Sunday, January 30, 2022

2005 Chen Yuan Hao Shanzhong Chuanqi: “Sneak Up On You Qi”… Six Mountains Style!

I am really not sure who first coined the phrase “sneak up on you Qi”?  I do know that I had not seen it in use to describe the chaqi of puerh until I came back to buying puerh around 2017.  I also know that it has been quickly adopted by many Western facing vendors to describe and market their product including the most famous vendors- white2tea, Yunnan Sourcing, and the Essence of Tea.  Did it originate in China, some other puerh drinking nation or in the West?  I don’t know… but what I do know is that this 2005 Chen Yuan Hao Shanzhong Chuanqi ($599.00 for 400g cake or $1.50/g) is one of the best examples of this type of Qi… and I haven’t even seen anyone mention this before- vendor nor customer!  Around the 4-5th infusion it just runs you over with the car, steals your soul, then drives away… every time, without fail!

I purchased this one from Paolo of at $600, last year it was for sale at TeasWeLike for $490.  They both seem to be natural Taiwanese stored but from different sources.  This seemed to kick off a bit of controversy in this post here but overall, and on a personal level, I am quite happy I had another crack at this one.  After trying the 2003 Chen Yuan Hao TongQingHao Commemorative Cake offered at TeasWeLike I was pretty impressed and was ultra-curious about this 2005 Chen Yuan Hao Shanzhong Chuanqi.  I will undoubtedly get into some of this controversy later but hope to focus this post on this beautiful puerh….

 Dry leaves have a deep rich woodier musty smell similar but not exactly like Yang storage smells but not as strong…

First infusion has a woody creamy expanding and creamy pop of taste.  Tastes very active and almost tingling in the mouth.  Has overall a woody, earth, and creamy rich taste- a nice balance of tastes but expands to a creamy earth taste in the mouth.  Taste creamy with a chalky mouthfeeling. There is a bit of dried fruit on the breath minutes later.  Somewhat of a deep expanding throatfeeling.

Second infusion has a sweet pop of flavor initially like a creamy kind of fruity pop.  The feeling is oily and creamy in the mouth.  It tastes really active and has a nice floral fruity creamy layered sweetness.  The mouthfeeling is really full chalky feeling a dense feeling where layers of dried fruit like apricot, longan, cherries reside.  There is a really vibrant taste and mouthfeeling to this puerh and they kind of work together to give you a really active taste and feeling.  There is a nice deep throat opening feeling as well.  Nice chest opening and feel good energy so far.  Nice taste, mouthfeeling/throatfeeling and Qi.  Really tasty.

The third infusion has an oily creamy sweet onset with a nice full lubricating mouthfeeling.  There are imprints of dried sweet cherries, plum, longan.  The sweetness expands in the mouth and out into the aftertaste.  It feels deeply opening in the throat.  There is this juicy sweetness even minutes later.  This infusion has a bit more tightness and maybe underlying bitter structure to it giving it a deeper feeling.  Nice open and expanding chest feeling with an overall feel good energy to it.  A little bit of thought slowing and kind of slows the breaths down.

The fourth infusion has an oily dense kind of woody taste with less sweet dried fruits and more deep underlying mild bitterness.  Full tighter mouthfeeling and throatfeeling that pools saliva in the mid-throat.  This infusion has a woody medicial taste to it that fades into a bitter fruity sweetness in the aftertaste.  Stronger chest sensations building.  A bit of astringency that pushes out fruity tastes in the aftertaste.  Starting to feel more bodyfeelings with floppy arms and heavy shoulders sensations.  The mind is starting to slow strongly now with a slowed down feeling.  My chest starts racing and I break into a big sweet… this exerts a very strong effect on the body… Oh baby…

The 5th has an oily fruity even a nutty onset with a long nutty oily hazelnut taste.  There is some bitterness and dried fruity sweetness in there.  This cup was left to cool and nutty tastes result which kind of surprised me.. yum.  Nice oily mouthfeeling and deeper open throat with saliva producing effect.

The 6th infusion has an oily buttery onset that is a bit woody and nutty and fruity but nothing too strong, more subtle but overall sweet and lubricating in the mouth.  The mouthfeeling undernieth the oily texture is full and a bit gripping, the throat is open and some saliva producing mid-throat.  Overall, less intense bodyfeelng and Qi but a deeper chest feeling in the body.  Nice feel good and a bit of mind slowly.

