2004 Hai Lang Hao "Big Snow Mountain" Raw Puerh

Tea type
Pu'erh Tea
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Barnyard, Camphor, Clove, Herbaceous, Incense, Orange Zest, Smoke, Tangy, Tobacco, Floral, Fruity, Sugar, Hay, Honey, Mushrooms, Wood, Flowers, Nuts
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Edit tea info Last updated by ZeroZen
Average preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 6 oz / 170 ml

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12 Tasting Notes View all

  • “I have a feeling this tea is asleep, or maybe still in transit shock… it’s all whispers and promises. I opened up the envelope and put it in my sheng crock. I’ll check back in on it in a few months.” Read full tasting note
  • “Brick sample. Low aroma, but heavily-compressed, early steeps are incredibly sweet. As the compression lets go, the floral bitterness, pleasant, intensifies. Brewing carefully, it stays in check...” Read full tasting note
  • “Barbecue meets Dark Forest meets Darjeeling meets Dark Chocolate! Bouquet: Everything starts with steaming mist of smoked cranberry ham followed by flavorful waves of Worcestershire and hints of...” Read full tasting note
  • “A sample via Dex from the April tea box! My piece was like a rock. A rectangular rock. So I rinsed it long, twice. And let it sit a while between the rinses. Then I tried a 15 second steep....” Read full tasting note

From Yunnan Sourcing

Early Spring Wild Arbor tea cake!

An early production from Hai Lang Hao. The nei fei bears the name of his shop (Ming Xiang Ya Yuan), which was used on his 2002 to 2005 productions. The Big Snow mountain brick is produced from the 大雪山 mao cha of Lincang and is entirely Spring 2004 material. It produces a heady pungent brew with nutty flavors, and strong thick and sweet after-taste. A powerful tea, hand-processed in small batches. Only 300 kilograms produced in total!

This is produced from high quality material than the brick tea of the same year.

Produced by Ming Xiang Ya Yuan tea house

About Yunnan Sourcing View company

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12 Tasting Notes

392 tasting notes

I have a feeling this tea is asleep, or maybe still in transit shock… it’s all whispers and promises.

I opened up the envelope and put it in my sheng crock. I’ll check back in on it in a few months.

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240 tasting notes

Brick sample. Low aroma, but heavily-compressed, early steeps are incredibly sweet. As the compression lets go, the floral bitterness, pleasant, intensifies. Brewing carefully, it stays in check and is balanced in a show of strength that’s quite enjoyable. Late steeps pick up some of the youthful fruitiness of sheng. Good tea, with great endurance, a revealing story, and both strength and grace.

Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Sugar

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 2 OZ / 65 ML

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72 tasting notes

Barbecue meets Dark Forest meets Darjeeling meets Dark Chocolate!

Bouquet: Everything starts with steaming mist of smoked cranberry ham followed by flavorful waves of Worcestershire and hints of Barbecue sauce. Within the following deep breaths you’re also going to discover baked potatoes, subtle aspects of sweet paprika spice and oregano. Very thick and deep notes plus massively juicy mouthwatering! The roasted smokey atmosphere gets even stronger within the later infusions.

Taste: This amber colored cup delivers such a nice silky creamy liquor with woodsy elements of aged wood like a fine mix of sandalwood and agarwood, birch juice plus a leathery tobacco mix but not overpowering with a dark sweetness of dark chocolate at the end of it. Later those dark aspects of chocolate with a hint of raisins to it plus another subtle note of dried figs builds the second layer above the earthy aged wood base of this highly intense and delicious act. I never experienced something like this before but this is the first time that the whole composition of an aged Sheng reminds me a lot of a strong first flush Darjeeling red tea (if you keep the tea longer in your mouth). There is a lot of this typical red tea (black tea in the west) character to be found. You can literally taste all those twigs, fallen leaves and tree barks along the way with its dark sweet elements of chocolate, raisins and dried figs. There is also a certain subtle sour-ish comeback within the aftertaste which builds up a lot of juice inside your mouth. Within the later infusions (4+) the black tea (red tea) flavor completely vanishes also a lot of the dark chocolate aspects while the woodsy leathery and tobacco front stepped more onto the front stage of this play.

This is a fantastic example of a well aged Sheng with deep and strong flavors. But if you’re just into those more stronger aspects they might vanish soon. But you can enjoy its stronger side for at least 6 times.

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2291 tasting notes

A sample via Dex from the April tea box!

My piece was like a rock. A rectangular rock. So I rinsed it long, twice. And let it sit a while between the rinses. Then I tried a 15 second steep. WOWSERS. That was strong!

