Review of Menghai Raw Pu-erh Cake Tea 2018 - Dog Year

5 of 102 of 52 of 525 of 100

I liked the Monkey Year tea, but before I could order a cake, they sold out and were replaced with the Dog Year tea. I'm very glad that I opted to get a sample first because this tea is completely different, even though they were listed for sale on the same page.

First of all, the notes of the Monkey Year tea were fruity and tangy. This tea is very different in that its scent is much more smoky and savoury. For the sake of comparison, the Dog Year tea reminds me of the Xin Yang Mao Jian from TeaVivre in its scent, while the Monkey Year tea had a scent more similar to the Bai Hao from TeaVivre.

Secondly, while the Monkey Year tea was a little rough, it was at least drinkable. This Dog Year tea is completely undrinkable. I have a high tolerance for bitterness and I couldn't make it past one cup. It was overwhelming, uncomfortable, and there was nothing redeeming about the experience.

When I first tried the Monkey Year tea, it occurred to me that it was the kind of pu-erh that is made to drink right away rather than aging to smoothness — because it was drinkable as it was, but it didn't have the notes I'd attribute to a pu-erh that ages well and refines over time. On contrast, this Dog Year tea really can't be consumed right now. (I even followed the directions listed for the Eastern brewing method.)

So, overall, I do not recommend the Dog Year tea at all. If you desire to try it, please get a sample (and preferably a free one so that no money is wasted in the process). I tried this first about six months ago and when examining another sample that I have, it seems that it hasn't softened at all in that time. I anticipate this tea needing a very long time to become even remotely smooth (if it smoothes out at all).

[As a word of caution, I did write a fair (albeit critical) review of this tea on the site I purchased it from, but it seems that it was deleted. Meanwhile, a positive review that I wrote for the Monkey Year tea was kept up. Because both teas are sold on the same page, this gives the impression that I positively reviewed the Dog Year tea. I did not. I would not give this tea a positive review. I find it very concerning and misleading that a review for the Monkey Year tea is being kept up on the Dog Year tea page. That is why I wanted to take the opportunity to clarify that this is not a tea that I'd recommend.]

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