TeaUrchin came into existence, I seem to remember, in 2011, where at the outset of the venture, its owner kindly sent me a clutch of samples. This little packet represents the last of them. I notice that the web-site remains probably the prettiest of all those of the vendors of tea, and this aesthetic style continues to the wrappers of the various cakes that TeaUrchin appears to have made since 2011.
This particular Mangzhishan cake is priced very reasonably, being $44 at the time of writing. This makes it one of the lower-priced cakes at that site, and therefore, perhaps, the potential for some bargaination might exist. We shall see...
Mengzhishan is only just inside the borders of Xishuangbanna: it is right up there, on the border with mighty Simao diqu, where the teas are savoury and the prices are not quite as high as in good old 'Banna. Long-time readers might know that I harbour certain affections for teas from Simao - they can be burly, chunky, rough (in an endearing way), and those that I have in my collection seem to be maturing nicely.
Questions remain about the autumnal leaves, as ever, but the scent that rises from between the slats of the tea-table, after the rinse, suggests that this is a good, sweet cake.
The colour (pictured above) is yellow-orange as might expect for autumnal tea; likewise, the scent is a close, enclosed butteriness with a heavy, husky autumnal base. The flavour is the comforting warmth of autumn, but there is a fresh potency that is remarkable. The sweet grain of Mangzhishan is obvious, and welcome.
In fact, this is a genuinely enjoyable cake, which plays to my love of pu'ercha from Simao and Lincang diqu. $44 is really rather good for such a cake.
The tea becomes more ordinary as the session draws on, but it remains strong and decent - if a touch green. For $44, that is entirely acceptable. It is a good cake for bulking out a collection, and is perhaps (if memory serves) my favourite autumnal cake from that set produced by TeaUrchin back in 2011. Gentle Reader, if you have any further experience with cakes from this vendor, for comparison, I would be delighted to hear your reports.