This special Liubao (a delicious Tea Trekker discovery!) was made with the excellent, ‘vintage-quality‘ spring 2012 raw material that so impressed many dark tea enthusiasts in its harvest year that it sold out in short order. As was the custom at that time with such an incredible harvest, it was kept in storage for 3-years and released in 2015. Specifically, it is made from small, 1st grade yi ji, or top grade leaves.
Liubao is an old-style tea – it is an example of the historic ‘border teas‘ that were sent from China to the nomadic people living in the remote lands located north and west of China. We love its straightforward, earnest style and appearance.
Liubao is a simple, easy-to-like, tasty tea with light oxidation and minimal fermentation. Once the ‘base’ tea is made, loose-leaf Liubao is packed into 45-kilo bamboo baskets for storage and aging, and is then packed into smaller baskets of about 1.5 kilos net weight for retail sale within China. The baskets allow the tea to continue to develop, because air-exchange is essential for the tea to breathe and continue to age properly.
Liubao is classified as a ‘dark tea’, (hei cha) and can be comprised of large or small leaf and may include few-to-many twigs.[NOTE: as is true with the unique black teas made on Taiwan or in eastern China with the leaf of oolong varietals, (such as FHDC Black and Sun Moon Lake Black teas) do not edit the twigs out; they are an important contributor to the overall flavor of this tea and it will not taste ‘right’ if they are removed]
Despite its sometimes rough and tumble appearance, Liubao is known for its light mouth-feel, a slightly woodsy flavor, and well-balanced and soft liquor. Overall, this batch of Liubao is smooth, sweet and full in the mouth. The tea is clean tasting and bright, and slightly fruity with a pleasant, appealingly earthy aroma.
Liubao is noteworthy for its plentiful chi, which may (or may not – depending on your awareness) offer the drinker a Pu-erh-like warming sensation in one’s mid-section, and they usually have a tempered caffeine content due to the fermentation that is an integral part of its early manufacture.
Liubao as a category is a great value for tasty, everyday tea drinking. This version, our ‘Regular 2012‘ has been stored carefully in dry storage since being released in 2015 following its manufacture and principal aging, and will provide many re-steepings of good quality steeped Liubao (you should receive back 500-600+ cups of tea per lb rather than the more traditional estimate of 200 cups for most black teas).
Think of it as comfort tea for cold winter months, the damp & wet spring weather months that follow, and anytime a rich, ‘brothy’ style tea is appropriate (try it with spicy ribs or sweet & sour shrimp for dim sum on a clear day in July!). Consider a side-by-side tasting of several of our Liubao teas. More than any difference in their years of production is the distinctiveness and overall characteristic of the leaf from each of these teas.
Loose-leaf Liubao is similar to the Liubao bricks and beeng cha discs that we sell, but offers the convenience of loose-leaf tea.
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