Hai Lang Hao (Yunnan Sourcing)Edit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
I’ve had a cake of this, which I blind bought on the recommendation of mrmopar in my stash for quite a while now. I pulled my cake out to give it a try for the first time in a few months last night. The dry leaf is very interesting looking. The leaves are long and spindly, and there are a pretty good number of twigs mixed it. It’s really a bit difficult to fit chunks of it into brewing vessels until you get some hot water on it. The leaves had a nice fruity aroma, with notes of straw as well. After a rinse, the tea smelled slightly smoky, though none of this smoke really makes it into the flavor, and again like straw.
From the get-go, this tea steeps out very thick. The first steep had a bit of an herbal note to it, along with a sweetness which immediately filled my mouth. The tea has good throat-feeling, and even before I finished drinking the first infusion, my head was pounding.
The sweetness stayed very strong, as did the thickness. By the third steep, I was feeling just about as teadrunk as I ever have before. My notes get a little bit garbled after this, but I know the tea went around 15 steeps, though possibly could have called it quits at 13. The sweetness stayed pretty strong, but was not cloying. I also don’t really know how to describe it – a bit mineral or honey maybe, with some slight apricot notes detectable at times.
I remember trying this tea around when I first got it, and being decently impressed by the quality of it. Now, after the tea has been resting in my pumidor for around 5 or 6 months, I am absolutely floored by the quality:price ratio. For me, this tea is an absolute steal. The texture and qi are incredibly potent and enjoyable, and the flavor, while nothing spectacular or unusual, is very enjoyable. I now have a large amount of this tea en route from Yunnan Sourcing, along with some other Hai Lang Hao samples. I feel pretty confident buying a lot of this tea, as it already has a bit of a head-start with aging, being pressed from 2012 maocha, and because I like how it has changed already just sitting in my moderately humid pumidor for a few months.
I’ll be trying this some different ways as well – I want to see how much leaf I can get away with using, as it’s pretty forgiving and not at all prone to bitterness. If my normal amount gave me such a powerful teadrunk, who knows what 7 or 8g could do! :P
Flavors: Fruity, Mineral, Straw, Sweet, Thick
Random backlog I found on Microsoft Word…
2012 Hai Lang Hao
Yang Chun San Yue
8g, 92c, 120ml
S1 shows immediately that the color is no longer ‘green’. Shades of ugly green/brownish stuff with some darker leaf in there. Up front there is a soft astringency that I assume will disappear because it’s quite faint. The taste leaves a nice tartness going on as the sweetness cannot be tasted unless you lick your lips since the mouth feel kind of tingles the taste away.
S2 the tea is opening up a bit more which makes the astringency not noticeable anymore because there is a bitterness that is creeping in. Maybe this is the type of tea that will need me to ride the waves with it until I find the calm waters. The taste is appealing behind the upfront hindrance of taste though. Somewhat of a wet cigar taste… if you’ve ever experienced that, not unpleasant but unique.
S3 took some time to let the mouth feel sit. Easily last for 5 minutes. Went back into the next steep with some more thought on what I am tasting. I think the bitterness might actually be described better as ‘full of tannins’ in regards to the light tobacco taste which reminds me of roasted asparagus; yet the mouth feel gives it complexity that I cannot describe very well.
S4 to S6 still a really strong mouth feel and the bitterness/tannic aspect is very much alive. Was not expecting to still have this going on at this point.
S7 to S10 still got the mouth feels but the bitterness is either used to by my mouth or it is dying down. This is probably a tea for someone who wants that tobacco’ish feeling going on or to store away a darker sheng that will produce a nice thick cup later on down the road as the viscosity with this one will surely grow.
Dry leaf: SMOKEY, SWEET, EARTHY (mesquite wood/smoke, wild honey, blackstrap molasses, baked pears, autumn leaves, green stem, light wood)
Smell: SMOKEY, EARTHY, some SWEET (bonfire, cured tobacco leaf, raw walnut, some wet rock minerality. In gaiwan – noticeable apple cider notes)
Taste: EARTH, SMOKE, OIL, PEPPER, FRUIT (autumn leaves, hay, leather, wood smoke, ash, resin, camphor, cooked walnut, nutty oily sweetness, bittersweet, peppery spiciness. In gaiwan, several fruit notes are present – plum, date, fig, pear, apple cider, stewed fruit)
SO… Cruising through Yunnan Sourcing’s page, I stumble upon Hai Lang Hao, whose cakes are well out of my price range – the first one I see is over $300. I chuckle to myself, but continue down the page. Lo and behold! I see a cake for $25 amongst its more costly brethren. I had to get it, just out of sheer curiosity.
The dry leaves themselves are a little disappointing – tons of spindly stems, some even with no leaves at all on them. So, basically I’m thinking this is the cake made with all of the reject material from his actual cakes.
That said, it actually is pretty awesome (and it’s not all stems – don’t get me wrong!) Assuming it is some of the reject pickings – I imagine they are still coming from the bushes that provide the material for his more expensive offerings. What does that mean? It means we can get some pretty awesome flavors for a bargain price.
Really enjoyable – brewed several times in “young” yixing pot and several times in gaiwan. Gaiwan brought out all of the fruit notes above. Yixing “stole” these flavors and provided an oily, nutty, smooth experience.
I got 10 grams and put it in gaiwan and gave it a rinse for 5 seconds . The first steep for 5 seconds and it tasted like bitter grass.The second brew was for ten seconds and tasted stronger and the color was darker as well and it had a bitter edge to it and made my tongue tingle as.The last steep was stronger and darker and and done it for fifteen seconds and tasted like older hay and you could fell it in your throat after drinking.
Flavors: Bitter, Grass, Hay, Thick
This tea is good. It is sweet with a lot of fermentation flavor in the early steeps. This is a quality tea. This is good because I have a lot of it. Its sweet flavor in the eighth steep is reminiscent of dates. It’s young to develop this flavor but it’s sweet in later steeps. There was little bitterness to this tea even in the early steeps.
I steeped this eight times in a 170ml teapot with 10g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse and steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, and 30 sec.
Ordered a sample of this to try on my last order.
I broke out 11 grams for the Gaiwan. Went with a 5 second rinse to wake up the leaf . It is flora land aromatic after the rinse. Did 3 quick 5 second steeps for the big mug for this one. Color is a bit lighter than I expected, more like the color of a newer tea. Avery thick tea with a decent shot of bitterness.
Quite potent with hints of pepper , wood camphor and a bit of the saltiness that some shengs can give.
It really opened me up to some deep breathing about halfway through the cup. Nice Huigan on this one. Tongue tingle goes a bit after drinking this one for a while. Some hints of apple in this one also. Very nice tea.
Flavors: Apple, Camphor, Floral, Wood
Working this one up tonight, an interesting description by the seller.
Dry leaf slight smoke and vegetal aroma.
One rinse with 10 grams in the Gaiwan. A spicy green aroma to this one.
First steep, actually 3 short ones for the cup. Brewed aroma wood and steamed vegetables.
First sip pretty stout with some tongue tingling going on. Pine and citrus seem to come to mind on this one. Very nice lively mouth-feel on this one. A nice little hit of camphor along with the other flavors dancing around. A very complex one to drink but simply enjoyable.
Flavors: Camphor, Pine, Wood