Wymm Tea's Menghai Wangshuji Shou Seventh Grade 2008

(Tea Provided for Review)
Origin: Menghai County, Xishuangbanna Dai Prefecture, Yunnan Province
Harvest: 2008

I decided to try tea from Wymm tea, this time a shou. I believe this is the second proper shou I tried for this blog, I generally don’t drink a lot of shou puerhs, but I’m always willing to try one at least once.

This shou pu-erh brews with a rich and honey flavor and long-lasting jasmine rice aroma. Full tea leaves from high mountains in Menghai County, located in west of Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture in Yunnan Province, are picked to make the tea in 2008. Pu-erh tea has the potential to ferment over time, and this tea has been post-fermented for 6 years since production. Post-fermentation gives the tea vibrant flavours and richer aroma as well as deep wine colour.
Note: First grade contains the smallest leaves while seventh grade contains the largest leaves. There is marginal difference in the taste; first grade has a slightly stronger and woodier flavour, while the seventh grade has a milder and sweeter flavour. The third and fifth grades fall in between of the first and seventh grade.

According to the description the leaves are from the mountains and this tea does feel more like a mountain tea rather than a plantation tea or a tea grown at a low elevation.

Dry Leaves: As you can see this is loose rather than from a cake, I’m not sure if this is a blend of different mao chas, while I have not encountered a lot of loose shous and I am not that knowledge about why a roaster decides to press mao cha into a cake rather than leaving tea loose, but I imagine loose teas and looser cakes are going to age faster than tightly compressed cakes. There is a little woodsy aroma to the leaves.

First Steeping
Temperature: 190oF
Brewing Time: Ten Seconds
Aroma: Wet Mushrooms and Fishy
Flavor: Mushroom, Damp Earth and Sweet
Tasting Notes: Yes I know I should have used hotter water, but I didn’t, as always I am a little cautious when trying a puerh for the first time and use cooler water than I normally use. Besides that I did three quick five seconds rinses with boiling water, the liquor was a little lighter than the liquor from this infusion, but it became redish very fast. I almost was expecting the liquor to turn black fast, but it took quite a few infusions for it to get significantly darker than it is now. There was a slight fishy aroma to the wet leaves, not as strong for the liquor (none of the other samples from Wymm had a fishy aroma so far), but it was very slight. The fishy aroma of the brewed liquor disappears after the second infusion.

So far it is very nice, it has neither bitterness nor astringency and it feels a little like an aged sheng more than a shou. While the mushroom and earthy notes are prominent I did feel very brothy, not surprising I imagine this could be used to make a nice base for a soup. I was not expecting the sweetness, but it didn’t affect the tea negatively; while the mushroom and earth notes are present early on, the sweetness is a bit of an aftertaste.

Second Steeping
Temperature: 200oF
Brewing Time: Twenty Seconds
Aroma: Wet Mushroom and Fishy    
Flavor: Mushroom, Damp Earth, Woodsy, Spice and Sweet
Tasting Notes: The fishy aroma is much lighter this time, then the previous, but you can still smell it on the used leaves. Regardless there were quite a few new tastes in this infusion. As I said before I am not a big shou drinker, so I was not expecting for so much to develop so fast. The woodsy and spice are quite nice together, but the mushroom and damp earth were the dominant flavors.

Once again I had quite a bit of trouble photographing everything this time, it seems anything above 190oF affects my camera, but my photos have never been much to write home about so there really was nothing of value lost. The liquor is pretty similar to the last, although when the leaves were still brewing the liquor looked a little blacker. The liquor reminds me a little of a Ceylon or a Darjeeling more so than many Shous I had in the past. The liquor has quite a bit of red in it that reminds me a little of food coloring used in many Thai tea blends, although I am relieved to note this tea does not stain either my teaware or my hands.

Third Steeping
Temperature: Boiling
Brewing Time:  Thirty Seconds
Aroma: Wet Mushroom
Flavor: Mushroom, Damp Earth, Fruity, Woodsy, Spice, Hopsy and Sweet
Tasting Notes: The liquor is taking on a brownish tint, although the liquor once strained of leaves is still red (in later infusions it becomes very dark, the moment it starts becoming light the tea leaves are pretty much used up); a little reminiscent of coffee that has been brewing for a moment. The tea suddenly became fruity (which becomes stronger in subsequent infusions) and it has a little hop-y taste. It starting to remind me a little of beer, but this quickly disappear (I could only taste hops for another two infusions).

This is a rather nice shou, although it tastes more like an aged sheng than a shou, it does have a little cha qi, but it isn’t present in the early infusions. At the time of writing this it is pretty inexpensive, for $15 CAD you can get a nice 50 gram sample or for $24 CAD you can purchase the Deluxe Sample and get 7gs of this and seven other teas. I’d probably recommend the Deluxe sampler over buying 50gs since you get a small sample of the other three grades of this tea as well as four sheng samples. While 7g may be too small amount for telling whether you think this is either a good or bad tea, I feel like many others I can automatically tell if it I do not care for a tea having only seven grams of a tea to play around with, but I do have a little trouble knowing whether or not I like a tea (rather than can tolerate a tea) with only 7g. 


Just a guy who likes tea.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds interesting! I've been hearing a lot of good things about Wymm tea recently, I guess I'll have to check themout one of these days.