Long is the way, and hard, that out of hell leads up to light
Before rising to the pantheon of the damned, Hailanghao used to be a sweet little minor label with a pleasant line in small-production-run cakes. This cake was $35 from Yunnan Sourcing, a vendor with whom Mr. Hailang's Mingxiangyayuan company appears to have an exclusive deal - the one place on Taobao that sells these cakes does so at precisely the same prices as Yunnan Sourcing.
Th'infernal doors, and on their hinges grate harsh thunder
This cake is more in keeping with bingcha produced in the time before Hailanghao was cast into the howling abyss. It is (reasonably) low-priced, and its scope is less assuming than some of the more daemoniacal productions created since The Fall.
Whence and what art thou, execrable shape?
Good yellow soup, without the slightest hint of brimstone, I am met with a full, buttery-sweet aroma that reminds me of good Yiwu.
If there's one thing about the scent of good Yiwu, it's that it is entirely unlike sulphur.
Better to reign in hell, than serve in heaven
Vibrant and long on the tongue, this tea works well. As the infusions wear on, the Yiwu charm of the first brew begins to fade into a green plantation sludge. However, at no time did I hear the howling wails of the thrice-damned, which is something that this tea has in its favour over some of the more recent Hailanghao productions.
The mind in its own place, and in itself, can make a heav'n of hell, a hell of heav'n.
Above average, and a solid little performer, this is a welcome reminder that Mingxiangyayuan used to be rather appealing. I look back on some of those rustic old classics with fond memories, and the bare minimum of diabolical reliquaries.