Wednesday, January 5, 2011

2008 Menghai Dayi "Autumn Aroma"

Menghai Dayi is that sort of company where most of us sink our teeth in when we’re learning about sheng pu, or maybe even shu pu.  For me learning about sheng pu meant plenty of young menghai samples.  And while I know better now of the effects on the GI, at least I have a decent working knowledge of quite a few menghai cakes.

Larger leaves than the usual menghai blend

This sample was acquired from JK teas, of which many sheng-pu samples can be acquired for pretty cheap.  I don’t remember how much the sample cost, but at that time, I didn’t care.  I just wanted to try another raw sheng from menghai.

The second cup

5.2 g | 185 | rinse 7 seconds | 5s, 3s, 4s, 4s, 5s, 5s, 7s

While this tea seemed promising with it’s big-ish leaves and sweetish aroma, the first few cups brought forth a moderate smokiness that seemed to prevent other flavors from appearing.  While the bitterness was expected, the harsh mouthfeel and powerful drying effect on my tongue weren’t exactly good attributes.

The most interesting cup of the bunch was the third infusion, where I noted flavors that I hadn’t experienced in a pu-erh before: …”tomato ketchup, smoke, herbs like oregano”.  Smoky tomato sauce pu-erh?  Whats next - Clamato infused leaves?

Cups four through seven were practically not needed, but recorded simply for the experience.  Typical menghai mushroom and sweetness, now paired with smoke, powerful roughness, and  acidity.

Overall, I can’t recommend this.  In my inexperience, I’ve had plenty of teas just like this one, some better than others, some not.  The smoke flavor present seemed to negate any flavor that may have been there before.  I noted a good bit of redness in the leaves,  which could mean oxidation , but I’m no expert at this - I’m a student, as we all are.

A little redness in the leaf.

I’ve kept this sample of this to taste it again in 2015.  Save your money, buy something that hasn’t been monkeyed with.

Thanks for reading!


  1. Jk teas seems to be more focused on green teas. I would more trust a shop that is specifically a vendor for pu'erh teas.
    But samples are always nice!

  2. I agree, Sir Will. Most of the Pu-erh samples from them seemed to be stored a little wetter than I prefer, especially the cooked pu-erh. The greens and oolongs were above average, but I had a funny story with one of the anxi ben shan oolongs - apparently I was sent something...different that what I had ordered. No biggie though.