The 7th has an oily creamy sweet almost melon fruity sweetness with vibrant quick pops of dried cherry and longan.  The cooled down cup has more of a nutty earthy woody sweet taste.  Nice oily texture.  Creamy sweet finish.  Chest sensations, feel good Qi.

8th has a sweet creamy fruity oily onset.  There is some lesser nutty or woody tastes but overall just a nice oily sweet taste with some fruity tastes that pop in the mouth.  Thick chalky coating. Nice pops of fruity sweet taste in the initial tastes and minutes later in the aftertaste.  Deeper open throat and feel feeling in mouth.

9th has a woody-earth sort of sweet taste onset its watery here with a bit of sweet taste in the aftertaste.  The mouthfeeling is a very full slight chalky puckering feeling.  There is a subtle deep throat cooliness.  Nice slowing feeling in the mind now with some chest opening.

10th has a woody cherry oily sweet taste.   There is a faint underlying bitter astringency that is hard to grasp.  The mouthfeeling remains full and the taste is a watery, not too oily sweetness mainly.

11th is steeped 30 seconds past flash steeping and gives off a deeper woodier taste still not much sweetness but a bit more bitterness is pushed out giving the mouthfeeling a more puckering feeling. Nice slowing energy now.

The rest goes into longer mug steepings…

They are a earthy oily mainly dried fruity bland taste with not that much bitter.  The texture is still quite oily almost coco tastes as it cools down and it seems to get more bitter than sweet now.

Overall, this is a powerful puerh that packs a Qi sucker punch... sneak up on you Qi!  It has a lot of nuance to it with a full delicious taste, stronger mouthfeeling and open deep saliva producing throat.  There is lots of change from infusion to infusion to keep you engaged. It’s a nice one but its stamina is not as good.  The power of this puerh also comes in quick like a big wave then recedes relatively quickly.  A powerful example of the “sneak-up-on-you” Qi.

Vs 2003 Chen Yuan Hao TongQingHao Commemorative Cake- these both have a certain older school factory production feeling to them without being overtly old-school.  I’m not too sure exactly what it is, maybe a tighter rolling in production?… I’m not really sure but compared to say Yang Qing Hao they seem to better honour the old way of producting puerh.. althought both this 2005 and the 2003 are very different cakes.  The 2003 Chen Yuan Hao Tong Qing Hao Commemorative Cake is all about the delicious flavor… so delicious but not much Qi in the mind… the bodyfeeling of the 2003, although subtle, is of a very high quality that is actually quite similar to the 1999 Black Stamp I tired within days of this.  This puerh is so different than the 2005 Shanzhong Chuanqi which is all about complexity and big Qi.

Vs 2006 Yang Qing Hao QiXiang- this comparison is much better and shares some qualities being both a Six Famous Tea Mountains blend of gushu materials and both being stronger teas.  The 2005 CYH Shanzhong Chuanqi has that very specific high quality Qi that sneaks up whereas the 2006 YQH Qixiang has that super deep relaxing Qi that is still deeply alerting and revitalizing.  Qixiang has less bodyfeeling for sure and doesn’t generate the intense nervous system reaction but is almost the opposite.  With the Shanzhong Chuanqi you get ran over by the car but with the Qixiang you ARE the car… and it kind of takes you somewhere.  The 2005 CYH has lots lots more complexity of flavor and much more interesting change infusion to infusion.  However, I find that session to session it isn’t as dynamic as the 2006 YQH Qixiang.  With the 2006 YQH Qixiang you get lots of variability session to session sometimes it tastes more like Gedeng, sometimes Yiwu, sometimes slightly Manzhuan-ish or a bit Mangzhi sometimes it is a bit more smokey, sometimes a bit unpleasantly astringent.  Oh the 2005 CYH is also more bitter than astringent where the 2006 YQH is more astringent than bitter… the 2005 CYH never feels harsh on the body but occasionally the astringency in the 2006 Qixiang can.  The huge price difference reflects this.

Marco's Tasting Notes

Paolo's Tasting Notes


Saturday, January 29, 2022

Acclimating Bamboo Tea Tables

This is a topic I have never read about before nor have I ever heard any discussion of it.  It’s something I have been recently thinking about…More specifically I have been reflecting on this question…

Why has my current bamboo tea table (which I use in my home setup) lasted 4-5x longer than any other bamboo tea table I have ever owned?

I believe the quality of my current bamboo tea table is similar to that of the previous I have owned.  I use it everyday just like the previous ones. However I am using it in a different, much drier, climate…

So why has it lasted so long?

