Liu Bao is something I haven’t talked a lot about it on my instagram neither on my blog, and so this will be the first post about it. This Liu Bao was delicious, mysterious and very warming. Perfect for on a cold, winter evening!
I do not know much about the history of this tea other than it’s from the 50s and was kept in Singapore by Mr. Chum, a very well known collector of aged teas. His friend who visited Canada last year happened to also come to Calgary, and he was very generous enough to brings these testers of three aged teas from Singapore. I want to say a big thank you to Mr. Chum and his friend for providing and helping me try this! 谢谢您们！
I just finished 6 exams and now have two more to go, and so please understand if this post is only a very basic one, and here I am writing about my experience with my tea and not really on the historical and more knowledge based material.
So these are the parameters that I used for brewing this tea-
Temperature ( 98 to boiling degree Celsius)
Brewing Vessel (100 ml F1 Yixing)
Grams of Leaves ( 8 grams)
Steeping Time ( less than 10 seconds per infusion, and every infusions increasing the time by 5 to 10 seconds
Number of Total Steepings: Over 8 strong infusions.
Aroma of Dry Leaves: Garlic with oranges, almost metallic and herbal .
Aroma of Wet Leaves: Camphor with wood, slight spiciness and 陈味 ChenWei, an aged smell.
Taste Profile: See Below
Texture Profile: Soft and smooth, but with enough mouthfeel. Feeling of going down the throat getting accentuated.
Feeling/Aftertaste: Very warming, lots of chi around the chest and face.
Rating 8 out of 10.
My initial reaction to the tea was like, “omg, how can it still be so strong?” Even though it has been aging for nearly 70 years old, the tea still has some bitterness and a very powerful richness that can be felt after swallowing. The tea seems to rest on the stomach, and slowly releases energy up. Makes me burp often.
The first three infusions were thick and juicy, and every sip tasted slightly different. Brought my focus somewhere else. This tea made me really slow down and I really just started to be in the moment.
It has a lot of chenwei or old fregrance in the tea, which leads me to becoming very relaxed and in the middle of everything. It is such a mysterious smell, as it isn’t very obvious on what it is. It’s just a smell of age and stories, that just makes you think.
After the eighth infusion, really beautiful orange peel aroma coming off the wet leaves and the empty cup smelt like brown sugar. This is a complex and has become a super personal tea to me– as the tea is so pure and the storage was done amazingly. No funny smells. Clean and strong aged taste.
To me, this tea is all about the body and after-feeling. The real activity of the tea is after you take a sip, and notice how it blends within you and how it makes you feel. The taste of course is purely delightful but the real beauty of aged teas is the yun or rhyme that invokes a certain feeling within you.
The reason why I am giving this tea an 8 out of 10 is simply because of the price point, and I won’t mention the price. It’s because I feel that if I do, I feel like people will become very confused and maybe too scared to try it. But it is VERY expensive, and to my knowledge and based on how much I can really appreciate these flavors; not something I would pay this much. But if your interested in this tea, and won’t have a problem with the price; it’s surely a different story. But, love the chi and the intense relaxation moments this tea gave me. Thank you again to Mr Chum and his friend for bringing these to Canada and letting me try it!