I think it was meant to be, the "Peacock of Menghai" was destined for the jar with the peacock glaze. I don't really enjoy the process of breaking into and prying chunks of tea from a cake. When I do have to deal with it I usually dismember a good portion of it so I don't have to deal with it again anytime soon. Hence the use of jars.
Now for the tea, I know that a lot of you are already familiar with Menghai's Peacock series of cakes, but they are new to me. Available in the boxed set of five cakes with five different mountains being represented, Mengsong, Menghai, Nannou, Bulang and Bada. Or they are also available individually. Out of the three cakes that Ive had (Mengsong, Menghai and Nannou) the Peacock of Menghai is the real standout. I might not have ever tried these tea's were it not for Terje, one of my fellow online tea cronies. Some few weeks ago Terje had sent me some tea samples and that's when I first tasted these tea's. Thanks again Terje.
The Peacock of Menghai is a great tea sold at an affordable price. A little under $20.00 for a 400 gm. beeng. This tea is the bee's knee's in the eye's of many people, clearly the standout cake in the series. I bought one each of the Menghai and the Nannou, in the process of procurement of a tong of the Menghai. Steve over at jas-etea has several tongs on the way. My impression of the Mengsong cake was that it's a good tea but a little too familiar, to me it's very reminiscent of the 7542 cakes. I suspect that one of the base tea's in the 7542 recipe is Mengsong.
Opening the cakes paper wrapper unleashes the most mouthwatering smell of pungently, rich sheng. It's got a little of everything going on here, leathery, beany, a tad fruity, meadows and floral. The cake's made from a mix of multi colored leaf, greens, browns, reds and white buds. The compression is pretty tight, almost Xiaguan tight, but I,m not intimidated in the least, it's really not that bad but it takes a little effort.
The tea brews up clean and clear and the flavors reflect the tea's aroma's pretty well. The tea's body may be just a little on the light side but not too much. The flavors are very full and well rounded though. This tea is very close to my idea of perfection. I love this stuff regardless of it's price. Bitterness could be an issue if you don't stay on top of your timing. The durability is good but nothing special.
Another example of Menghai's mastery of puerh. This tea could run circles around a lot of the elite, boutique tea's out there. Who needs handmade, stone pressed tea's when you've got these cakes? Menghai has only offered the entire peacock series once or twice before so these tea's are not available all the time. But there seems to be plenty of them on the market presently, just about all the usual online vendors have them in stock. Ive made plenty of room in my tea cabinet for a little nest egg of the Peacock of Menghai cakes. Hopefully I,ll still have some ten years from now and I,m hedging my bets that they will be superb. I,ll let you know.