I think it might have something to do with the bamboo tea table acclimating for many years in the extremely dry climate here before it was used?


Something to do with it never being used in a humid climate first then moved to a dry climate? Or just the idea that it’s use in a very dry climate puts much less wear on it?

I remember buying some antique Chinese furniture many years ago.  The seller told me that the furniture had not yet acclimated to the humidity levels in Canada and it could therefore naturally warp as it adapts to the climate.  He said it could compromise the structure of the furniture even if it isn’t that noticeable. Those who play piano may also know a little about acclimating.  When a piano is moved it should sit in its new environment for at least 3 weeks before it can be tuned.

The current bamboo tea table was actually purchased locally in one of those local online sellers forums. The previous owner bought it in China but it just sat in its box, never ever used, for many many years.  I wonder if the longevity of my current table has anything to do with it fully acclimating before use?

Or maybe its longevity has to do with the fact that it is so damn dry here that water which comes in contact with the bamboo evaporates much quicker in this climate causing less wear and tear?

I’m still not sure?  Does anyone out there have any thoughts, background, or experience with anything like this? 

Also I have just recently noticed the first early signs of some more serious wear on the table and was wondering if anyone can point me in the direction of a good place where I can buy one of these online?

I might have to acclimate it for a few years before use… or maybe just a few weeks…


Thursday, January 27, 2022

2001 Red Ribbon Natural Malaysian Storage: Aged Malaysian Storage

I picked up a cake ($185.00 for 357g or $0.52/g) of this in my last order from Teas We Like.  It is the same cake but different storage as the 2001 Red Ribbon Traditional Hongkong Storage cake that is currently sold out.  This promises to be an cheapish aged drinker experience, I think… and in the Winter cold, I’m hoping its exactly what I need to get me through…

Dry leaves have a woody faintly spicy and mainly dry peaty odour.

The first infusion has a honey and oak taste to it with a very faint creamy candy finish.  There is a full and kind of tight mouthfeeling.  Nice cooling throat.  There is a nice woody dry peat kind of taste to it, almost nutty.  The cooled down cup is significantly nuttier.

The 2nd has a woody kind of creamy sweetness with a nuttiness that kind of comes out more in the aftertaste.  There is some coolness and some faint candy sweet finish.  The mouthfeel is a nice chalky tightness.  Nice mild energy feeling and some warming.

3rd has a woody teak oily taste with a nutty finish.  The oily mouthwatering texture is really nice as is the classic teak woody Malaysian storage notes turn to a rich nuttiness after a faint creamy subtle candy note.  Nice oily and salivating texture over a slight tight underbelly.  Nice energizing Qi.

4th is left to cool and has a woody plummy taste overall.  Nice oily texture with a slight dry tightness underneath.  Nice moderate energy in the mind.

5th is left to cool… and gives off a creamy oily sort woody and peaty but with a nice sweet creamy almost but not really candy creamy sweetness.  Nice oily texture and slight tight underneath mouthfeeling.  Nice unobtrusive energy boost.

6th is left to cool and is a plummy oily taste with some cooling breath and a creamy almost talc candy sweet but not really that strong more of a creamy woody sweet breath.  Nice harmonizing and feeling good feeling.

7th has a woody plum with a creamy sweet faint candy breath.  Still a bit oily chalky but also dry slight tight powdery mouthfeeling.  Nice moderate and leveling energy.

8th has an oily sweet wooody oily creamy sweet onset.  There is some faint cooling and a candy breath.  Nice slight dry chalking mouthfeeling with still some viscosity left in it.

9th cooled down cup has a nice coco chocolate woody taste up front.  Nice coco and wood aged taste here.  With still a nice thick viscus feeling in the mouth.  Nice thick mouthfeeling too. Nice energy feeling that is a bit warm.

10th has a nice coco chololate woody taste to it.  There are some nice woody oily notes in there with edges of a creamy sweet candy still.  Nice energy mild and warming mild.

11th has a woody oily taste now with a faint smoke incense barely even noticeable here.  This infusion is less oily and flavourful.  Nice energy not too much but feels good.

12th has a woody teak woody with a dry tight mouthfeeling with a bit of oily saliva producing in the back of the mouth.  Drier than other infusions with a bit of cool throat but not much flavor anymore.

