Saturday, March 3, 2007

"Spring Of MengHai" Chi Tse Beeng Cha 400g

"The Spring of Menghai' Chi Tse Beeng Cha is among one of the highest quality raw Pu-erhs that the Menghai Tea Factory currently produces. After its first introduction in 2005 and its subsequent success the MengHai Factory has decided to produce it again for 2006.

The "Spring of MengHai" is made from unblended early spring raw materials from the famous forrest of Xishuangbanna. Tender leaves are plucked from centuries old Wild Arbor trees, sun-dried, steamed (to make them soft) and subsequently pressed to a lovely beeng. Intrestingly, the Spring of MengHai was also produced with a sister beeng as the MengHai Factory does at times with its premium products - the “Star of Menghai”, a ripe beeng Cha.

Initial Inspection

As you will notice, the beeng was not accompanied with a recipe code since it is made of unblended mao cha.

The beeng does not smell of smoke whatsoever. It smells almost like a Japanese Sencha! The beeng is extremely hard which will make it more difficult to age. The leaves all seem nice and regular with a mixture of silver tender buds and broad type leaves.

Brewing Parameters

Source - Dragon Tea House (Ebay Vendor)

Water-Bottle spring water, generic brand. Source of water Lafayette Springs, WS

Amount – 5g

Water Temp - Boil then cooled for 3 breaths

Method - Gongfu

Brewing Vessle - Yixing Teapot 150ml

Infusion times

First Infusion

Aroma - Prounounced honey, with a floral background; no smoke.

Taste - No "young" aggressiveness at all. Sweet with a slightly bitter, and lingering finish.

Second Infusion

Aroma - I have smelled this wonderful permeating honey before! - the YanChing Hao pu-erh beeng! Although not as floral, the similarities are definitely there! The YanChing Hao is an ultra premium beeng that commands a premium price (for a further descrption please visit pu-erh section). The honey laden aroma is now mingling with a sweet grass note.

Taste - Still nicely sweet and floral - bold! Intrestingly, there is no added bitterness that can at time accompany the second infusion but only the same invigorating tease! Still no smoke. There is now a nice undertone of dried apricots. Exceptionally refreshing!

Third Infusion

As you can see, there is no change in color after the third infusion

Aroma - Similar to the first and second infusions with its honey and floral notes. However, there seems to be more of a metallic whiff as it cools. Nice!

Taste - Clean and lingering finish, still pleasantly bitter-sweet on the tongue with the floral and dried apricots cascading through.

Spent Leaves

Nice early, healthy leaves. Since this is my first "Spring of Menghai" beeng cha, I really have no comment.

Overall Impressions

If you enjoy the taste of young pu-erh but not its astrigency, then I would defnitely recommend getting the Spring of MengHai. It was a delightful brew; both refreshing and quenching. The subsequent brews for the most part all had honey, dried apricots and sweet floral notes. What's not to love! Although fantastic to drink now, it will age nicely as all of the indicators were there.


Salsero said...

I really enjoyed this and the "Breaking Up" post. The new look of the blog is sleek, cool, and you can practically smell the tea. Ymmm.

Mary R said... this really sounds like a puerh I would love. Floral? Apricot? Sign me up!

A wonderful review, as always, and I really like the new look too. 'Tis awesome!

Home Set Up

Tea should be simple. I typically brew gongfu except when I make a good English Breakfast. Zhuni pot is one that I dedicate to Chinese b...