Friday, March 23, 2007

MengHai Lao Cha Tuo (Old Tea Nugget) 250g

Comming across this product while reading a post in the
LJ Community, there seems to have been some indecision as to whether or no this product is worth drinking. This really aroused my curiosity so I decided to buy, try and make my own judgement.

Product Research

As a consequence of the heat and pressure generated during the wo dui (ripening) process, a percentage of the fermented leaves will amass and take the form of little nuggets, which are said to be found near and at the bottom of the pile. After the shou is compiled, it is then fed into a disperser that sorts the leaves according to size, which are then subsequently pressed in to zhuan cha (brick tea). MengHai states that the leaves used in this product are 2 to 4 years old.

Initial Impresssion

This example does not look like any ripe zhuan cha that I have ever examined. When you look at it closely, you can see the tiny "nuggets". Nice color, smell and very
hard in texture.

Brewing Parameters

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

Amount – 5g

Water temp - Boil

Method - Gongfu/2 washes

Brewing Vessle - Yixing Teapot 150ml

Infusion times

Tasting Notes

Aroma - The aroma was not lingering nor was it very intriguing. But of course you have to remember that it is shou.

Taste - The liquor was was somewhat malty with a sweet palate. Very smooth with virtually no bitterness. Not very complex however.

Overall Impresssions

Well to be frank, I was not impressed. It lacked the flavors, which I "personally" enjoy and felt that it was a little flat, with little viscosity. It is recommended that you use hot, and I mean hot water in order to extract any of the tea essence, as the nuggets are tightly formed. Perhaps I need to make the water boil for each infusion.

It is somewhat sweet, smooth with a hint of malt which could be a great choice for someone who wants to gradually enter the realm of shou. Would be ok for an everyday drinker. A delicate drink.

-Session Note-

As you can see, I did not give as an in-depth analysis on the product. I felt that it was not warrented as there was really no compexity to it and the taste did not develop, but only got weaker.


Salsero said...

Is there such thing as a really noteworthy shou? The best that I have had so far are sort of rich and creamy, but straightforward, not complex.

Thanks for the nice post.

Bill said...

Hi Salsero,

Actually there are a number of shous that are well made and make you second guess if what you are drinking is shou. Examples would be the 2005 MengHai Golden Needle White Lotus beeng cha and the V93 are probably the latest examples that I can think of. I just recently purchased a few 2001 Xia Guan ripe tuochas that I will be writing a review for in the near future that are really nice and are not even comparable to this particular product. In addtion, I own a few 7581 and 7562s that are starting to come of age! Shou when made well with premium leaves will grow in character and complexity if given the chance to age abit. Don't under estimate the stuff. They're Great!

Anonymous said...

This is a brick made up of the "droppings" left behind at the bottom of the fermentation pile. Now they are selling the sweepings as Pu.

Bill said...

Yes, I do know that. I was just curious about this product. I haven't touched it since! LOL Thanks for reading!

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...