The 2010 Menghai Hong Yun is a ripe tea that is compressed into100g mini teacakes. Inset: Roasting requires constant motion of tossing and turning to keep the little chunks of tea from burning.
Traveling or being away from home means that sometimes you have to make adjustments and become innovative to obtain a more pleasing result. Young ripe puerh I often find is a lot more common than green puerh. This applies to shops that are not necessary tea shops and amongst tea drinkers who are not necessary puerh enthusiasts. However the problem with young ripe puerh is that the tea can still retain much of the unpleasant dark, dank and heavily earthy characteristics from its fermentation. This can be greatly minimized and even eliminated by roasting the tea.
Whilst drinking the 2010 Menghai Hong Yun at a friend’s place the tea showed itself to be less than pleasant. At 6 years of age the tea is still relatively young and the fermented character of the tea is not yet refined. At this early age the tea still carries the fresh funky and damp notes from its production. The brew feels tight in the mouth and lacks the smoothness and softness of an age ripe tea. After roasting over an open flame the aromatic toasty sweetness from the tea leaves fills the air. Upon steeping the tea the brew tastes much cleaner, sweeter and softer in the mouth. The tea has transformed and in a way has become a somewhat different tea. That said the tea is considerably more pleasant and enjoyable and in such moments that is all that matters.