2016 Hai Lang Hao "Lao Man E" Ripe Pu-erh

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Pu-erh Tea
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Almond, Cherry, Dark Bittersweet, Dates, Sweet, Berries, Cacao, Coffee, Creamy, Drying, Mineral, Roasted, Sour, Earth
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Edit tea info Last updated by Laura B
Average preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 11 g 5 oz / 138 ml

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6 Tasting Notes View all

  • “I’ve always held Hai Lang Hao teas in very high regard and this tea lives up to that easily. If I had the budget I’d buy a cake of this without hesitation. Alas, I do not so I only have a sample....” Read full tasting note
  • “My second Hai Lang Hao. I really enjoyed their 2015 Bulang brick, so I was excited to try this one. I’m no expert on ripe pu’er, but looking at the sample I received, the quality of the material...” Read full tasting note
  • “Counted over fourteen steeps this was an excellent tea. There was a lot of fermentation taste at first. This taste was a little unpleasant but not fishy. It was think and rich in the first six or...” Read full tasting note

From Yunnan Sourcing

Entirely Lao Man E old plantation material from Lao Man E village in the Bu Lang mountains. Lao Man E is a village in the Bu Lang Mountain range not far from Lao Ban Zhang and also quite near Jie Liang village. Lao Man E tea is something in-between the extreme bitterness of Jie Liang tea and the bitterness with fast and sweet huigan of Lao Ban Zhang tea.

This production has been the obsession of Hai Lang for 3 years. He laboriously purchased and stored enough Lao Man E spring harvested tea (mao cha) from Spring 2013, 2014, and 2015 to make enough for for a decent wo dui batch (wet piled fermentation technique used to make ripe tea). Just under 1500 kilograms in total after 43 days of wet piling!

This is a very strong tasting ripe tea, with a creamy thick taste and feel to it. It’s very infusable going many rounds before losing it’s powerful taste and aroma. With age it will become more infusable, more complex and more aromatic. The cha qi is all enveloping, but not over-powering. The tea settles into the mouth and body in a very nice way.

Hai Lang’s passion for creating something special really comes through in this tea. The price is not cheap, but I have have not tasted a more substantive ripe tea than this one!

1 kilogram per brick

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6 Tasting Notes

25 tasting notes

I’ve always held Hai Lang Hao teas in very high regard and this tea lives up to that easily. If I had the budget I’d buy a cake of this without hesitation. Alas, I do not so I only have a sample. The aroma of the dry leaf is kind of tart, maybe cherries? I only have a sample so it isn’t as intense as the full brick would be. Once wet, the aroma loses some of the tartness, becoming more dates with some almond. This seems to be medium to medium light fermentation – doesn’t taste like HK stored sheng like my Chen Yuan Hao ripe in a slightly higher $/g range though the price of that is supposed to double. This still has the “shou” taste so has more everyday appeal to me. Some fermentation flavor but nothing unpleasant – more like obscuring the other flavors. Mostly bittersweet with chocolate tones early on. It opens up to become more of a neutral dried fruit flavor with lots of sweetness later on. Some tartness and almond flavors also emerge but come and go. Throughout the session the tea is thick, creamy, and oily. Honestly, this tea is best slurped down hot and fast and normally I like my tea to cool a bit since I am super sensitive to temperature. It also has a hard hitting sheng like qi which isn’t what I normally look for but other people will probably love.

Flavors: Almond, Cherry, Dark Bittersweet, Dates, Sweet

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81 tasting notes

My second Hai Lang Hao. I really enjoyed their 2015 Bulang brick, so I was excited to try this one. I’m no expert on ripe pu’er, but looking at the sample I received, the quality of the material looks good – small leaves with plenty of hairy golden buds. I used 11 grams in my 160ml Jianshui clay teapot and after rinsing the leaves once for ten seconds I let the moisture soak in for ten minutes before I began brewing. I did a total of nine infusions, for 9s, 9s, 12s, 15s, 20s, 30s, 45s, 75s and 2 min.

The first steep brewed a murky pale red. The taste was kind of there, but both the flavors and texture were still light. Normally one rinse is enough for me with shu pu’er, but for this tea I would recommend two quick rinses while it’s still young at least. This steep was still more of a wash than a proper brew. The second steep produced a much darker red. The flavor was much bolder as well. However, the texture was still rather light for a shu pu’er. The taste is hard to describe. Maybe you could call it a sort of weird mineraly taste. The finish was reminiscent of the finish of not so great coffee. It wasn’t exactly bitter, but neither was it quite clenching either.

The next steeping finally offered some more body. The taste wasn’t bitter, but more like sour, drying coffee, while the finish had a roasted note to it. The fourth steep was again a bit thinner, maybe a bit cleaner, but otherwise there wasn’t too much change. The flavors started to now shift more towards raw chocolate without any sweetness. A bit of sweetness did finally emerge in the fifth infusion. The flavor still had a dry quality to it (dry, not drying), which had been prevalent in the tea up to this point.

The sixth steep was softer both in taste and texture. It had a gorgeous velvety mouthfeel and incredibly creamy taste with a mineral tinge to it. I was really surprised by this infusion. That mouthfeel, man, and that finish, so nice. The tea was drying, gripping in a good way, making you want to drink more. There was also a slightly refreshing, palate cleansing quality to it. Damn. The steep that followed shared some of these qualities. It had the creaminess, but now combined with a bright, zesty flavor of red berries. These berries persisted in the aftertaste. These two infusions were really good.

