The Menghai Tea Factory was an innovator in tea manufacture, being one of two tea factories in China that had developed the process of creating ripe pu-erhs (the other was the Xiaguan Tea Factory). We had in this wonderful one from 2008 but the stock didn’t last long, and small wonder!
True to ripe pu-erhs, this one had a rather earthy aroma and steeped up so smooth and free of any bitterness that is was a pure delight. Note the dark reddish-brown color of the liquid and the dark brown of the leaves both dry and after infusing. We could have stored this tea awhile to improve the flavor profile but couldn’t resist indulging instead. That’s one of the tough decisions with ripe pu-erhs: you can drink them right away but can also store them to improve their flavor.
A similar tea is the 2008 Menghai “0532 Premium Ripe” Pu-erh composed of grade 3 and higher leaves, all smaller leaf fermented material with plenty of flavor to give up when brewed. Be sure to steep in smaller amounts (usually a cup or less), preferably in a gaiwan, and keep the infusions going — you may get 8, 9, or more due to the high quality of the leaves and the care with which they have been processed. If a full cake seems like a bit much, try our sampler packs of this and other teas. You won’t feel like you’ve bitten off too much!
An important thing to note here: this is a “ripe” pu-erh that has been cooked to speed up the otherwise natural aging process. Read more about it here.
Shop for other Menghai teas here.