neděle 9. října 2011

Unknown soldier, thought to be Hai Lang Hao 2009 Yi Wu Zheng Shan

Addendum: I thought this was HLH 2009, but after buying whole cake, it seems it was a misplaced sample of another tea, nobody knows which; only labelled as HLH 2009. Was a lovely tea though...

I may sometimes criticize the price/quality ratio of more recent Hai Lang Hao production, certainly. This is one of cheaper cakes the given producer offers. And, I must say, it is one of the best I have tasted from him. I am not sure that everyone will necessarily like this  cake, but it definitely is in my favourite spectrum.

Dry leaves release a nice, promising sweet malty aroma. They a bit darker than one would expect. 

Now the leaves are already inside, waiting for more water to be poured over...

Upon smelling wet leaves, I feel immediate and powerful happiness. I really like this. The aroma is heavy, sweet, malty, buttery a bit of barley, a bit of "sweet ground after a light spring rain". Maybe a bit of camphor and something I could name "medicinal", if I really tried. I did not mind it though. It is similar to several teas I had and liked, but these were 2003-5, i.e., much older than this one. Even the color of the liquor is dark, considering the age of this tea. However, it is not primitively accelerated as some modern teas are. This cake feels natural, not hurried.

The taste is strongly correlated with the aroma of wet leaves, very pleasant, "warm brown" I would say. It is not as deep and striking as  more aged teas of similar character I drank, but these were four times as old and four times as expensive. I do believe that this cake will become similar to them.

I found that it enjoys softer water - with hard water, it became a bit "hollow" and cold around 5th brew, but I do not find that to be a problem. Most sheng tastes bad with local hard water...

The tea is not bitter, it is warm, quiet and embracing. I managed to squeeze  a bit of dry wild-arborish bitterness when making 11th and 12th brews, about a minute long - but before that, not a bit of bitterness.

The aftertaste could be longer and more pronounced, but it is already very good and I believe it will improve even further.

Cha qi is calming and soothing, very harmonizing.

I rank this tea in my personal top category because it just suits me so well. But I believe it is generally a very good and not overly expensive cake. At the current price of $35, it is a good buy I dare say, I plan to buy it as soon as I get some money.

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