It smells like sweet, bitter, flowers, and smoke. Interesting combination. Smoke being that tobacco scent that I find some puerh has.

Whoa. I’ve just dumped 18oz of this as not drinkable. :/

I am seriously flash steeping this. Water goes in, water comes out. It’s very bitter still, but starting to be drinkable. I think a few more steeps and it will mellow out into something my taste buds understand a bit more.

Hahaha. Ok. Over 1 litre later, I’ve removed some leaf.

It’s still way too much for me. It keeps promising sweetness in the smell, but then it’s just sharp, bitey sheng. Bleh.

Edit. Ok, ok. I removed over half the leaf. And now I’m flash steeping. 1.5 litres in. FINALLY the sweetness it was promising is starting to come through.

Tea should not be this hard.


Hmmmm that sucks :((


Definitely mega overleafed. Go super easy. This was so packed I didn’t quite realize how much leaf there really was. My pot felt like it was exploding there’s so much leaf.


A good kick in the teeth!


What a freaking kick! I’m going to be brewing it again tonight with yesterday’s leaves, as soon as my kettle heats. :)


This is a pretty strong one. Keep the steeps short!

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1113 tasting notes

I’m naming this: Reversal Sheng.
The first three steeps has this nice sweet undertone and after taste which was quite appealing and then after the four steep the bitterness storm began to come in over the horizon I didn’t know existed. Normally I like shengs as they tune down, but this one decided to tune up into something I did not like. If it stayed on it’s original path and din’t go bipolar on me, I’d really enjoy this.


This one can be dang strong for sure.

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880 tasting notes
It has some lovely notes of clean horse hair (in the throat of the tea), hay, and the dusty dirt of a pristine barn. To me, these are all very good things. Aside from that, it has notes of orchid, camphor, some nuttiness, and a nice caramel sweetness that is faint.

Nice review!


well, did it help your stomach?

Tea Pet

Thank you, boychik!
@apt – Yes, it did. Sheng always does!

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661 tasting notes

Tried this one out today. After a quick rinse did a 10 sec steep and added a bit more for the next steeps. I could definitely smell hay and honey from this tea. I could taste mushroomy notes with a honey sweetness and it didn’t fade much with each infusion. It was a pleasant cup but after 4 infusions I was tired of the tea and wanted a change. I put the leaves aside to see if I can do a steep on them tomorrow.

Flavors: Hay, Honey, Mushrooms

205 °F / 96 °C

It re steeps well!


Yes, it does. Today it’s still tasty and full of flavour. And still nice and sweet. I really get my money’s worth on this tea!

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304 tasting notes

Got this as a sample on my Yunnan Sourcing order. I brought out 10 grams into the Gaiwan to brew. Gave it a quick rinse to open up. Aroma of slight floral on this one. Not in your face but a light aroma.
This one has no smokiness to it at all. No astringency and a very good mouthfeel to it. It has hints of a slight woodiness and honey with some flower to it. It is very smooth and easy to drink compared to some of the other Hai Lang Hao teas. It is not punchy or in your face but nice and easy to drink. It gives a nice feeling of relaxation after drinking and the sweetness continues after the cup is empty. Actually day 2 on this one and it has progressed very well. A nice evening sheng that is great to unwind with.

Flavors: Floral, Honey, Wood

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 10 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

Excellent description mrmopar!


Every time I read one of your reviews, it makes me want to become a better pu’erh drinker :-)
I admit to it: I’m a mrmopar wannabe!


Sounds like a good one. The smokiness for me takes awhile to get used to so I prefer non-smokey shengs right now.


This has been on my list for a weeks now. I need to just go for it.


Thanks! I am just a simple man enjoying some tea.

Terri HarpLady

Nice review, as always!
So I have to ask…how big is the Gaiwan?
In my Sheng drinking, I have been mostly using 2 – 4 G to a 4oz gaiwan or yixing, which initially seemed very intense to me, but lately I’ve been starting to go a little heavier with some.


And also a very modest one!


Terri 4 oz Gaiwan usually about 10 grams and I do 3 really quick steeps in a big 12 oz cup.

Terri HarpLady

Wow! I’m probably missing out on something by using so much less!
(bows to Master M in gratitude)

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290 tasting notes

I started drinking this yesterday and it is still doing well. As I noted on the pu drinking thread in the discussions area, my first thought upon drinking the first cup was “Crikey, that’s smooth!” So, time to write it up properly before getting back to my revision. Only two days to go! Eek!! I’m not panicking much. Honest. Actually I am calmer that I might be but I put that down to the tea.

