Tuesday, August 14, 2012

2002 Hai Lang Hao-Ai Lao Shan-Mini Cake

This little 100 gram cake comes from Yunnan Sourcing
It barely resembles a cake anymore as I have been enjoying this one for a good while now. First I have to say I love the old school nei fei, just a piece of plain torn paper with a stamp. The cake is made up of medium size leaf on the outside ( all gone now) hard compressed broken leaf on the inside. The dry aroma holds a bit of smokiness. Now getting into the center of the cake I break off a few chunks with the pick.

The infused liquor has the most wonderful aroma of cinnamon and raisins. I just cant help but keep sniffing at the glass pitcher. The first infusion yields strong smoky flavors with a bit of spice and astringency. After the second and third infusions it really gets enjoyable, with light smoky, spicy, savory flavors and hinting toward some cinnamon in the throat. This tea reminds me of thanksgiving, when my dad and me make a smoked turkey inside an old wood burning stove out in his barn every year, the tea brings those smoky savory flavors to life again.
Last years turkey. A teapot is always near.
The mouthfeel is very pronounced, slightly drying the pallet with some spiciness. If you dont mind a small amount of astringency this is a decent example of a ten year old dry stored small cake. Maybe a few more years will round off the astringency.

 I do have one more full cake tucked away for the future. We will see how it develops.


  1. I am a huge fan of smoke and that is probably the saving grace for this tea (at least to my palate). Too thin in mouth, there is an awkward taste of stale green tea, looking at the thin lifeless wet leaves stuck in layers further confirms this one is not for me. Releases way too fast. Is this what aged young plantation bushes tastes like? Makes me feel unfulfilled and almost sickening? Ouch....harsh....

    I do enjoy the piney cinnamon that you mention tough. Once that dies though I loose interest. There is much better at YS for the price imo.

    Amazing how palates differ so much :)

  2. I have found that harshness before, but have adjusted my brewing time to less than 5 seconds and it smooths it out well only leaving a small amount of astringency. The tea is far from special compared to most others I agree, but I do enjoy it because of the memories that it brings me.

    The difference in taste for everyone I think is a good thing, that way we have many different teas to try.
    But yes I cant stand some teas that others love also.