Wednesday, October 18, 2017

2008 Menghai 7582 (802) and 2008 Menghai 8582 (806) Are Meant for Humid Storage

I used to drink a lot of these recipes in Korea.  Most of the ones I drank were stored under a humid Taiwanese storage then dried out a bit in Korean storage.  Most were from the 1990s and around 10-20 old.  I don’t ever remember tasting one that was completely stored in Korea.  My memory of these are earthy, dirt tasting, with a cool finish, these are both deep tasting teas, least in my memory.

I picked up both of these sample cakes in a recent order from Tuo Cha Tea ( 7582 357g for $26.00 $0.07/g 8582 357g for $19.80 or $0.06/gram )

Let’s dig into the 7582 (802) first….

The first presents with a sour, almost smoky wood taste.  It is a simple taste with a faint aftertaste transforming into barely coolness in the mouth.  The deeper lingering woody character is throughout.

The second infusion is less sour and has a more woody, barely sweet muted faint cherry fruit taste.  The woody profile is apparent throughout.  The mouthfeel is a slightly chalky and slightly dry on the tongue.

The third and fourth infusions have more of a deep woody creamy initial sweetness with edges of something fruity.  The woody taste is predominant.  It finishes into a creamy slightly cooling sweetness in the mouth and breath with pops of cherry and dates in the deeper profile.  In these infusions things come together nicely and show some glimpses of Classic Menghai Factory.  A sweet deep creamy woody taste is left in the aftertaste minutes later.  The Qi is nice softly alerting Qi. 

The fifth and sixth infusion are a bit more woody and less sweet.  The deeper woody body of this tea is now continuous throughout with a small wave of sweetness rippling through the initial taste.  My body can feel the mild effects of spraying by a slight itch felt on the surface of the skin.  There is a gummy, woody, almost rubbery sweetness that appears minutes later in the aftertaste.

The seventh and eighth mellow out considerably and start to fall into a standard steeped out taste of mild tastes of initial wood with slight edge of cherry fruit then woody dry rubbery sweet barely sweet and cooling aftertaste.

To me, this is very typical or standard puerh taste but these tastes are less full and vibrant than I remember in older 10 years aged 7582- too dry.  The storage of 7582 that I remember back in the day used to be more humidly stored probably from Taiwan then brought to Korea for some time in mildly humid storage.  If you order from Tuo Cha Tea expect quite dry and clean Kunming storage unfortunately this kind of tea will do much better in much more humid conditions.

I steep this one out for a handful more times as this typical puerh taste holds for quite some time.

Due to this tea’s cheap price it could totally be considered if you are looking for a super cheap/ mindless factory production.  A  bit of advice for this one would be to try to add a considerable amount of humidity to it for a few years before drinking it up- this is what I intend to do.

 8582 (806)

Okay let’s switch gears to the 8582…

The dry leaf smells of forested west coast woods.

The first infusion starts off with deep, creamier, throatier wood and slight brown sugar tastes then it hits on a weird sour note which disappears into the aftertaste of flat, almost briny wood tastes.

The second infusion has a dry woody, almost maple syrupy edge that slowly transforms in to a dry, flat woody brown sugary finish.  The initial off notes have disappeared leaving this deeper forest woody profile.

The third infusion tastes much the same with a more coherent and cohesive feel with brown sugar sweetness coming first then into a dry almost date like wood taste then on to the sweet brown suragy aftertaste.  The profile is full but not complex and lacks any off tastes.  It has a deeper autumn foresty feel to it.  This tea is giving me an unusual qi sensation of a stuffy and almost dizzy head feeling.  I take a break from this tea for a short time.

The third infusion is much the same again the taste seems to get more harmonious and have more of a flow but it is still the same initial woody brown surgar/ almost maple sugar sweetness initially then to a date and deep woody autumn leafy taste then the brown sugar again.  The mouthfeel of this tea is thin-medium but has nice coverage in the mouth.

The fourth infusion starts developing a medicinal taste to it which now takes the place of the wood foresty notes there are some barely sweet edges to it but it is primarily that herby Traditional Chinese Medicine taste.

The fifth and sixth is the same woody forest and medicinal tastes.  In these infusions the woody forest autumn leafy tastes and medicinal tastes share the space with the sweeter notes becoming muted in these new flavours.

The seventh and eighth has cinnamon and spicy notes lingering faintly in sweetness.  The woody foresty autumn leafy taste remains dominant.  Different but similar deep foresty notes are pushed out of this one for a handful more infusions.

Overall, this 8582, has a very similar feel to the ones I drank in Korea.  Out of all the Menghai recipes, the 8582 was maybe the one I drank most (that and 7542).  Again the storage was different in Korea and made for a deeper, richer, dirt tasting puerh but overall there is a lot of similarities here.  Out of all the Menghai cakes I tried recently this recipe seems the steadiest over the years despite storage differences.

Of the 7584 and 8582 I much prefer the profile of the 8582 and feel that it’s just a cleaner cake overall.  Both of these guys have some evidence of spraying and both could benefit from more humid storage so I will put these two in humid storage along with the 2008 Menghai “Nu Er Gong Bing”.  I hope to touch base with how these are doing years from now.

Overall, I feel like these are not worth really worth it but the price is so cheap that if your expectations are low enough you will find these to be a deal so really it depends on how you look at it.  For me, I won’t be ordering more simply because I have not really gone back for more since sampling these a month or so ago.  I really didn’t like the way they made me feel.  It goes without saying that “they don’t make em’ like they used to.”



RiderForReason said...

Hi Matt, I was wondering what temperature and humidity you're intending to store these at.

I found the 8582 to be the best properly-cheap sheng I've come across (though it's $24 now) and I'm considering picking up a tong so I can dip my toes into the water of longer-term storage. I was planning to push a couple of cakes as hard as I could without molding them (say 75-80%rh, 31 degrees, slight airflow).

I'm curious as to how you'd approach it.

- Alex

Matt said...


Great to hear from you on these! I would push them as hard as I could without moulding them. I will be attempting this soon with these two and the other menghai Xiao bing. Good luck and don't hesitate to stop by and let us know how the aging is going with these.