The beeng is loose. Not so much as to just fall apart but a far cry from the iron hard beengs and bricks I seem to get so often. This makes it easier to pick apart and means that the leaves remain whole, which is no bad thing. It smells of horses and hay, a sweet aroma that carries good memories.

The liquor is a yellowish amber in colour. It smells of hay and honey. Sniffing the empty cup, I am struck by how much it smells of honey and fresh flowers. I think it might be a magnolia aroma, but I cannot quite put my finger on it precisely.

The first sip, as noted above, was incredibly smooth. It was sweet with a creamy mouthfeel. There’s a walnut nuttiness to it and the astringency only starts to make itself felt as the liquor cools. The aftertaste is sweet, sparkles and lasts for ages.

After the first cup, the tea starts to make itself felt in my whole body, especially in my legs. I can feel it forcing me to relax and I almost immediately feel slightly tea drunk. This tea seems to have a fairly strong cha qi. It calms my mind and I almost feel like I am entering a meditative state while becoming more focused. It is quite remarkable and certainly helps with the work I am doing.

The tea seems to tail off after a dozen steepings, but I probably need to increase the duration of the next one to see where that goes. I also found that it did not respond as well with steeping at 90 degrees C, whereas 85 degrees C works beautifully. I’m off to do that now, then it’s back to work for me.

Flavors: Flowers, Honey, Nuts

185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

I love when that special feeling kicks in with pu’erh. Hope it helps you with your studies, good thing that you’re not too nervous about that, keeps you focus…good luck with everything :-)


Thank you. I really like it when a tea gives you that feeling, and I found that once it started with this one, it really kicked in hard. I shall need both luck and a clear head to get through it all on Tuesday. A two hour oral exam is not really my idea of fun, and is now making me wonder why I started a PhD after all these years away from university! Perhaps I should take a portable tea station with me so that I can have this tea to help me. Does that count as using performance enhancing drugs? :)


Haha! Well assuming that the deciding committee never experienced a good cha qi, you might be able to get away with it!
Oh my, I don’t even want to think about what a two hour oral exam would do to me…
I’m assuming your PhD is related to your existing field of expertise, history?


Yes, it’s a PhD on Vikings. The oral exam takes on average two hours. I have heard of them taking up to nine hours before now, and if it is less than two hours I shall be rather worried because that probably means bad news. It could be worse though. In Scandinavia you have your viva on stage in front of an audience! That would completely freak me out.


I cannot even imagine how much knowledge on Vikings one must acquire to get PhD. This is fascinating. You must be one of very few with that title, I’m sure… Do you get hired when people write books or make movies for instance?


I think that there are rather more of us than you might believe in the world. I just hope that Tuesday’s viva sees me pass with flying colours so that I can be Dr Roughage and a fully acknowledged expert. :)

I do work with authors when they want guidance about Vikings, and I was the historical advisor for a little Viking cartoon that is on the BBC Hands on History website. I have also worked with various other projects that wanted Old Norse dialogue, including a bit for the Vikings exhibition that is on at the British Museum at the moment. It’s quite cool really and a lot of fun. I really should write more about this stuff on my website so to promote myself.


You make this tea sound like an absolute dream and I’m coveting it now. BEST of luck on Tuesday – you WILL be Dr. Roughage! Let us know how it goes.


Thank you, MzPriss. No doubt I shall be shouting it from the rooftops if the viva goes well. :)


Good luck for tomorrow Mr. very soon to be Dr. Roughage!
(I looked at your website yesterday, super fun! Tried the quiz but for some reason it didn’t load on the iPad, will try on the PC later…)


Have fun with the quiz. It can be quite hard if you get the wrong questions. I need to write more content for it but have been a bit distracted recently. Perhaps after tomorrow I can start adding more material. We shall see.

Thank you for the good wishes. I am busily practising answering possible questions and wondering how the heck I am going to survive. I should get a glass of port soon and go to bed so that I am well rested. :)


Good Luck!!!!! I know you will be fine and I will hear that “Roar” on my side! Vikings and drinking horns I have to agree with that. Nice info.


I got a pass with corrections, which is a decent result and the corrections are not onerous. My prof. tweeted that I am now the world expert on berserkers, so it must be true. Yay! :)


World Expert On Berserkers is a most excellent title to have. Congratulations!!!


Yahoo! I thought I heard thunder last night but now I realize the roar has come my way!


Ahhhh… Congrats, you must be so relieved!!!

Toutes mes félicitations Doctor :-) :-) :-)

Thank you all. :)


Yay! Congratulations! Glad the corrections aren’t too much. :) Pretty much everyone has them, I think.

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