16 March, 2009

2008 Menghai - Dayi "08" Tuocha

The birds living around our new house are picky little blighters. They demand only the finest nuts, and refuse any other treats that birds from our previous residences would have scarfed in moments. Perhaps they just live in fear of Heidu (a cat who does not even belong to us), and so they only touch down when it's really worth their while.


Winter at Home


Either way, I think I deserve some good tea.


2008 Menghai 08


This fat little fellow came strongly recommended by "Thanks" - so, thanks! He wrote so passionately about this tuocha that I couldn't help myself, and had to grab some from Yunnan Sourcing, where it costs about as much as two pints of decent (i.e., English) beer.


2008 Menghai 08


It's so endearingly chubby, as you can see for yourself. It's pudgy, cheeky character reminds me of Chunk, from "The Goonies". I suppose he's an old man by now, but in the popular imagination, he will always be the short, rotund rebel from that film. What a great way to be remembered.


2008 Menghai 08


Taking the pu'erdao to the side of "Chunk" releases a stream of easily-separated leaves, courtesy of the comfortable compression.

I defy you to refute the desirability of these leaves:


2008 Menghai 08


By the power of Greyskull, this is actually good tea. About time, too, given the recent run of ho-hum mediocrity!

As always with the more standard Menghai productions, this has a bouquet of sweet leather. As hoped, the soup is a charming yellow, full of the chunkiness of the original leaves with a potent aroma of sweetness.


2008 Menghai 08


Sweetness, huigan, an aftertaste of mushroom - the usual suspects are all here in good quantity, but presented in a punchy, raunchy manner that testifies to the end of the watery 2006-07 era.

Unexpected for Menghai, there is a yunxiang [after-aroma] of wildflowers: something that reminds me of rugged flora.

Even some notes of complex, rough honey creep into later infusions.

Expecting a fat, modern tuocha to be bitter, I was conservative with my selection of leaves, and in brewing, which turned out to be sensible. It was on the verge of turning into something unpalatable, but remained on this side of the curtain, and was all the better for it.

Spend $8 with any other factory and try and achieve this level of chubby satisfaction, I challenge you!

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

hobbes,

do you drink alone at home? or are there others that join along for the tea ride?

Hobbes said...

Hi there,

Maybe half the time, Lei (my wife) will pause her busy day to join me if I'm at the tea-table, and vice versa. The other half, it's just me and Qingchan.

I drink with people other than Lei/Qingchan about... once per year? Probably less than that. Most of our friends don't even see the tea-table, let alone express interest in it. :)


Toodlepip,

Hobbes

P.s. This is not including Heidu, our neighbour's black cat who treats our house as a part-time lounge...

謏 約翰 said...

“Decent English beer” is like:
“Scottish Culture” both an oxymoron.
I’d say the toucha is reminiscent of: Ned Seagoon, in both; girth and character. “What what”

Hobbes said...

Well, sir, in rebuttal of your arguement, I supply evidence to the contrary!

Hook Norton


Toodlepip,

Hobbes

Bryan said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed it. I believe for it's price point it's probably up there with my favorite 08 teas. Unfortunately the Jia Ji tuo from Dayi was not really my sort of thing, but it had it's own merits. Really worth a try for it's price at least.

Zero the Hero said...

Love the 80's references in this one. I heard a hazy rumor that there are plans for a Goonies sequel with the original actors...

謏 約翰 said...

http://www.fourpeaks.com/Beers.asp
I'll see your hook nortan, and raise you a Kilt Lifter :)

Hobbes said...

Dear Bryan,

Great job, thanks again. It's really lovely for the tiny amount of money.


Dear Zero,

The stuff childhood dreams are made of :)


Dear John,

I was about to say how bad US beer was (thinking of Budweiser, etc.), then remembered that real ale (or something very much like it) is becoming popular there. I approve!

That visit to Montana really opened my eyes - the local brews around Big Sky and Bozeman (Bozone!) were just delicious.

That Kilt Lifter is SIX percent! Oof!


Toodlepip,

Hobbes

P.s. Did you know Glasgow accounts for 25% of all violent crime in Scotland?

Lewis said...

Baby Ruth!

Lainie Petersen said...

Yes, we do have some decent beers, and wines for that matter, here in America. Good tea rooms too!

You just have to pay very close attention.

Hobbes said...

When I type "Baby Ruth" into Wikipedia, I get a rather nasty-looking chocolate bar. :)


Toodlepip,

Hobbes

Hobbes said...

The Californian wines are nice. My little brother has been attempting to convert our family since living there for a year. They still can't manage a good Burgundy, though!


Toodlepip,

Hobbes

Eileen said...

Heidu may not be your cat as you say but he's obviously chosen his lair. Beautiful post. I could almost taste the brew (the tea that is). This is one I definitely want to try.

Lewis said...

Yup, a disgusting chocolate bar from The Goonies, as seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xhm0uG1JUz4

Hobbes said...

Dear Eileen,

Glad you liked it - the tea's very good for the money, if you like Menghai!


Dear Lewis,

Hah, I'd forgotten that scene - thanks for reminding me!


Toodlepip,

Hobbes

Terje said...

To Hobbes

Thank you for a great site! As a Norwegian student taking his first steps into the world of pu-erh, I find it rewarding to see that some people are spending time, effort and passion tasting tea.

I've been a true follower of japanese sencha/gyokuro for many years, but have recently developed a passion for pu-erh. The Menghai 08 was my first raw pu-erh and I have a Menghai 6022, but which ones would you recommend a newbie? I've been reading your blogg and have found many great reviews, but maybe you could provide some suggestions - I have a brand new yixing pot just waiting to be used.

Terje

Hobbes said...

Dear Terje,

Thanks for leaving the comment, and for the kin words! It's good to hear that you're moving into pu'er.

This 08 tuocha and the 0622 are good places to start. Always start inexpensively, but with good tea.

Other ones that you might like are the eternally popular:

2008 Xiaguan FT "Happy" Tuocha (100g tuocha in a little purple hexagonal box)

2008 Xiaguan FT "Baoyan Mushroom"
(250g mushroom/jincha in a green, red, and gold box)

2007 or 2008 Mengku "Muyechun" 001 and 002.
(The 001 is lighter than the 002, both are good, fresh teas.)


All of those can be bought from shops like Yunnan Sourcing, Dragon Teahouse, or Puerh Shop.

Please let me know if you have any more questions!


Best wishes,

Hobbes

Terje said...

To Hobbes

Your suggestions are being purchased as I'm writing this - they all looked great and the sites had a lot of info on the different teas. At the moment I'm somewhat forcefully extracting the last drops of flavor out of my 08 brew, and it is truly a top notch tea (considering it cost me 6.90 USD). I bought it at a site called Tuochatea.com and it was wrapped, labeled and sent from China to Norway in just 9 days – however, nobody seems to mention this site anywhere; have your heard of them?

Terje

Hobbes said...

Dear Terje,

I'm very glad to have been of some service!

Tuochatea is very reliable - I've used them often, but had completely forgetten about them in recent months. I need to go and look at their catalogue to see if they have anything new!


Toodlepip,

Hobbes