My first time I tried this one I thought less of it.  I’ve had a chance to try this one a few more times and it actually does much better pushed pretty hard with longer infusion times.  This is often the case with aged puerh and I would say that this one fits that description.  When steeped like this it really brings out the richer and plum tastes and feels oilier overall.  Overall, this puerh is all about showcasing a nice pure and almost typical good Malaysian Storage on a cake that is a solid familiar example of a factory style puerh of this age.  It also serves a purpose of acting as a nice comparison to the same cake that had Hongkong traditional storage previouslyoffered at Teas We Like.


Wednesday, January 26, 2022

2003 Xiang Yin Spring Tuocha

I got this 300g tuocha as a free gift from Tea Urchin.  If you put a larger order in they sometimes/randomly gift you a big gift like a whole tuo cha, a large bag of fresh Maocha (I got this one before), even 200g cakes or 100g mini cakes!  Free samples are a way vendors traditionally sharesome of their tea.  I think this is the only Western facing puerh vendor that gives bigger gifts away.  I was hoping to review some of these that I acquired over the years from Tea Urchin.  I think I got this one a years or so ago.  I wanted to review this one first primarily to compare to my blogging buddy Alex who also received this as a free gift …

Dry leaves are a creamy sweet and fruity sweet pungent mouthwatering smells.  Smells really complex and delicious…

First infusion has a light fruity watery sweetness.  It is quite watery and flat but decently sweet.  There is a paper bag and almost slight bitterness to it.  The mouthfeeling is grainy and slight tight.

The second infusion is left to cool and has a very caramel, strong fresh pungent cooling kind of minty herby taste.  Lots of complex tastes.  Nice fresh herbal with some orange rind, some mild bitterness and a mix between fresh herbs, caramel fruity sweetness and bitterness.  Flat, slightly grainy, sandy profile.

The third infusion has a flat caramel woody bitter onset followed by a complex herby onset with some citrus tastes to it.  There is a mild citrusy sour sweet returning sweetness.  The mouthfeeling is tight, grainy, almost puckering.  The Qi is warming and makes me sweat.  A mild effect on the mind with not any bodyfeeling noticed.

The fourth infusion has a bitter juicy caramel and citrus taste which ends herby.  The mouthfeeling is dry grainy and quite puckering now.  There is an almost floral citrus finish aftertaste that comes after cooling pungent herbs.

The fifth infusion has a bitter orange blossom sweet taste it has more of a bitter fruity orange taste and less herbal pungent taste now.  The mouthfeeling is sandy puckering.  There is some cool throat.  Qi is mild with a bit of warming.

The 6th infusion has a bitter orange peel and floral bitter onset subtle almost herb mid profile with some cooling. There is some faint coco emerging in the saliva minutes later.

7th has a bitter orange rind and floral onset with dry, flat sandy and slight puckering mouthfeeling.  The throat is mainly just cooling with not much simulation there.  The stimulation comes from the tongue and mouth being bitter.  The infusions are getting bitterer as they go.

8th was left to cool and is a bit coco and fruity floral.  This puerh is descending into a fruity floral base taste with some bitter pith and coco.

9th has a bitter coco brackish dirt kind of taste with some faint citrus fruit and bitter orange peel and florals in the aftertaste.  A flat puckering but full mouthfeeling resumes with less coolness in the throat.  Nice warming feeling with an otherwise mild Qi feeling.

The rest goes into the mug for long steepings… oily vegetal bitter with a subtle coco bitter with nice floral nuance.  Flat, grainy, and slightly puckering mouthfeeling.

This is a nice factory tuo likely from Mengku maybe Simao.  Still feels quite young, bitter, and vegetal with a strong sweet/ floral inclination.  This younger and colder and drier stored presentation is contrasted with a Qi that is pretty mild with mainly warming feeling that can only come with age.  Likely stored dry maybe in Kunming the first half of its aging before spending the rest in Shanghai storage… A fair enough everyday drinker that could be stored for another 15 years.  I would have guessed this tuo to be 2005-2007 material, I think, but that warming feeling gives it away to be a bit older, I suppose.  I think a lot of my stored cakes might turn into something like this that is a bit conflicting between cooler and more preserved tastes with a bit warmer, almost aged Qi.  I surprisingly enjoyed this puerh a lot!

Vs 2006 Shuangjiang Mengku Arbour King Brick.  Similar, storage and compression and material location the Shuangjiang Mengku definitely has some older material in the blend with a much more produced long cooling aftertaste more complexity in its sweet floral and euphoric high Qi.  The taste is similar with a bitter vegetal floral taste.  This tuo is a bit older and more warming Qi it also has more of a herbal profile also much more intensely bitter.  These are actually quite similar with the 2006 Arbour King being a bit more complex in Qi and flavor.

