Tuesday, March 10, 2015

1990s Menghai Green Label

For a long time I drank tea rather indiscriminately without understanding how to optimize the benefits of this wonderful drink to match the lifestyle and constitution of my body. After encountering my own health challenges and improving my lifestyle I became very interested in health and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), often testing ideas by conducting self experimentations. I have become more in tune with my body since. I have learned to listen to my body through simple observations based on my body’s reactions throughout the day and especially during times when I am consuming food. As a tea enthusiast I enjoy drinking tea on a daily basis and I am always keen to observe how my body reacts to a certain tea under different conditions and environments. These observations have led me to conclude that I have a Yin constitution. Generally this means that I have a cold body type and I need to limit my consumptions of cold foods and eat more warm foods.

 The 1990s Menghai Green Label being both fermented (under mild wet storage conditions) and aged possess a warming nature.

“Newborn Puerh is astringent and strong, often bitter. It is also unhealthy for the stomach, and ‘cool’ in the Chinese medicinal system, which isn’t good for most people’s constitution. ... Aged Puerh, on the other hand is smooth, woody and sweet with hints of plum, orchids, camphor or other rich flavors. Its nature is ‘warm’ comforting the body and opening up the flow of Qi.”, excerpt from the article A Discussion of Aging Tea: from Science to Spirit by Aaron Fisher from The Art of Tea No.5

Having a cold body type means that my body is better suited toward teas that are more warming in nature. The observations I have made on myself and my body’s reactions to green tea and especially young raw puerh supports this theory. Whilst my body has the ability to cope with a few cups of green tea once my consumption goes beyond my limit of tolerance I will start to feel physically unwell. By selecting and drinking teas that have a more warming nature I am able to maintain better balance within my body and this in turn provides me with a sense of wellness. Furthermore I am not constrained by having to limit my consumption and as someone who enjoys drinking tea all day this allows me to carry out my passion without any ill effects. I find that fermented and aged puerh of 20+ years to best alleviate my yin constitution. Aged teas of 30+ years consisting of Liu an, Fu brick, Liu bao, oolong can also possess a strong and deep warming nature that boost yang energy. Other teas that have either been highly oxidized, heavily roasted, fermented and aged for long enough to transform their nature from cool to warm are all easier on a body with yang deficiency. Fresh raw teas that still retain their potent cooling nature can still be enjoyed but in moderation. - I share my observations as I know that there are other tea enthusiasts who are similarly affected and therefore it may be of interest to others to observe for themselves the comparative effects of the yin and yang nature of teas on their own body’s constitution and sense of wellness.

The Green Label presents a dark and warming brew (much like the 1990s Menghai Orange Label). The tea combines the undeniable dark character of shicang with added complexity and nuances. The brew presents a good mouth feel, possessing a heaviness and depth of character. I suspect that there may be a possible mix of big tree material. The main notes are dark forest, sweet wood, bark, Chinese medicine, herbs combined to create a well balanced, mildly sweet and enjoyable age brew. Drinking this kind of wet stored tea eases the body into a sense of comfort and well being.

See more teas from the Tea List 

Additional Note: It is my impression that outside of the old territories that have a long history of puerh trade and consumption (ex. Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia) the general understanding and appreciation of older puerh vintages that have undergone Hong Kong traditionally (wet) storage is limited. There are many challenges to introducing this category of tea to new markets. The numerous fake and low quality aged puerh teas that have flooded the tea markets have already tarnished the reputation of wet stored puerh and caused much confusion. Furthermore the limited quantity and availability of good quality puerh teas that can positively represent the category of wet stored puerh when made available will often be priced out of contention for most tea drinkers. Added to this perhaps the preferences of new tea drinkers have changed towards seeking to satisfy our more domineering senses of taste and smell that a fresher tea can provide through a connection with more common and familiar elements.

A Discussion of Aging Tea: from Science to Spirit by Aaron Fisher from The Art of Tea No.5 This article touches on the history of wet storage in association with older puerh vintages.


  1. Nice info on the differences of storage.

  2. Thank you Mr Mopar.

    There is a lot of history with traditional (wet) stored puerh tea. Glad to be able to share this.

    This gives me an opportunity to repost something I had originally written for Teachat for those who may not have read it. The discussion was based on the recent trend of drinking young raw puerh that touched on concerns of whether this would negatively affect health for some people. The perspective I share below is simply a way of thinking and can be applied to many different scenarios. The answer towards maintaining our own health is to take responsibility for ourselves and put in the effort towards understanding our own body and what works for us.

    REF - Let me introduce another perspective by sharing my preference for history in association with time. I have a tendency to go with time proven and time tested theories and traditions comparative to new trends (esp. the ones that appears to be too profit oriented). It is my belief that the longer something has been around (the longer the better) this generally points to stability and safety. The test of time reveals to us what the accumulated effects are that can lead to potential side effects and dangers. This can sometimes can take a long time to surface and understand.

    Best, VP

  3. My friend I like your "Test Of Time" theory. I think that many old ways are much better in the way things are made and at one time people were "Proud" of the product they made. Many times today it is about "How much can I make off it" instead of "How good can I make it". The "Pride" in production has slipped a lot lately. A sorry state caused by the "Profit" driven.

  4. REF - Many times today it is about "How much can I make off it" instead of "How good can I make it". The "Pride" in production has slipped a lot lately. A sorry state caused by the "Profit" driven.

    I know farmers who won’t consume their own produce for fear of knowing the chemicals used for growing it however they have no trouble with selling it to make a profit. It is the sad state of the world we live in.

    Best, VP