Menghai Dayi 7542 raw pu-erh is a classic pu-erh from 2009 and it is based on the well-known blend recipe from 1975. The number 7542 can be read as follows: 75 signifies the year its recipe was developed; the third digit ‘4’ refers to the size of the leaves and this ranges from 0 to 9; and the last digit indicates the tea factory, and, in this case, it is 2 that is Menghai. The package also mentions 901 which is the year (2009) and the batch (first) number of the tea.
This pu-erh is apparently a blend composed of two different grades of maocha from Menghai areas. The Menghai Tea Factory is one of the oldest factories in Yunnan and has a good name among pu-erh drinkers. They do both raw and ripe pu-erh. Indeed, I wrote about ripe pu-erh from Mengahi on Day 12 of this challenge. However, it does not take a geniusto figure out that this raw pu-erh is the king. It is not extraordinary, but it does give you a great raw pu-erh experience without making you bankrupt, and it is suitable for ageing and promise an improved taste. Amongst pu-erh drinkers, this tea is considered ‘investment-safe’.
I have tasted this tea when it was aged more than 10 years and I loved its rich floral, fresh and slightly citrus taste and it lingers for a while which is very important for Chinese and I tend to agree. Its aroma is worth wearing as a perfume. Seriously, it is beautifully fragrant.
I strongly recommend this tea for those who would like to start drinking pu-erh for whatever reason. It is slightly sad that pu-erh is being marketing as tea for ‘weight-loss’. It has much more to offer, possibly one of the most complex aromas a tea can possibly entail which also evolve as the time goes on. Simply great.
Origin: Menghai, Xishuangbanna, Yunnan
Harvest time: 2009
Leave colour: Green, brown and some golden tips
Liquor colour: Clear amber
Tea aroma: Fruity fragrance
Tea taste: Mellow and sweet
Steeping/brewing: You can use around 100°C water temperature and brew for up to one minute in gongfu style or up to three minutes in Western-style. You can brew the leaves many times (until the taste is lost). To each infusion add additional time. Experiment for a result that suits your taste.
Shelf life: 10 years and more (to improve shelf-life store the sealed tea leaves in a dry, ventilated place with low temperatures and away from odour)