Just copying this from Random Steepings since I have positive identifcation by mrmopar.
Getting blasted on some shou from mrmopar. Labeled 2013 Hai Lang Hao Bulang Brick shou. Is it this: https://steepster.com/teas/hai-lang-hao-yunnan-sourcing/56059-2013-hai-lang-hao-bu-lang-old-tree-brick-ripe ? If so, I’ll transfer it over tomorrow and update after I brew this tea out.
It’s a brick, so the material is compact. I’m drinking alone with 10g in a 190mL teapot. Combine those two with this being a strong leaf — I can’t finish tonight but I do feel like making a note. I feel chest-forward. Lots of caffeine!
Dry leaf is sweet and earthy with vanilla, caramel, leather and a red berry undertone. Warmed is earth, leather, a bit of smoked meat and baked bread. A twenty second rinse brings out old books/paper again with earth and leather and the smell of baked bread in the distance. After the first steep, the steam coming from the pot has a very pungent quality almost like vinegar such that I instinctively twitch my nose and turn away. I feel silly and keep going back for more of that tangy twinge.
Smooth, mineral beginnings with the baked bread, leather and earth of the leaf and some cheesy nutritional yeast fermentation taste left behind from the rinse. Like I said, brick tea. Light clenching in the throat, warming and cooling, a bit oily. I wrote for a while after the first steep.
Second steep is clean, much darker since the material is finally opening up. I notice some wet basement, vanilla and caramel in the aroma. Same tastes but camphor dominates when the tea is still hot. It loses that quality as it cools. Tangy aftertaste with brown sugar-caramel returning sweetness. I moved from writing to getting lost in NPR Music Tiny (Ass) Desk Concerts for an hour.
Music pairing: Lizzo — NPR Music Tiny (Ass) Desk Concert
Watched her on Saturday Night Live last night.
Third steep is the same length as the second, 30-some seconds until the pot pours empty. The taste moves into a dominant starchy, potato-like taste and old wood with the earth and leather moving underneath. Returning sweetness develops into dates. This tea sits a bit raw in my stomach so I warmed up some soup. I read for another hour before deciding I should call it quits with tea tonight.
Book pairing: The Message Devotional Bible
And this is where I end for the evening. So far, recommended.
Update: Long-lasting, powerful shou that needs to be tamed with several shorter steepings early then pushed hard as soon the liquor begins to lighten. This tea was nothing out of the ordinary to me taste-wise but it was smooth, and at times oily in its delivery with no bitterness or astringency. More of a savory, leather/earth/tobacco/mineral profile with no fruitiness or sweetness. The returning sweetness became really pronounced with date sugar.
I was able to get 10 longer gongfu-timed infusions from the material, not including the 20s rinse and another 20s rinse to wake up the leaves the following day. Overall, I’d say try this for standard yet clean, powerful Bulang material. As of Dec 2019, this is $0.17 USD/g when purchased as the 2kg brick.