Aged & Rested

Liubao Beeng Cha – 2013 Harvest

$10.50

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Hei Cha (fermented)

 

Liubao Beeng Cha (mini)

 

Pressed in 2015 from spring tea materials plucked in 2013
Released in 2017
(8-years aged)

 

Price is for one 3.75 ounce (100-gram) beeng cha

 

Appearance: uniformly dark, finely chopped leaf
Flavor: light wood, smoke and sweet mushroom flavor (umami)
Aroma: delicate ‘wo-dui’ process aroma and flavor
Liquor: coppery-brown colored liquor

 

Guangxi Wuzhou Tea Factory
Guangxi Province, China

2013 Late Spring Pluck
(8-years aged)

 

This Liubao was manufactured in 2013 and packed in large 45-kilo baskets.

The loose leaf was stored for several years (for aging & developing flavor) and was pressed into these mini beengs in 2015, for further aging and eventual sale.

They were released for sale in 2017, and we purchased ours immediately, and have been carefully curing them since that time.

They are now ready to either be steeped in ‘young adulthood’ or aged further, depending on the preference of the owner. We would highly recommend purchasing several of these mini cakes, in order to observe the changes that occur in the aging. They are also excellent gifts for a tea enthusiast.

Western-style steeping in a medium-large sized teapot 25-32 oz:

 

Use 2 teaspoons (3 grams) of tea per 6oz water
Use water that is 200°F-210°F
Rinse the tea in your teapot with a quick application of hot water
Immediately discard this liquid
Add additional hot water to start the 1st steeping
Steep for 3-4 minutes
Re-steep this leaf 1-2 additional times

 

Asian-style steeping in a small teapot under 10oz or in a gaiwan:

 

Use 4 teaspoons (6 grams) of tea per 6oz water
Use water that is 200°F-210°F
Rinse the tea in your teapot with a quick application of hot water
Immediately discard this liquid
Add additional hot water to start the 1st steeping
Steep for 25 seconds
Increase the steeping time an additional 5-10 seconds with each re-steep
Re-steep this leaf 4-6 times or more

 

Coming Soon!

Liubao is from Liubao town in Cangwu County, Guangxi province, where this tea has been in production since the Qing Dynasty Jiaqing period ( 1796-1820).

Traditionally, Liubao was packed into bamboo baskets, stuffed into lengths of fresh bamboo or pressed into small flat discs. Our discs of Liubao are similar in appearance to a small cake or a birds-nest-shaped tuo cha of Pu-erh .
Liubao are usually small in diameter and thick .They have smooth sides, a flat bottom and a small indent ( Pu-erhs tend to be wide and thin and tuo chas are half-round with a thumb-sized indent).

The leaf used for Liubao is thick and rough looking, and some tea bush twigs are present, too. The cake is uniformly dark in color without much variation in leaf size or tone. The appearance of a new or old Liubao cake can be quite similar; in fact, the paper wrapper on an old Liubao is apt to show its age more than the disc of tea.

One of the unique features of Liubao is that the leaf is given a shorter fermentation period in the tea factory than shou Pu-erh: 7 to 10 days compared to 30-40+ days. Because of this short fermentation time, Liubao is sweeter, milder and pleasantly aromatic.

Tea drinkers who find shou Pu-erh too strong for their liking may find Liubao to be just right. In the cup the tea is rich, sweet, flavorsome and mellow, and can be described as combining the best qualities of a rich mellow China black tea with just a touch of shou Pu-erh earthiness and sass.

These Liubao mini beeng cha (100 grams each) were pressed in 2015 and released in 2017. The raw material was plucked in 2013 and the blended mao cha is comprised of Grade 1 & Grade 3 leaf (Leaf Grade in Liubao manufacture refers to the size of the mao cha, not any quality designation). They were manufactured for sale under the TF Three Cranes Brand by the Wuzhou Tea Factory, one of the most highly-regarded Liubao producers in Guangxi Province.

The tea is light and sweet – with a moderate amount of the ‘wo dui’ taste and aroma. We noted a little woodsy, smoky flavor in the liquor, which, coupled with the smooth body, gives this tea a flavor that is slightly reminiscent of a tippy Zheng Shan (Tong Mu).  The second steeping brought out a lovely, clean flavor of forest floor and sweet mushroom. Subsequent steepings bring out more of a rich umami quality that shows the tea’s chewy mouth-feel.

This tea is clear and bright throughout – no muddy qualities or funky tastes. As the leaf opened during subsequent steepings, the flavor gave us hints of rich pipe tobacco, cacao, and there is moss and damp sweet grass in the aromatic volatiles.

The cake has been given tight compression which makes it firm and dense (and slow to change over time). The leaf can be broken off in bits & pieces and it crumbles into useable segments with a tea pick or tea knife. It is essential to give Liubao a quick rinse with hot water before the initial steeping to rinse away the crumbled bits. We steeped this tea 3 times and it could have yielded many more rounds of good tea drinking. Similar to a shou Pu-erh ‘iron cake’ (tight compression) these Liubao cakes have very little aroma until the leaf is steeped.

This is an excellent Liubao for those who like a little age on their tea or for those who want to explore the benefits of mellowing this tea further at home. We would highly recommend purchasing several of these mini cakes, in order to observe the changes that occur in the aging.