13 September 2008

Meiguo Hao 0801 "Mansa Yuan Ye Xiang" of Puerhshop

2008 Meiguo Hao 0801 "Mansa Yuan Ye Xiang" liquor

Puerhshop has posted notice over the past few months regarding its special order cakes, which they sell under the label "Meiguo (American) Hao". As far as I know, these cakes are perhaps the first commercial offering of a custom blended pu'er cake ordered by an American tea retailer under its own label.

2008 Meiguo Hao 0801 "Mansa Yuan Ye Xiang" dry leaf 1It's very tippy, as you can see. even the interior of the cake shows lots of silver buds. Silver tips can make a pu'er very astringent, even after aging. In my experience, most become bitter and bland with time. Some however, seem to age well. The Guang Yun Gong and the buds-enhanced cakes of the 1970s don't seem adversely affected by the high amount of tips in their recipes, though these appear mostly on the face of those two cakes. The tips in the Meiguo Hao make it rather astringent now, and give it a sort of silver pu'er taste that the other larger leaves can't compete with--yet.

The liquor even has a light color. There was some concern on teachat regarding the clarity of the liquor, but mine brewed clear.

2008 Meiguo Hao 0801 "Mansa Yuan Ye Xiang" dry leaf 2

On the whole, this mansa cake is sweet and easy to drink, with no smokiness. It's a bit salty (weird) and a bit herbal. Despite its thin flavor, it left a nice aftertaste on the root of my tongue that hasn't gone away and has a stronger warming effect than most young sheng. I still feel a bit woozy from it. I have little experience with Mansa leaf, so I can't elaborate on the characteristics of this region's tea and if this tea fits the description.

2008 Meiguo Hao 0801 "Mansa Yuan Ye Xiang" spent leaf

Like most sheng pu'er, the tea wouldn't end. I'm going to brew again soon with more leaf; I think the bland character might stem from fewer large leaves inhabiting space where normally broken or smaller leaf would fill to the same volume.

2008 Meiguo Hao 0801 "Mansa Yuan Ye Xiang" setup 1


Soïwatter said...

This seems to be a really good young sheng. And the leafs seems very pretty. I've already heard about this tea, and the fact that it's the first pu ehr specially for the american market makes it very intresting to taste.

In France, we have a tea retailer (La maison des trois thés) who also ordre special commands for it's store. One of these is the best young sheng I tried: strong but subtle, well-balanced, a little bit herbal, flowery and fruity. But the tea master goes specially to yunnan to select the farmer, the leaves and control the facbrication: it's poetry in motion!

As I'm very sensitive to salty falvour, I can assure you than most of the young sheng I tried are (a little bit) salty. This is not so weird. Maybe this one is more than the other you experiences. But in the past, Lu Yu relate that it was not rare to add salt to tea brew. Maybe, if this taste disturb you, can you use a softer water...


MarshalN said...

Soiwatter -- I wouldn't use Lu Yu as a guide for brewing good tea. The stuff he drank and what we drink today are very, very different.

BBB -- I tried this tea as well, and am still forming my opinion on it, but mine brewed quite cloudy on the first try and better on the second. Interestingly enough, I went from lots of leaves to less leaves, and got a better result. I do feel it's a little flat though.

Jason Fasi said...

Soiwatter: I used very soft water. It actually fared better at my office using harder water and more leaves than I used this first brew.

Marshaln: A medium amount of leaves (2/5 pot or so) and harder water worked best for me, but still kind of flat. My instincts tell me it's fall tea. The pretty leaves and consistent brewings (I stopped around brew 15) are nice, but it's blander. Maybe some fall tea of previous year? It looks like a blend of two teas: one with long bud-flag combos and one with more delicate smaller leaves.

MarshalN said...

Yeah, generally for young puerh harder water is better. Water that's too soft will make a nasty cup. It can also be more sour.

I noticed too the older looking leaves that are more fall-like. I think the buddy stuff is definitely spring tea, but not all of it is.

Tea Escapade said...

I don't know a great deal about Puerhs except I love to drink a good one. Thanks for sharing your tea experience.

One comment you made in the description - the tea held a "saltiness". Very odd indeed - what do you thing caused the saltiness?