Alex’s Tasting Notes


Thursday, January 20, 2022

2005 Dayi 7542 502 (TeasWeLike Mid Aged Dayi 7542 Quarter Cake Set)

The whole cake of this was offered at TeasWeLike and sold out very fast…

Dry leaves are an old woody sweet plum smell.

First infusion has a rich pungent woody sweet plumb and smoke onset.  The initial taste is complex and nuanced powerful and elegant.  A drier stickier mouthfeeling that pushes saliva to the front of the mouth and tongue tip.  The finish is a pungent woody taste with an incense edge.

The second infusion has a vibrant complex and dense onset of flavours- woody pungent vibrant camphor flavor is the main one with some background smoke.  There is a rich coco sweetness that emerges slowly.  Nice strong alerting Qi.  Drier but nicely saliva producing mouthfeeling.  With a sweet coco plummy retuning taste.  Strong Chest / Heart sensation. 

3rd has a strong condensed flavor onset of woody pungent camphor vibrancy.  There is a bit of background smoke and a mouthfeeling that is a bit drying but also a bit saliva producing.  It stimulates the front of the mouth and a bit of the back of the mouth simultaneously.  Nice vigorous energy boost.  Qi felt pounding at the Heart.

4th infusion has a vibrant tingling pungent menthol woody sweet taste.  The sweetness kind of pops in the form of saliva retuning over a dry sticky tongue and mouthfeeling.  Strong waves of heat and energy wash over me in the mind and physically beating the chest and Heart.  The finish is a pungent woody almost plum sweetness.  The mouthfeeling is really stimulating and enjoyable.

5th has a condensed woody sour pungent tingling taste.  More woody here with a sticky dry simulating mouthfeeling.  Nice strong alerting Qi and chest pounding Heart beats.

6th has a rich syrupy condensed caramel oily woody onset with a slower to emerge mild smoke and some camphor woodiness some brown sugar in the finish with a rich woody taste.  Nice mouth stimulation in this one.  Strong Qi.

7th thick dense complex of woody pungency with rich syrupy sweetness the sweetness kind of pops with the returning saliva.  The mouthfeeling is real nice with a front and back thing going on.  Oily texture.  Intense pressure of energy in the head and Heart beating.

8th Has a rich woody pungent bitter woody syrupy sweet onset with a thick balance of pungency, bitter, sweetness.  Thick pop of syrupy coco sweetness.  Nice saliva producing effects.  Strong Qi sensation.

9th has a woody pungent coco plum sweetness with a more pronounced smoky nuance to it.  The sweetness is rich and syrupy with a mouthwatering effect.  Nice power.

10th has a smoky menthol like pungent sweet woody effect.  Lots of interesting syrupy sort of coco and sort of plum sweetness.  Strong saliva producing with a sticky dry mouthfeeling. 

11th has a rich almost fruity plum with smoke underneath taste.  Nice smoky plum coco woody taste.  It still has lots of pungent cooling there as well.  Strong powerful factory tea push and head rushing.

12th has a smoother almost creamy woody onset with a smoky backbone that develops into a cool menthol then to a smoky coco sweet finish.  A bit more dry here with a bit less oily and saliva producing effect.

The next day I steep it a handful more times and it gives off some nice sweet smoky woody tastes.

This one is the most condensed and complex of the 7542 tasting set.  I really enjoyed this cake a lot.

Ranking of the 7542 cakes at Teas We Like…

      1-      502

2-      504 (very close second)

3-      701

4-      101  (I liked Liquid Proust dry stored a bit better than Teas We Like Natural Taiwanese stored)

5-      601

Much Peace

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

2005 Dayi 7542 504 (TeasWeLike Mid Aged Dayi 7542 Quarter Cake Set)

I was most excited to try this sample from the now sold out TeasWe Like Mid Aged Dayi 7542 Quarter Cake Set because it is kind of famous in its own way.  For some reason this 4th batch of the 2005 run is known to fetch higher prices, I do believe.  The reason must be because of the taste.  In this way it’s already kind of an outlier…

The dry leaves smell of older books like aged woody odours.

The first infusion has a woody raison sweet onset with a camphor woody middle with a long cool throat and sweeter raison finish.  The mouthfeeling is full and chalky dry.  There is a strong feeling of Qi even in the first infusion.  You can feel it in the mind and on the face.

