Inbetweenisode Episode #2 from James. The tea is 2009 Menghai Ziyun Ripe Pu’erh from Mandala Tea. Topics include the ripe pu’erh market and buying from a big factory in general.
Menghai Ziyun 2009 Ripe Pu’erh — Mandala Tea — TeaDB James InBetweenIsode Episode #2
20 responses to “Menghai Ziyun 2009 Ripe Pu’erh — Mandala Tea — TeaDB James InBetweenIsode Episode #2”
Nice discussion for us beginners. Thanks! What do you think of the teas from mandala? I know that they have a very loyal fan base, and am wondering if that level of loyalty is justified.
Thanks for doing the inbetweenasodes, more TDB the better! Sip up!
I love the In-betweenIsodes!! This was especially interesting and helpful. I like both ripe and raw teas, but I am still learning about both. Your podcasts and the Ripe Pu-erh reports have been hugely helpful.
I do have a question. I have both an older ripe tea and raw tea that have kind of a taste of tree bark, for lack of a better desciption. I am assuming it is a storage issue, but want to know if you have had this experience and if there is anything that can be done to correct it.
Thanks again for all of the time you put into this website. I think I am a beginning student and you and Denny are my Tea Masters!!
Since you are tasting the ripe, i wonder how come you have not done an episode on the ripe nugget (lao cha tou). Also, this is becoming interesting because i saw Central Market at Mill Creek have Dayi Lao Cha Tou selling much cheaper than the typical market price. This is the same importer as the one at Uwajimaya. If this turn out to be a true Dayi, i think we might have a good bargain at Seattle. If you have a chance to try them, i appreciate it if you can let me know your thought.
1) I consider Ziyun, along with the ’07 An Xiang among the “cut above” shu, in a way I would not GNWL, Star of Menghai, or Dragon Pole. I consider it to be a pretty unusual shu, though, because the nature of the fruitiness and astringency has fairly strong darjeeling element. Mandala Tea’s website seems to be offline, now, but you can get it at jkteas if you’re willing to pay an obscene $29 for a 100g puck.
2) I was a little bemused with the shu of the month listing because there were few particularly boutique shus on that list. Of course the Ziyun would have only one or two similar caliber teas in the month and the month would be rather boring! http://www.banateacompany.com/pages/puerh_teas-samplerRipe.html would have given you seven days of teas with a little more umph to them. This tea: http://www.houdeasianart.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=27&products_id=1251 is extremely expensive as a cake these days, and it’s not really on the shelf at Sanhetang, either. However, in general, I have found that shu teas made with something approaching serious leaves tend to be harder to appreciate and differentiate from more normal shu. Even so, shu made from gushu leaves tend to be quite fascinating.
3) Yongde tea factory http://yunnansourcing.com/en/yongdeteafactory/2073-2012-yong-de-certified-organic-ripe-pu-erh-tea-357-grams.html is the gold standard for cheap lincang shu. I was very satisfied with the 2009 version. Carolyn, I typically think that coarse leaf lincang leaves tend to promote a bark quality in the finish product, especially if high fermented in the wodui process.
4) Riffing off of that, James, don’t give up on all Menghai area shu. It may very well be that the issue is the water used to make the shu, rather than the materials (granted, Bulang tends to have a savory-herb barnyard, but people generally care a lot about stronger deep flavors in shu). Part of Menghai Dayi’s success in making reliably acceptable shu is usually attributed to controlling the best water source for the fermentation process.
5) The yellow box shu needs to be labeled as the 2009 Gongting Tuo shu, just remembering from that ToM.
6) I strongly suggest : http://www.houdeasianart.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=27&products_id=799 for your mature tea of the month thread. Maybe with http://www.houdeasianart.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=27&products_id=918 These teas have been around for a while, but most reasonably mature tea really suck in my book, for original leaf quality reasons, and since I have superb shu, whenever I want that fermented taste, I can easily get a better experience than bad 8582 from the late ’90s. The teas I suggested might not be that old, but frankly, very little truly good mature tea from the ’90s ever leaves the far east. Never mind the 80’s. You have to air the Yuanyexiang out for a week or two, but it should blow almost everything else you can find away, fermentation on par.
Heh, I had some late ’90s DaXueShan maocha today. Good, fermented top taste, a slight bitterness, and it had pretty good qi, but the aftertastes weren’t that consistently compelling. As opposed to the ’05 Dayi Mengsong Peacock, which I took my crumbs from close the middle of the cake. This was unexpectedly strong in bitterness, astringency, and smoke, compared to the easygoing stuff on the rims, but very good qi, and late infusions leaves excellent plummy coats. It’s the better tea for the long term. This is something I really consistently find–Good tea from the mid-aughts should be able to beat everything else, except the early 80’s stuff and before. 70’s Conscientious Prescription is just wildly better than any ’90s tea I have had, and the only thing that comes close are the ’06 XZH, YQH. What was interesting was that it had very little “maturity” when it comes to fermentation, since it was quite dryly stored. Maturity tends to be about a certain sort of gloss rather than woodiness or soil, and ultimately, that’s what shu fails to get at. While I get a teensy bit of that gloss every once in a while, in other teas, this is something that only really shows up in teas with thirty years or more of age (and maybe only of a certain leaf quality, too). The Yuanyexiang’s aroma is sort of calculated to approach this sort of aroma as well, actually. Just not nearly as good.
James, I know this was one of your more well rated ripes on your “Ripe Pu’erh” tea report. Like Shah, I also saw JK Tea’s $29 dollar “Zi Yun”…
In your opinion, how “obscene” is this price?
Heh, you covered that Yongde ’12 already, nm–but Mandala Teas have sold what was a very popular ’07, though I imagine that’s long sold out.
it seems YS does not sell this tea under this exact name ” 2009 Menghai Ziyun”. Could you please advise with their spelling?
Many thanks. Stefan
How many pots of tea [not infusions] do you drink a day?
I personally drink an aged raw then a ripe at the very most.
I guess I’m in the Lu Yu side of drinking tea.