 feet) tall with a trunk that is around 3.25 meters in diameter and an age of 2,500 to 3,000 years. This area is rather rare and produces some of the best pu-erh.
|Yunnan Shuangjiang Mengku Tea Co., Ltd.|
The species of tea plant (Camellia Sinensis) grown here is called “large-leaf” or “big black tea.” The tea produced from it was judged as No. 12 Chinese Tea in 1984. Mengku has a sub-tropical climate that is great for growing this species of tea plant.
Imbibers of this tea have described it as one that has stamina and could be brewed for several days straight with the mouthfeel getting smoother and silkier and the flavor enduring. That flavor gets described as smoky, creamy, earthy, malty, a hint of banana, a touch of mushroom, and so on.
A Couple of Mengku Tea Factories
- Yunnan Lincang Goldenarbor Mengku Big-Leafed Tea Co., Ltd. — Located in the city of Lincang (about 19 kilometers from Mengku Town), Shuangjiang County, in the Yunnan Province, southern China. The owner is Mr. Guoche (a lot of Chinese companies have been privatized since the 1990s). The factory specializes in pu-erh tea processing. There are about 5,400 square meters of workshops plus 6,000 square meters of tea drying area. This all sits on about 4.3 acres. They have a staff of about 100 that harvests 1.35 million kilograms of tea leaves (picked only from tea trees growing above 1,900 meters elevation in the mountains around them) each year that are then processed into about 300,000 kilograms of maocha. This is further refined into about 250,000 kilograms of finished teas. All the processing is done at the factory, not by any outside firms, to assure top quality.
- Yunnan Shuangjiang Mengku Tea Co., Ltd. — Located in the Kunming city in the Yunnan Province, southern China. The company was established in July 1999 in Yun Nan (Yunnan) and registered as a Private Limited company. The CEO is Jia Sheng Rong. They produce eight registered categories of tea products: Black tea, Green tea, Pu-erh tea, Steam-enzyme tea, Cooling tea, A bowl-shaped compressed tea, Brick tea, and Qizi cake tea.
A Mengku Tea to Try
2008 Mu Ye Chun “99801” Premium Ripe Pu-erh — The first ripe tea cake production from the new Yong De division of the Shuangjiang Mengku tea factory. The cake consists of 2007 “Yong De” area teas that were fermented for 45 days, dried and graded, and blended to provide a nice, balanced, and textured flavor. Some aging has removed the newish fermented flavor, but aging it some more will improve it even further. The deep red liquid that these leaves steep up will become clearer and the wood and earth tones with their hint of spiciness will become richer.
|2008 Mu Ye Chun “99801” Premium Ripe Pu-erh — A wonderful appearance
to the tea leaves that is typical of Mengku teas – dark with light highlights.