The second infusion has a woody sweet onset.  There is a somewhat juicy oily texture with a sticky dry mouthfeeling.  There is a nice thick raison caramel sweetness in the finish.  Really nice fade out on the heavier sweet aftertaste.  Nice heady alertness.

The third infusion has a brown sugar woody creamy sweet onset.  The texture is nice and juicy here.  There is a nice cooling camphor that supports a nice long creamy caramel cooling aftertaste in a sticky mouthfeeling.

4th has a creamy dense woody quite sweet intial sweetness.  The sweetness is very nice and is dragged out along the aftertaste.  The juicy oily texture seems to accentuate the sweetness of the 7542.  There is notable long coolness the makes the creamy rich sweet aftertaste fade out nicely.  Nice uplifting focusing energy.

5th is a creamy very rich sweet woody taste.  Nice creamy sweetness which collides with coolness and seems to be amplified in the aftertaste.  Nice creamy sweet oily texture over a cooling sweet returning taste.  Nicely alerting but also warming and soothing Qi.

6th is a creamy sweet not really that woody onset with a nice enlivening Qi feeling and oily texture.  There is some coolness faint herbal but mainly an oily creamy taste.  The mouthfeeling is a sticky slightly drying feeling that feels nice in the mouth.

7th has a creamy sweet oily presentation with a lesser coolness and longer woody incense finish.  You can taste a bit of smoke here finally.  The mouthfeeling is more gripping but still oily texture and mouthwatering effect.  Some mild bitterness now.  Nice surge of happy energy enough to race the Heart.

8th has a woody creamy sweet onset.  The creamy sweet taste reigns supreme with this 7542!  More herbal notes come out as well as woody and some lesser bitterness.  Nice cooling sweet creamy sweetness fades out into the distance.  Nice alerting and uplifting energy.

9th is cooled down but gives off a sweet woody coolness and a nice creamy finish.  The creamy sweetness is really tasty for a 7542 a bit like brown sugar.  Nice comforting alerting feeling.  Smoother mouthfeeling now.

10th is also left to cool and gives off a woody creamy almost bitter coco herbal sugar sweetness.  Nice long creamy a bit woody camphor but mainly sweet over a smooth velvety mouthfeeling.  Nice oily texture still.

11th is left to cool again and is a nice juicy oily almost fruity sweet with creamy sweet tastes.  Nice oily texture with saliva producing effect.  Some faint cooling but mainly sweet plum tastes.  Nice mild uplifting Qi.

12th infusion has a fruitier banana creamy sweet onset taste with smooth mouthcoating and still oily texture.  A lot of tastes have dropped off now but what remains is pretty satisfying.

13th has a fruity taste a bit woody very mild bitterness with a light oily body.  Nice energy feeling but not excessive.

14th mug steeping this out.. it gives off a rich plummy woody mainly sweet but still bitter coco plum taste.  Nice relaxing Qi sensations.

Overnight is a really nice oily and lubricating fruity sweet taste.  With a creamy milky chocolate cake strong taste and thick oily mouthfeeling… this is a great and interesting outlier 7542!

Overall a sweet and oilier 7542 here with a big oily lubricating texture and nice energetic feeling but also relaxing.  Tastes are quite delicious.  I like this one.  It would be nice if they could bring this one in.


Tuesday, January 18, 2022

7542 is Puerh Drinkers’ Soul Food

 I understand it is hard for new puerh drinkers, or even longer time drinkers who started drinking puerh during the Gushu era, to wrap their minds around why Menghai Tea Factory (called Dayi in recent times) 7542 recipe is so desired for drinking.  This is especially hard to grasp because the material that goes into the 7542 is not high end material, it is not Gushu material, and it is not that expensive material.  They are not the tippiest leaves nor are they the biggest.  Also the processing is not any more advanced or in anyway more special than other typical puerh factories.  Some would argue that it’s factory processing is seen as the original gold standard but it seems like every other factory these days has some human connections to the processing of Menghai Tea Factory.  Even people who venerate the 7542 would likely agree to these statements.  So what’s the big deal with Menghai’s classic 7542 recipe then?

I think it probably has a lot to do with the fact that this puerh production was considered one of the best for so long during the pre-Gushu era of puerh drinking.  It ages favourably.  Also the first super famous dry stored puerh, the 88 Qingbing, was a 7542. It’s longevity at the top has kind of cemented the 7542 as “the benchmark”.  For me it meant that back in the day I consumed a lot of 7542 or, in many/most cases, faked or CNNP 7542 or some approximation of this recipe.  After a while, there is this positive emotional relationship to the 7542 from just consuming it over time.  It ends up bringing you a certain comfort that other puerh or puerh recipes cannot.  Just like the way grandma’s recipe is the best recipe to you even though a gourmet chief using the best ingredients and modern techniques could arguably make it objectively better… but it won’t be better to you…

In this way the 7542 is soul food for the puerh drinker’s soul.


