Menghai Palace Ripened Pu-erh Cake Tea (2008) from Teavivre

Menghai Palace Ripened Pu-erhTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Pu-erh

Where to Buy:  Teavivre

Tea Description:

This Menghai Palace Ripened Pu-erh Cake Tea 2008 comes from the typical production area of Yunnan pu-erh: Menghai, Xishuangbanna.

The extraordinary natural environment here not only makes Menghai a renowned place of producing pu-erh, but also brings the unique tea tree here: the Yunnan large leaf species. Our Menghai Palace Ripened Pu-erh Cake Tea 2008 is made of selected tea leaves from the Yunnan large leaf tea trees on Bulang Mountain.

The large leaf species are excellent material for making teas. Plenty of golden buds can be found in this Palace pu-erh cake, which was made of large leaf species. Thus, in ancient times, pu-erh teas of this high grade were limited-offered as tribute to the imperial. Being renowned from the palace, this kind of pu-erh tea tastes quite mellow and full-bodied. The tea was then given the name as Palace Pu-erh.

With the elegant aroma, soft taste and golden appearance, this 2008 Palace Pu-erh is worth trying.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Nice!  Really, really nice!

I’ve mentioned (many times) about my trials and tribulations when it comes to Pu-erh.  But the simple fact is that I do appreciate most pu-erh teas that I’ve tried.  I’ve liked more than I’ve disliked.  Unfortunately, the ones that I disliked, I disliked early in my ‘tea drinking years’ and so the haunting memories remain.

Back then I didn’t know how to prepare pu-erh properly.  Now, I know how to prepare it.  I don’t know if it’s the proper way to prepare it according to customs or whatever – but I found the way to prepare it that works for me:  I grab my gaiwan and for this particular pu-erh, I ‘eyeball’ measured the leaf after breaking apart some of the larger chunks from the cake into smaller bits.  If I had to venture a guess as to how much leaf this actually ended up being, I’d say it was about a bamboo scoop of tea.

Then I added enough hot water (heated to 190°F) to cover the leaves and let them infuse for 15 seconds.  Then I strained off the liquid and discarded it.  Then I filled the gaiwan with more water (190°F) and let it steep for 45 seconds.

Menghai Palace Ripened Pu-erh2The aroma of the first cup is nutty and sweet.  The flavor is sweet, like thinned molasses.  There is some earthiness to the flavor, but it’s barely there and something that I only pick up on when I slurp the sip to aerate the liquid on my palate.  Otherwise, what I’m tasting is very similar to what I’d taste if I were to take the jar of molasses out of my cupboard and heat it up with some water.  This tastes like thinned molasses with hints of wildflower honey.

In other words, it’s sweet.  Beautifully, deliciously sweet.  So delightfully sweet that before I could finish the above review of the first cup, the cup was empty and I needed to go resteep the leaves!

For this infusion, I would normally add 15 seconds onto the steep time (making it 1 minute) but by the time I reached 45 seconds, the liquid was so dark that I decided that I’d stop there.  So this second cup was infused just 45 seconds.

This cup is a little bit earthier than the first cup was.  It’s still sweet, but the sweetness is a bit more mild this time around.  It’s a very mellow and smooth tasting tea with notes of raw cacao!  Wow!  Nice.  I taste hints of flower in there too, but because the flavor of cacao is prevalent, it is difficult to determine what flower I’m tasting.

With later infusions, I found that the tea became increasingly more earthy.  The tea is still sweet, but some of those molasses-y flavors are diminishing with each infusion.  Still quite cacao-ish, I pick up on notes of leather, wood and mushroom.

Overall, an enjoyable Pu-erh, although I must admit that I preferred those earliest infusions where the tea was more like thinned molasses and very few earthy notes were detected.

liberteas

Co-Founder/Co-Creator of SororiTea Sisters, Mad Tea Artist at 52Teas
Anne (aka the Mad Tea Artist) has celebrated her 29th birthday for many years now. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her hubby and her youngest daughter. Her oldest daughter is married and has bestowed Anne with the proud title of "Gramma" and her grandson is about the cutest boy you ever did see.

Anne started her journey with tea as a casual drinker and became more serious about her tea drinking when she realized that she couldn't drink coffee. Shortly thereafter, she started becoming obsessed with the beverage and she started creating small-batch, artisan blends of tea that she sold online as LiberTEAS. After a few years, she realized she wasn't cut out to be the sole proprietor of a business so she closed LiberTEAS and started reviewing teas online. She met Jennifer through another blog that they both reviewed for and they decided to start their own review blog. This review blog!

Throughout her journey as a tea reviewer, she discovered 52Teas and became enamored with the idea of creating a new tea every week. When the founder of 52Teas decided he wanted to move on, he offered the business to Anne but knowing that she wasn't cut out to be a sole proprietor, she instead offered the company to her oldest daughter who employs her as the Mad Tea Artist for 52Teas!

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