1990s Menghai Grade A Tuo Cha via Tea Classico [Episode 72]

In episode 72, Denny & James review a deliciously dry-stored raw pu’erh from a new vendor, Tea Classico. The tea reviewed is a 1990s Menghai Grade A Tuo.

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12 responses to “1990s Menghai Grade A Tuo Cha via Tea Classico [Episode 72]”

  1. Hi James,

    I wonder if you guys had a session with this tea prior to the “show time” or you guys are expressing what you think about the tea while drinking it for the first time. Personally, very often i have to try a tea quite a few times before i can tell what a tea tasted like and feel like to me, especially the aged tea. I don’t think i have heard you guys describing the “cha qi”, something that is kind of quite illusive to me (since i am fairly new in terms of tea experience). Is this something that you guys will attempt to describe it in the future?
    Again, thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Mengchiu,

      Good question! The simple answer is it varies. I definitely agree with you. Getting a few sessions in with a tea can really help to feel it out and understand it.

      For the teas we choose to bring on, one of us has usually chosen the tea and sessioned it at least once on our own. We still do the occasional blind tasting if there is a good reason or we trust the vendor, but I’d say its only 15% of the episodes.

      As far as “cha qi”, I’m not sure. The term to me seems to be tossed around fairly loosely. I’ll be honest in saying I don’t have a good grasp on it.

      Hope this clarifies and cheers!

  2. Hi James, enjoyed the show. I was just wondering if you could point me towards where you get your yixing? It always look good quality and just in the size range I’m looking for.

    • Hi Gabriel,

      Thanks for the comment! The pot in this episode is personally my favorite :).

      I got most of my favorite pots from the now-closed Origin Tea. I’d recommend Life in a Teacup or Sample Tea for good quality clay. Jing Tea Shop’s yixing runs a bit larger in volume, but is also decent.

      Hope this helps and cheers!

  3. Hi James,
    Another great episode. I wanted to thank you for pointing out the fact that with older teas the first few steeps tell you more about the storage than the tea. That was incredibly helpful. I have had some trouble with older teas, but now know to steep them out and see what happens.
    Thanks again!

    • Hi Carolyn,

      Thanks for the comment and I’m glad you found it useful. That’s something that I only slowly realized the more I dove into pu’erh. Sometimes if the storage was particularly heavy (HK Traditional), the first few steeps even after a couple rinses can be kinda nasty. The next episode (Dingxing) we drink a pretty heavily stored tea and discuss this topic a bit more.


  4. If you think the weather in Seattle can be nasty, try heat in the 90’s or more!
    Keep the puerh episodes and articles coming.
    You guys are great!

    • Hi Uncle Larry,

      Thanks for the kind words! You are correct. Compared with other parts of the US we are spoiled with very mild temperatures. 90s heat sounds unbearable!

      Plenty more pu’erh-related content incoming :).


  5. I would be interested to learn what are typical taste characteristics of both sheng & shou. This was alluded to in the video regarding sheng, but I would also like to learn how it applies to shou as well.


    • Hi Peter,

      Thanks for the comment. That is a good question and I think the answer ends up being pretty subjective, but I’ll do my best to at least tell what are typical sheng and shou profiles for my palate.

      Sheng profiles tend to be a bit more diverse, But young sheng tends to be lively, bitter, often smokey, etc. Huigan is also pretty important for sheng, both young and old.

      Shou is sweeter and smoother. Shouldn’t be hardly any bitterness. Creamy and vanilla are other adjectives commonly used. Denny also sometimes describes it as a cherry-like sweetness.

      Hope this helps and cheers!

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