Monday, January 17, 2022

2006 Dayi 7542 601 (TeasWeLike Mid Aged Dayi 7542 Quarter Cake Set)

This is the second sample I tired from the now sold out TeasWe Like Mid Aged Dayi 7542 Quarter Cake Set

Dry leaves have a forest evergreen woody fresh sort of sweet odour to them.  More of a fresher camphor odour to these compared to the 2007.

First infusion has a pond herbal onset with a bit of smoke and woodiness.  There is a faint coolness then even weaker sweetness. Kind of a smoky finish with not that sweet almost fruity.

The second infusion has a rich woody camphor incense onset with a mild bitter coco that is kind of smooth into a caramel taste.  The finish is smoke, woody, and caramel-coco.  This one is much more smoky and maybe more rough than the 2007 but also the sweetness is smoother and rounded caramel.  The mouthfeeling is a mild dry covering.  Qi is mildly alerting.   I can feel it in my head more than my Chest right now.

The third infusion has a woody rich incense that with cooling breath turns into a coco bitter then a creamy sweet taste.  There is a smoky woody finish on the breath.  There is also a bit of sour note somewhere in the mid-profile.  Mild alerting energy.

The fourth infusion has a rich camphor woody onset with a bit of bitter smoking ending.  There is a bit of sour note in there as well as a rougher smoky note.  The mouthfeeling is drying more in the throat than tongue and lips.  The Qi is pushing the mind a bit here.

5th infusion has a woody incense onset with some mouth cooling then returning to a somewhat creamy sweet bitter taste.  There is a bit of mouthwatering effect and some throat simulating dryness a thin full dry mouthcoating.  Nice full body lift and mid focusing feeling.

6th has a rich woody incense onset with a smoke finish that turns to a mild creamy sweetness with a bitter gipping throatfeeling.  The sweetness emerges slowly in the aftertaste under a bitter, smoky, woody taste.  The Qi is more focusing than just energizing.

7th has a rich creamy sweet woody onset with a lesser incense woody herbal base.  There is some flat coco woodiness that comes out now and a flat sweetness and herbal taste later.  The coolness in the mouth is less here.  Nice alerting Qi.

8th has a rich woody incense taste upfront.  This 2006 is much less sweet than the 2007 and more woody incense smoky and slightly harsher.  The mouthfeelng is not a sticky dry but more of a pure dryness and is more felt in the upper throat and back of the mouth and on the tongue were the 2007 is more on the lips and evenly dispersed throughout the mouth.  Nice uplifting energy.  Less astringent than the 2007 as well.

9th infusion has a smoky woody a bit rough dry coco woody herbal finish in the mouth.  The smokiness is pretty strong along with the harsher notes gives it an older school and unrefined feeling.  Strong focusing.  The mouthfeeling is quite gripping dry now.  There is some smoke in the mouth even minutes later.

10th infusion has a woody almost sweet coco herbal smoky onset the sweetness tries to punch through but doesn’t do a good job getting past woody smoke tastes.

11th is the start of steeping from the next day… I return to the pot with yeasty sweet bready woody tastes. There is a smoother feel now in the mouth not drying and nice uplifting focus.

12th has more condensed woody incense tastes with a lingering rum barrel whiskey taste to it there are some bready sweet tastes in the finish.

I mug steep out the rest the next day…

It’s a smoky and a bit astringent woody taste with some harsher edges to it and an incense finish.

I have since had more refined and less harsh sessions with this one that are more focused on the caramel tastes a bit more but this one is the most rough out of the bunch.


Sunday, January 16, 2022

2007 Dayi 7542 701 (TeasWeLike Mid Aged Dayi 7542 Quarter Cake Set)

This was the first 7542 quarter cake set ($230.00 for approx.350 g ) available from Teas We Like which followed the sale of a full individual cake of 2005 Menghai Tea Factory 7542 502.  Unfortunately, the set is now sold out but I offer these tasting notes for those who may have purchased the set for comparison and for any future comparison.  I really loved the set, puerh drinkers soul food really, and hope they can offer other curated 7542 sets in the future…

Due to the length of my tasting notes I will publish each quarter of the set individually with a ranking in the last post...


