2001 Menghai Tea Factory 7542 Simplified Yun

// Published July 18, 2019 by mgualt

I’ve been hoping to taste this tea for quite some time, and while the dry-stored version is way too expensive at more than 5$/g, this excellent traditionally Hong Kong stored version was about a quarter of that, so I decided to give it a try.

Whether it is because of a less-intense wet phase, or the particular microbes present during the wet phase, or perhaps the quality of the resting/drying phase, there is no geosmin residual taste or aroma in this traditionally stored tea. Any smokiness is gone, there is no astringency, the liquor is clear, and there is a strong minerality. Surprisingly it seems more like a high roast yancha than a shou puerh, for instance.

The only other HK stored cake I’ve tried which has this perfect a treatment is the 2001 7432 which I reviewed previously. This 7542 has a bit more sweetness than the 7432, and the 7432 has a stronger mineral note and is a bit punchier than this 7542.

The wash is completely clear, strong mineral aroma, no geosmin.

  1. Dark brown and thick. Clean, quite thick, remarkable concentrated complex taste
  2. Some yancha sweetness in aftertaste. Strong and very enjoyable energy. Strong face heat beginning
  3. Sweating in the face, wonderful traveling energy, frisson. Superb nutty and juicy taste with earthy undertones. Late aftertaste is sweet ground nuts, hazelnut, almond paste. Walnuts.
  4. Flowing energy. Clean rock water. Beautiful concentrated broth.
  5. Sweetness is still clear, thickness, mineral, the resemblance to roasty yancha notes is interesting.
  6. Mineral, clean taste, with sweet aftertaste, becoming less concentrated.
  7. Petering out but still pleasant and minerality is very nice.

The experience of this tea is quite spectacular, and I will definitely use it to treat guests to a wonderful taste of traditional Hong Kong storage. This is a bit sweeter and less dark (in terms of camphor, ginseng, bitters) than my other HK trad favourite, the 7432 from 2001, and so I think it is more immediately appealing. Unfortunately this 7542 is quite a lot more expensive than the 7432 without being clearly superior. I don’t know what this tea would be like in the dry-stored version, but I have tried a dry-stored 2001 purple dayi 7542 #4 and it had a very old-school smoky oily strength profile, and it is quite amazing to see such a profile transformed in this way by the traditional storage process.

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