January 23, 2010

2008 Menghai - Peacock of Menghai

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.


  1. I have always wanted to try some of the Peacock series. Now that I read your review I want to try them more then ever. I just have to find a place to buy some of them. Amazing review!

    Thanks so much

  2. Same with me Ian, I had read about the Peacock series of cakes, but never tried them. But now I know what Ive been missing. Where do you live may I ask? There not hard to find, Yunnan Sourcing, Dragon Tea House, you name it. Thanks for reading.

  3. I live in North Carolina. Yea I have been looking at Yunnan Sourcing a lot lately. I would love to be able to compare the 2008 series to the 2006, which apparently has seven in the series instead of the five.

  4. Check out jas-etea, Steve offers tasting sets of the peacock cakes. 25 gms of each cake. He has some tongs of the Menghai on the way, I bought the last cake that he had in stock.

  5. He has a set of the entire 2008 series samples for 13.95 that's a great price! and $75 for the real cakes wow. Thanks for sharing that.

    It's always good to try new teas. I have been out of tea for about a month but I finally got some in the other day. You can read my blog if you are interested.

  6. Ian, Had a quick peek at your blog, nice. Need to find time later today to read more of your stuff though. Thanks for reading.

  7. Hi all! For those that are interested in the 2008 Peacock of Menghai, I now have several tongs in stock. Stop by and visit us at www.JAS-eTea.com.
    Best regards,