Thursday, March 15, 2007
MengHai DaYi 0622 Beeng Cha 375g
MengHai Factory DaYi Brand has introduced a new recipe for 2006 - the 0622. This MengHai product is quite unique in that it's an amalgamation of two very popular pu-erh recipes, the 92 Fang Cha (Brick Tea) and the 7532.
After winning second prize and the silver medal at the 13th annual Shanghai National Tea Culture Competition it has found favor within the pu-erh community. As a result, collectors and drinkers alike are speculating that prices for the 0622 will soar in the near future.
The 0622 is said to be made according to to the traditional method consisting of drying, kneading, steaming and its subsquent molding.
The mao cha is the correct size; thin and tiny. There is no doubt that the recipe is made of a second grade leaf blend. It has a nice active and clean scent; slightly floral with just a faint hint of smoke which is barely noticable. The beeng's compaction is not as hard as other '06 Menghai products that I have tried thus far. Although harder in the center, the edges seem to break off nicely. This brittleness will allow it to age nicely!
Source - Dragon Tea House (Ebay Vendor)
Water-Bottled spring water. Source of water - Frontier Springs, PA
Amount – 5g
Water Temp - Boil then cooled for 3 breaths
Brewing Method - Gongfu
Brewing Vessle - Yixing Teapot 150ml
Aroma - Slightly metallic, with floral notes although not very lingering.
Taste - Young assertiveness is present, slightly bitter. Hard to separate flavors. Sadly to say, it is not very intriguing.
Color - Beautiful yellow hue. Crystal clear as it should be for a beeng of this caliber.
Aroma - Metallic notes have waned some. Floral notes are a bit more noticable. Has a faint fruity aroma though not very concentrated - in fact it goes as fast as it comes.
Taste - Wow! More bitterness accompanied with a slight vegetation undertone. The flavor has become a bit more thick and lingering. Not very captivating.
Color - Still yellow with a flutter of amber. Clarity still present.
Aroma - Floral notes are now quite faint. There still seems to be a hint of an indescribable sour-fruitiness. Interesting.
Taste - The bitterness has waned considerably. Vegetation notes still noticable. Still thick and lingering, however nothing really out of the ordinary.
Color - Consistent as last with no noticable change.
Color Differential of 6th Infusion
Nice plantation leaves of 2nd, and 3rd grades. As you can see they were exposed to a limited firing process as they are not very "bruised".
I was not impressed and expected more out of a silver medal winner. Although the beeng did create a clean taste and had its moments, it really lacked in oomph. Its infusions were just not very inspiring. It had a fragile aroma and its liqour was flat. I am sure that it will age nicely and gain character, however, in its present state, its a snoozer of a Gongfu session.
Prices for the 0622 are climbing and have surpassed the $16 USD that I had paid. In all honesty, your money would be better spent on something else. In my opinnion, it did not live up to the buzz at all. AM I MISSING SOMETHING!
My only recommendation would be to store and age them as I will do with all of mine and wait and wait and wait and then see. ARGHH!!
-An imporant note- I did use a different spring water. There could be a slight chance that the the water is weak in mineral content, and it is known that soft water will create a weak liqour. If this is the case, I am quite leery that it will improve the aroma. I will brew it again with different water and post my results.
Salsero, a fellow tea enthusiast had motivated me to have a chemist friend do some analysis and evaluation on the water that I had used for this particular gongfu session. After evaluating a sample of the water, the results showed that it's mineral content was somewhat lower in content than the brand of water that I had been using on a regular basis, particularly its calcium and sodium content. Well to make a long story short, my friend readjusted the water with a bit of gypsum and sodium bicarbonate to what is comparble in in nature, and VOILA it did the trick! It REALLY made the difference. The water adjustment had brought out more flavors! The flavors are the same as they were in my review, however, they were more noticable and lasted a bit longer on the palate. The adjustment didn't help the aroma much as I had suspected. But nonetheless, it was a significant improvement - and with all pu-erhs, it will improve more with age.