26 April, 2008

2007 Shuangjiang Mengku "Muyechun 001"

The Shuangjiang Mengku factory in the Lincang area is famous for its Mengku Rongshi brand, but in 2007 a new brand was introduced: Muyechun. This secondary brand is produced from a sub-branch of Shuangjiang Mengku, recently opened in Yongde - still in Lincang, near the Myanmar/Burma border.

Two recipes exist for this year: the "001", which is the tea described by these notes, and the "002" - the former is supposed to be more tippy, the latter to consist of larger leaves. I often find tippy pu'er to lack depth, so my default tastes might lean towards the "002" a priori.

Both recipes are decidedly inexpensive, at £9 and £8 for the 001 and 002, respectively (at Yunnan Sourcing). That's the price of three pints of beer...

Many thanks to the generosity of TA for providing this tea.

These notes are based on two separate sessions with the same tea, as is my current habit, in order to provide representative notes. I often find variance between sessions, usually based on differences in my own nature when I come to the tea-table: some days calm and bright; some days tired and looking for some refreshment. This affects how I receive each tea. The two sessions which formed the notes for this tea were polar opposites.

In the first session, I loved this tea and thought it to be an absolute steal at £9. In the second session, I found it to be crushingly ordinary, and barely worth £9. Between the two sessions, the only difference was in myself: water, pot, leaf quantity, and brewing methods were identical.

The compression is perfect: the leaves (pictured above) separate easily, without tearing. As advertised, the leaves are very small, consisting almost entirely of tips. A clean aroma of very green maocha hangs about the dry leaves.

In the first session, I found an enduring dark sweetness in the wenxiangbei [aroma cup], which literally lasted for whole minutes. This indicates a decent quantity of content in the soup, which was a straight, honest yellow. (I say "honest" in reference to several young teas that brew an orange soup, as if they have been processed already to approximate a certain agedness - some of the earlier 2007 Xizihao cakes come to mind.)

Similarly in this first session, I found long, long, long notes of pleasant mushroom flavour in the mouth, eventually ending in a very pleasant huigan. Very "beany" and broad, I liked it very much, and already planned a purchase.

In the second session, the next day, I was joined by my dear wife. After having talked excitedly about this new find, the tea really disappointed: it was flat, thin, uninteresting, and thoroughly ordinary.

"Curiouser and curiouser", as Alice might say.

The tiny wee leaves are shown above, and they are healthy enough - being strong, and quite thick.

A third session is needed to arbitrate between these two opposite experiences. I very much hope that the first session turns out to be the more representative, as I can still recall the pleased feeling that I had that first time.


Anonymous said...


The myc001 is currently one of the hot favorites amongst the ladies out in sunny humid singapore. Incidently, it is also one of my favorites for tea at that price range. Try it again. It should not disappoint. One thing I discovered is that the 001 can be pushed to about 15 brews. I refrain from using 100 degree boiling water. Instead, I tend to go for something between 90 and 95. Smooth and sweet.

002 is not as smooth nor as sweet. The Taiwanese love it though and supposedly feels that it will age better.

There is an 003. Tried it once and has since forgotten all about it. haha.


Hobbes said...

Dear ST,

Only in Singapore could a Mengku tea be "a hot favourite with the ladies"... :)

Thanks for adding your opinion - I was definitely hoping that my first (good) impression of this tea was the most accurate, and your words have given me renewed hope. I'll brew some up this evening.

I would have suspected that a less tippy tea would age better than a more tippy tea, but haven't tried the 002. If the 001 turns out to be as good as my first impression, I suspect that I'll just plump with it.


Is there a 007 that comes wrapped in an Aston Martin? :)



Anonymous said...


Indeed I have observed that the ladies took to the MYC001 a lot more than the guys. Wonder why? ;)

Hey, the Mengku folks have started using the adidas logo for the mangbo cake. Maybe they can do a Bond series....comes with a 007 adrenalin cha qi built in. haha.

Have fun with the MYC.

Hobbes said...

Dear ST,

I love their seemingly unabashed use of that logo - copyright really is a different beast out there. ;)



Maitre_Tea said...


Forgive me for commenting on such an old post, but I've noticed the oddest thing about your reviews. I've decided to take the plunge into pu-erh, I've been reading your reviews of young sheng, which interests me most (call me crazy for preferring young sheng to old sheng).

Anyway, I've noticed that when talking about the price of a bing, you often use English beer as a form of measurement...i.e x tea costs as much as y pints beer.

I wonder why that is, if you don't mind me asking. Thanks,


PS: I've been following your blog for quite some time, and I don't even drink that much pu'er! That tells a lot about how well you write, and how captivating it is.

Hobbes said...

Dear Maitre Tea,

No problem - it's all the same to me, articles old or new. I'm glad to see that previous articles are being used, in fact!

Old vs. new shengpu is an old argument! Both are enjoyable, and I can see why one might favour either depending on your tastes. Personally, I wouldn't like to be without either.

Regarding pints of beer: it's then standard unit of measurement in UK academia. "OK, I'll do it - but it'll cost you two pints."

Best wishes,