From Yunnan Sourcing US $16.90 for 357g
This was the first of a few things I recently got from Yunnan Sourcings new US location. This is really nice since the warehouse location is only a couple of hours drive north of me and shipping is cheap and fast, about $6 instead of the approx. $30 from China. This is the largest cake that I have bought blind before, I had gotten a few 100g tuo's and such, so I was cautiously anticipating a bing that might get immediately downgraded to work tea. Work tea is tea that I make and drink western style in the lab, so aromas and the like are not important and sometimes accompanied by faint solvent smells. This is mainly tea that I do not want to necessarily throw out, but it is not good. The smell of the tea left me a little cautious, the soup could easily be terrible, however I was very pleasantly surprised by what was a very solid ripe puerh. This was nothing exceptional, but roughly in the top 20% of ripe teas that I have had.
This bing also highlighted the conclusion that I have slowly been coming to: Menghai ripe teas are way overrated. Of the 15 or so types of ripe tea that I have had there was maybe 1 that was palatable without the young sheng fishy/swampy undesirable aromas and plain liquor. When I started venturing into trying other teas Menghai was my go to since it seemed a large reputable source for puerh, however I have found that there is a much higher percentage of smaller name ripe cakes that are really good. This would fall into that category.