Leaf Appearance: mixed greens with visible buds, loosely compressed
Ingredients: puerh tea
Steep time: 30 seconds
Water Temperature: 212 degrees
Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan
Liquor: deep gold
I'm slowing working my way through my collection of cakes from +JalamTeas. I feel like I've really gotten to know both the people and the tea of Yunnan over the years. Each time we return to a particular region, it's like reconnecting with an old friend. The last Mengsong tea that I reviewed here was posted a little over two years ago. Back then I was really just toeing the waters of puerh. Now I feel like I've dived in, although I'm still swimming in the shallow end of the pool.
This tea had a lot of strength to it. My usual "go hard or go home" brewing style (8g in a 150ml gaiwan with 30 second brews from the get go) brought out a bit more of that bite. It never bordered on unpleasant or overly astringent, though. Part of that is because this tea was harvested a few years ago, giving it time to settle down a bit. If you like your puerh on the lighter side, I'd suggest cutting back to 5g with 15 second infusions. The wonderful thing about tea is that there is no wrong way to do it. You should always feel free to adjust to your own personal preferences.
As my session progressed, I was surprised when things turned suddenly fruity. Stone fruits, especially peach, came to mind. It was downright juicy though there was more crispness than sweet. Eight infusions later and I was certifiably tea drunk. Even my happy pig tea pet, Zhu, got his fill. I very rarely ice puerh since it's not really my thing but I have a feeling that this one would work nicely. Those sweeter notes just might become more pronounced.
Mengsong Sheng sample provided by Jalam Teas.