; Cwyn's Death By Tea: A Little Bit of Dayi ;

Thursday, December 7, 2017

A Little Bit of Dayi

Recently at the Black Friday sale I picked up a 2016 Menghai “Yun Shui Zhen” from Yunnan Sourcing’s US shop. With the BF sale, I paid $31 instead of $36 for this 357g “throat feel” tea. Mr. Wilson writes that this is one of the few Dayi teas he feels “excited” about, a quite surprising description. Unless you enjoy your tea bitter (well I do), Dayi teas are not good to drink young, and at this price point most of them are harsh at best.

2016 Menghai Tea Factory Yun Shui Zhen
I am going a cautious 5g/100ml water to give this a try. Some of the tea had flaked off the edge so I pick off a few small chunks to accompany the loose stuff in the wrapper. The cake is firm, machine pressed, so I end up getting tea all over my kitchen counter in the process of chipping. Two rinses open up the usual Dayi “house” scent, but not as strongly as in teas like the more pungent 7542 recipe. With boiling water, the tea hedges on too bitter to drink, but backing off to just under boiling temps with my light tea/water ratio, the bitterness is just under control.

Even though this is last year’s production, the tea is still clearly green in the cup and has not fully settled. No doubt the machine pressing and Oregon storage keep the tea fresher than might be the case if ordered from China. I drink four steepings and note the usual Dayi house flavor but somewhat muted, and the tea is surprisingly thick and oily. The mouthfeel is creamy, and the brew lingers quite nicely in the throat with the promised yun and stretches its legs down into the stomach. The tea tastes a bit fruity on top of freshly-cut hay.

I sweat profusely after the first four cups, and note some qi around my ears, and I suppose I am little tea drunk because I found myself listening to campy 1990s music on YouTube. This Dayi is all about the throat and mouth coat, however, and not a heavy hitter like so many other productions, fully yin because I shiver with cold once the sweats die down. A cold yin is a big reason why people tell you not to drink young factory tea.

Some nice leaf here.
Later during the night I sneak another cup or two. This is a darn nice little tea. After six steepings, the Dayi house flavor fades and I get a bit of grape that better teas usually have in early steepings, along with some honey. The tea easily goes nine brews with thirty second steep times at the end. If I had used a more typical ratio of 8g/100ml, I am certain a session could go twelve steepings easily. The leaves are clearly from younger trees, but with respectable integrity considering my fiasco at chipping off a chunk.

Still a bit green tea-ish
The 2016 Yun Shui Zhen is a better than average factory tea for people who are new to Taetea and want to recognize their house flavor. For this $36 price point one cannot find many teas that also instruct us in yun, that throat feel we all look for in more premium teas, along with a decent mouth coat. Just go easy on the ratio to keep the bitterness at bay. I can see myself tong-ing this, but with only nine cakes left on the US site, maybe someone else in the US wants to pick one up to take advantage of local shipping.

Using a light clay teapot, such as this one
by Inge Nielsen, takes the edge off
a harsh new factory tea.
Collectors or storage people might want to look at this year’s 7542. I recently read a follower comment on one of Wilson Lim’s IG posts, noting that Korean puerh drinkers are discussing the 2017 7542 as more pungent than in recent years. A rather curious observation and worth keeping in mind as well.

Some darn nice leaf here for the price!


  1. Have one en route as well. Waiting to get it here.

    1. Let us know what you think of it on Steepster.

  2. I bought a batch 1 7542 from 2017 in the dayi store(offial teatea) in Malaysia for 24€ (over at ys its 35€).

    Its more tasty than i remember the 2013~2015 versions. Its actually pretty good for the price!