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Menghai County Ripe Pu-erh Tea Cake, 2013 (100g)



A young monk asked the wise tea master Lao Cha: 

Shifu, why does this pu-erh taste so sweet, thick, and rich... just like honey? It's unlike most other pu-erhs that I’ve tried before!

– The secret is simple, young man. The tea leaves from which this tea cake is made are all premium grade Menghai large-leaf tea bushes. These leaves are special, and after processing, they give off the sweetest scents — sweet glutinous rice, jujube, and honey. 


This tea is from the spring harvest in 2013 in Bulang Mountain. Farmers applied the "one bud with two leaves" standard when picking premium-grade Menghai large-leaf tea bushes. The iconic feature of this ripe pu-erh tea cake is the undeniably sweet glutinous rice taste and accompanying Jujube (Chinese red date) aroma. 

The tea is still pure and very sweet on the first gong fu style brew. However, the tea leaves open up with each subsequent brew and introduce us to a remarkably thick liquid. This small and exquisite Pu-erh cake contains deep brown dry tea leaves. Many golden or reddish-brown tea buds are visible on the surface and inside of the cake. They exude a slight but persistent "aged" aroma (Chen Xiang – 陈香). The tea soup is bright red, clear and transparent. The high pectin content creates a slightly sticky feeling, almost resembling honey. Indeed, when you smell your cup after the ceremony, the aroma of honey will prevail. A mellow, rounded mouthfeel and a smooth taste with notes of woodiness and sweetness are the highlights of this ripe pu-erh tea experience.

Farmers used traditional methods to produce this Menghai County Ripe Pu-erh Tea Cake. First, they stack the sun-dried maocha onto large piles - sometimes weighing up to three tons. They then sprinkle the tea leaves with water. At the same time, they control the levels of moisture and temperature. It gives birth to various microflora that start to decompose and transform the tea leaves' inner content. At the same time, workers occasionally mix and turn the leaves. This way, they avoid the excessive temperature rise inside the pile - otherwise, the fermentation will occur too quickly. That will void the leaves of their nutrients, at the same time giving them a burnt taste and lifeless aroma. After a period of 40-60 days, the tea leaves will be compressed to different forms (like cakes) and put for further storage and aging. 

Bulang Mountain is an iconic area in pu-erh tea history. It holds a special meaning for the connection between man and tea. The local Bulang minority claims to live here for at least 1 800 years. Reputedly they are the ones who started cultivating tea for the first time in human history. Due to the specific terroir of the area, the pu-erh from Bulang mountain has a unique "Menghai" flavor (Menghai Yun – 孟海韵). Famous tea-producing stockade villages cover the mountainous hills, scattered among ancient tea tree forests. The locally produced premium tea is sought-after throughout China and among tea connoisseurs worldwide.


Place of Origin: Bulang Mountain, Menghai County, Xishuangbanna, Yunnan Province, China
Harvest Time: May 2013
Production Date: September 2020
Picking Standard: One bud with two leaves
Dry Leaf: Small and exquisite Pu-erh cake; slightly loose edges; many golden or reddish-brown tea buds on the surface and inside of the cake
Aroma: Slight, but the persistent fragrance of aged tea
Taste: Soft and smooth, with notes of sweetness
Tea Tree: Menghai large-leaf  (勐海大叶种)


Brewing guidelines:

       212℉ / 100℃ 

 1g per 80ml   3-5min 

    1g per 20ml     Rinse. Then 10sec + 5sec for each subsequent infusion

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