A random Hai Lang Hao sample purchased from YS some time ago. The leaves are nice – pretty full and burly. At this point a bit of a dull brownish-green. The dry leaf has a creamy and sweet aroma with a bit of hay. After a rinse, the leaves revealed a much more pungent aroma, reminding me of tobacco, scorched grass, hay, and a bit of minerality. I think this tea had a touch of smoke to it at pressing, which has mostly aged out of it.
The flavor profile is a bit challenging in the early steeps, to my palate anyways. I get a burly tobacco with wisps of smokiness, again mostly aged out. There is still some astringency to it, and an oversteep will yield some unpleasantly sour bitterness. There is a slightly sweet huigan, but it doesn’t linger for a particularly long time in the mouth. As the tea cools, it gets sweeter, showing a bit of a corn-like sweetness.
The tobacco subsides and the smoke vanishes after a few steeps, with the flavor becoming more of the aforementioned corn sweetness. I noticed a rush of buzzy qi around steeps 5-7 that kind of came out of nowhere. This tea has a somewhat thick body to it.
I think this one is in a bit of an awkward stage, inbetween a young tea and a middle-aged one. A few more years and those vestiges of youth will probably give way to a more rounded and aged profile, probably leaning a bit more woody than tobacco.