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During the Easter weekend, I wanted to drink something I haven’t been drinking much during the last weeks. Terre de Ciel gave me 4 samples and one of those was a ripe puerh. It had been quite a while since I had a good session with shu puerh, so I brewed the 2016 Menghai Parfum de Jujube Ripe in my Si Ting pot.
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2016 Menghai Parfum de Jujube Ripe
The name of this tea got my attention because it has the word ‘parfum’ in it. Initially, I thought it was a scented/flavoured ripe puerh. After reading the description on the website, I saw that the flavours were all natural. I also discovered that these leaves come from Gushu trees in the Menghai area. I have never tasted a gushu shu puerh so it definitely looks really promising. It comes in a 250g brick and is produced by Zhang Jian Zhao.
The dry leaves are almost black and it’s quite easy to break the chunk into smaller pieces. The leaves are fairly large, especially for a ripe puerh. The aroma is woody and I’m also getting hints of dried fruits and sweet sugar candy.
The aroma of the wet leaves consists of light notes of dried fruits and intense sweet sugar candy. Also a touch of wet forest floor. The leaves are really big for a shu puerh and they have a black colour.
- 99°C water
- 6g for a 135ml Yixing teapot
- 1 rinse
- 6 infusions
Infusion 1 (20 sec): right from the start, it’s really sweet. Not a candy type of sweetness, but it’s similar to dried fruits. The sweetness is rich and full of flavour; it’s definitely not a superficial one. Really good infusion to start the session.
Infusion 2 (20 sec): the sweetness is still present, but there are other flavours as well. I’m also picking up some hints of dry wood and the aftertaste is similar to sweet sugar candy. The aftertaste lasts a really long time!
Infusion 3 (25 sec): now I’m getting some edgy notes that are typical of ripe puerh. Once those are over, there is a lingering sweetness similar to what I got during the previous infusions. There is also a touch of wet forest on a rainy day. Definitely another nice infusion.
Infusion 4 (30 sec): sugar candy is the common thread throughout this infusion. Some very subtle fruity notes, but it’s really sweet. This goes on into the finish and well into the aftertaste. The liquor is really thick and it feels creamy as well.
Infusion 5 (40 sec): it’s less intense and the dried fruits have moved to the front. No big changes. The finish and aftertaste are really creamy and sweet.
Infusion 6 (50 sec): warming and sweet flavours from the start. It’s a combination of dried fruits and dark sugar. Despite being the sixth infusion, it still feels thick and creamy. I’m also getting a warm feeling throughout my body.
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This tea surprised me in a very good way. The flavours were really sweet and creamy and I got a warm feeling after the session. I didn’t get a lot of the harsh/sharper flavours you sometimes get when drinking shu puerh. It was a subtle, sweet and pleasant experience. The flavour profile was a sweet one with fruity notes. However, it wasn’t fresh fruits, but more of the dried fruits that have a deeper and warmer flavour. Overall, it was a pleasant experience and I might even pick up a brick of this tea. In my experiences, it’s a lot better than some of the big factory productions out there.
If you want to buy this tea, you can do so over here.