Dry leaves smell of woody musty odour.

First infusion has a musty mushroom hay like taste a subtle fishy almost woody mid-profile then a vague sweet finish.  Slight drying mouthfeeling and lips dryness.

Second infusion has a woody straw fishy onset with some flat bitterness and a pop of caramel and subtle breath coolness.  The mouthfeeling is a full fine sticky faint dry pucker with dry lips.  Mild alerting energy with mild energetic Heart beats.

Third infusion has a woody herbal incense onset with some woody almost fishy pond likely storage notes with a flat woody bitter that returns a cooling almost coco caramel sweetness.  A nice full condensed taste with full sticky faint slight pucker dry mouthfeeling.  Nice warming alerting Qi with a sweaty face and some increase Heart beats and increased energy boost.

The 4th infusion has a rich warming woody herbal dense onset with a woody bitterness to it.  There is a cooling in the mouth and a caramel coco syrupy sweet finish.  The Qi is factory strong but the storage has imparted a warming energy here.  The mouthfeeling is becoming a bit drier and gripping now- full with the condensed tastes and alerting Qi is a solid package.\

5th infusion has a woody herbal rich dense bitter woody onset with coolness and returning coco caramel herbal woody finish.  Strong Qi quite warming here.  Strong gripping mouthfeeling and even throat gripping but not overly dry.  A bitter almost vegetal herbal taste is left in the mouth minutes later.

6th infusion has a woody incense rich almost pond bitter strong onset.  Strong Heart racing and alerting surge of energy but still quite warming and inducing a mild sweat.  With a strong cooling mouth and throat the bitter returns a coco than caramel and herbal kind of finish.  Lips, mouth, throat are a bit dry and simulated.

7th infusion has a woody mushroom hay rich bitterness with some cooling mouth and coco caramel finish.  There is a full dry gripping mouthfeeling and strong alerting Qi.  Some herbal finish in the mouth.  Some mouthwatering saliva that the dry throat pushes out.

8th is left to cool but gives off a rich woody herbal bitter coco incense the sweetness is more pronounced with the coolness in the aftertaste but with still lots of woody herbal taste, some caramel in the finish.

9th has a woody rich herbal bitter onset with some cooling mouth coco and caramel taste.  Strong Qi and sweeting.  Nice full dry mouthfeeling.

10th infusion has a rich woody coco-bitter-wood taste. Strong Qi heart racing.  Tastes stronger and more intense than the 2010 7542 at TeasWeLike.  Lots of rich coco sweetness coming out now.  Strong invigorating Qi.

11th infusion has a strong rich coco onset bitter-coco-woody slight creamy sweetness like coco.  Nice engaging mouthfeeling on lips, throat, tongue.  Strong Qi.

12th I come back to the teapot the next day and there is a cup of cold tea left in the cup from the 12th infusion.  The overnight cup is surprisingly fruity sweet with distinct watermelon candy notes being the strongest with some faint bitterness and a creamy sweet fresher fruity body.  This surprised me a lot.  The mouthfeeling more of a mild full chalky.

13th infusion comes right from the hot tea pot and has a fresh fruity taste to it mainly with creamy fruity watermelon, candy, and passionfruit tastes.  There is a tiny bit of cooling and some faint background woodiness.  The mouthfeeling is now chalkier.  With a longer creamy fruity aftertaste.  Not any bitter or woody or herbal or coco in these next day infusions.

14th has a soapy floral sweet creamy custard berry taste to it.  Quite sweet and creamy.  Has a herbal woody base to it with mild bitterness and cooling.  The main taste now is sweet fruity creamy tastes.  There is a smoother chalky mouthfeeling.  The Qi also isn’t as altering in these next day infusions.

15th infusion has a soapy woody herbal fruity sweet creamy sweet onset.  There is some cooling to follow then a soapy fruity woody finish. Softer chalky mouthfeeling now.  Nice mild alerting.

16th infusion woody herbal soapy fruity expanding in the aftertaste to almost creamy sweet woody almost camphor finish in the mouth.  The taste is less condensed but strong.  Mild alerting.  Woody camphor finish.

17th is a woody herbal spicy creamy sweet onset that collides with a bit of cooling to come out as camphor wood with a bit of sweetness and mild bitterness.  I can feel the Heart beats now and moderate alertness.

I mug steep out the rest… woody bitter astringent coco herbal taste with some coolness in the breath and strong alerting and Heart beating.

Overnight infusion is a bit fruity oily woody tasting.