I was taken back to being less impressed by the eighth infusion. The taste was now more mineraly, with only hints of the prior creaminess remaining. The taste did however become fuller as you kept drinking the tea and it left small deposits on your tongue, enhancing the flavor. Due to time, the ninth steep was the last one I did. It did feel it was appropriate to stop there, though. While I was still getting the mineraly, creamy taste, the flavors seemed to be starting to become thinner and continuing would have probably been just stretching out the tea.

After the session, I felt really lethargic and a couple hours later incredibly tired. Shu pu’ers do tend to be more calming and grounding than energizing in my experience, but this was probably the most lethargic any tea has ever made me. I literally didn’t want to do anything and once the tiredness hit me it felt like I needed to be in bed that instant. Tea is of course going to affect people differently, but the person I was drinking with experienced the same thing, so I would advice some caution when drinking this tea. Maybe have the first session with it at home where it’s not a huge issue if you don’t feel like doing anything for the rest of the evening.

So what are my thoughts on this tea? I must admit my expectations were high because of how good the Bulang brick was and I ended up liking it more than this one. Apart from the two really good infusions, this tea wasn’t quite my cup of tea. It is still quite young and might improve a lot over time, so I don’t want to be too judgmental. While I think the 2015 Bulang represents good value for money, this Lao Man’e at more than 60% higher price doesn’t quite justify its price tag right now. I’d place this tea in the ‘potential’ category. While the Bulang brick is good to drink now, this one needs more time to mature. I’d say try it in a year or two, if it’s still available.

Edit: I had a second session with this tea and have included my thoughts below in one of the comments.

Flavors: Berries, Cacao, Coffee, Creamy, Drying, Mineral, Roasted, Sour

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 11 g 5 OZ / 160 ML
TJ Elite

I had a second, more casual session with this tea and found the results interesting enough to share some thoughts about it. First off, I used just over 12g to 160ml. Both the teapot and teacup I used are made from Jianshui clay. I did probably about ten infusions, but I wasn’t keeping track.

Within just six months in my storage, this tea has transformed pretty much completely. I don’t really recall this tea having much if any sweetness to it when I first had it, but now it is so sweet, in fact too sweet for my tastes. The sweetness is present from start to finish and I would probably describe it as a sort of date sweetness, although I’ve only had dates maybe once or twice in my life, so I’m not very familiar with their taste. The sweetness is very reminiscent of the intense concentrated sweetness of dried fruits, and I personally found it too overpowering in the first few steeps.

I think the strength of the tea is just right for me. I find the flavors in a lot of ripes to be very veiled and you sort of have to try to reach out to them, but this tea is very present and forward with its flavors, which to me describes it better than simply labeling it as strong. The flavors in this tea really sing. There is also a lot more depth and complexity to the flavors and even in the late steeps where you are left with the date sweetness, the notes have some level of richness, nuance and layers to them.

As far as flavors go, in addition to the date sweetness you get throughout the infusions, there are perhaps some coffee or chocolate notes in the first couple steeps, but they get overshadowed by the dates. A mild background bitterness is also present in these steeps, but it is very minor. In the mid steeps there are some darker tones present, not sure if I’d refer to them as earthy or woody or something else, as well as some nice creaminess. I don’t recall tasting much else.

Overall, I think this is a very high quality ripe. However, while I am okay with the flavor profile, this is not the kind of tea I’d see myself drinking more than once or twice a year and the already very overpowering sweetness is simply too much for me to even begin to consider buying more of this tea. If I was gifted a brick of this, I might not finish it in my lifetime.

If you are interested in high-quality ripes, I absolutely recommend trying a sample of this, as long as you are really into sweet ripes. As someone still new to aging shu pu’er, this session was very enlightening, because now I not only have confirmation that the teas in my pumidor are indeed aging, but firsthand knowledge that these high-end Hai Lang Hao bricks with their lighter fermentation do in fact have a lot of room to grow and develop. And not only that, but that they can also change dramatically within mere months in this still young stage. As someone who just received a full 1kg brick of the Hai Lang Hao Yi Shan Mo ripe, this is very exciting knowledge in terms of the aging prospect of said tea.

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1758 tasting notes

Counted over fourteen steeps this was an excellent tea. There was a lot of fermentation taste at first. This taste was a little unpleasant but not fishy. It was think and rich in the first six or eight infusions and I think you could say there were notes of bittersweet dark chocolate in there. This chocolate taste disappeared along with the fermentation taste and the bitterness around steep eight. Well really the fermentation was only strong through steep four or five. Another note replaced this bittersweet note, a sweet note you would call it. Not really fruity or dates flavor, more of a neutral sweet note. Still this was one good tea. It is definitely worth buying a sample of. I have not yet decided if it was worth buying the whole brick yet. When I have drank it four or five times I will decide this. But it was one of the very best young ripe teas I have tried. Now as to cha qi, Scott says it has some, but I didn’t really feel it. Maybe I will feel it before I finish my cup who knows.

I steeped this tea fourteen times in a 160ml silver teapot with 14.3g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, 1 min, 1.5 min, 2 min, 2.5 min, and 3 minutes. Again I definitely recommend a sample of this but I have not yet decided if it was worth buying the whole brick. If I drink it again and it is still this good I will judge it to have been worth it.

Flavors: Dark Bittersweet, Earth, Sweet

Boiling 14 g 5 OZ / 160 ML
Liquid Proust

Oh wow, didn’t know they had a ripe laomane! I will look into this one.


Did you hear about their new 1990 CNNP ripe tuo from teadb?


I’ve got one of these in the mail…can’t wait

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