Friday, September 17, 2010

2003 MengHai Grade 3

Fox really loaded me up with samples. I still have two more for review!
I am not quite sure what Grade 3 denotes with this tea as far as quality, but either way it has no effect on my opinion about it.

The dry leaf smells of mushroom predominantly with a hint of cocoa. There is a slight musty smell that I cannot discern...Not sure if it is from wet storage or just an attribute. It could just be because it happens to be a shou pu.

The aroma of the liquor, not surprisingly, is mushroom.
A hint of rye is present in the mix as well.
Rye is something I have never found in a tea before.

The liquor is surprisingly sweet for a shou; a caramel sweetness.
If anyone has tried mugicha, that is what this tea reminded me of. Mugicha is a Japanese tisane made with barley that slightly resembles the taste of a cassia seed.
It slides down with a smooth, silky texture. Camphor; cooling.

Latter infusions bring about a musty / dampness.
It is also quite sour around the 6th infusion, a quality I see as negative.

This was a decent shou.
Not many people think shou has much to offer, but I find that there is immense variety if one looks close enough.
Comfort on a Friday afternoon.

Fox's review here.



  1. Aww, I'm sorry it ended negatively (sour) for you. Tea can certainly be both amazing and disappointing...and I hate it when I feel disappointed after drinking tea. It feels like tea hypocrisy. XD

    It was really fun trading samples with you. I still have some of your samples in my cupboard. I NEED (that is a command for myself) to drink tea regularly again. *slaps self*


    P.S. I hope all is going well at college! By the way, how many of your fellow pupils have you brought to the tea side?


  2. Fox,

    I am definitely not disappointed in any tea; they just all offer something very different and it depends on personal tastes which tea I take a liking to.
    This tea was a surprise for me though, I quite enjoyed it and it showed more complexity than a normal shou pu'erh!
    Definitely drinking tea regularly is the way to be =]

    I have gotten several people to start regularly coming to me for all their tea needs! I have quite a reputation already! I am liking that haha. College life is wonderful, especially in the dorms!

  3. Interesting.
    Did you find out about the meaning of the Grade 3?

  4. Ice,

    "Grade 3 describes the leaf size/harvest condition. Generally speaking, the smaller the grade number, the younger/smaller the leaf is. But in puerh, higher grade (smaller number) is not always superior to lower grade (like grade 7 or 8). It's all about which grades are the most suitable for the specific formula and the combination of grades (if there is more than one grade)."

    Compliments of Gingko on Fox's blog.