AGED & RESTED Liubao Wild 2002 hei cha

Liubao Wild-Grown & Aged


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Hei Cha (fermented)


Liubao Wild-Grown & Aged


Appearance: various leaf sizes and many twigs
Flavor: mature, smooth taste and earthy
Aroma: slightly woodsy, earthy
Liquor: dark red/brown color in the cup


remote village manufacture, Wuzhou County,
Guangxi Province, China

2002 Late Spring Pluck
(19-years aged)


This Liubao was made in 2002 and packed in large 45-kilo baskets.
The tea was stored for several years for aging & flavor development, re-packed into smaller baskets in  2005/6, then repacked again into consumer-size 500 gram baskets around 2012.

Note on Steeping Hei Cha:


Liubao is traditionally ‘rinsed’ before being steeped. This is done with a quick application of hot water that is poured over the tea in the gaiwan or teapot and then immediately discarded. The rinse water is not drunk – its purpose is to help the leaves begin to open during steeping.  Use  additional appropriately-heated water for the 1st steeping and subsequent re-steepings.


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


Use 2 teaspoons (3 grams) of tea per 6 oz 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 10 oz or in a gaiwan:


Use 4 teaspoons (6 grams) of tea per 6 oz 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 historically 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 (and still is) packed into bamboo baskets, stuffed into lengths of fresh bamboo or pressed into small flat discs of tea called beeng cha.


The leaf used for Liubao can be small. medium or large and is usually thick and rough looking. Some tea bush twigs are often present, too.


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 to 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.

Our Wild-Grown Liubao is a large leaf hei cha made deep in the revered and remote Yunnan tea mountains of Wuzhou County, in Guanxi Province.

Liubao is an old-style tea – an example of the historic border tea that was sent from ‘interior’ China to nomadic people living in the border 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, in this manufacture, a very light fermentation. This tea shows how its change from the effects of age have been significant – it is now truly mature and delicious, though it may still continue to soften and cohere with even more time. It is a good example of how our 2014 manufacture will develop. The trick is to not let it get too cold nor keep it airtight (wine cellar conditions are perfect)

Once the tea is made, loose-leaf Liubao is packed into 45-kilo bamboo baskets (that is 99 lbs – huge!) for storage and aging, but is then later packed into smaller baskets of about 1.5 kilos of tea for retail sale.  The baskets allow the tea to continue to develop and improve as air-exchange / breathing is essential for the tea to age. Our 2002 Liubao was packed in 500 gram baskets about ten years ago, because that is often the size that is purchased at retail in China.


Liubao is classified as dark tea, and is comprised of large leaf and many twigs. Despite its rough and tumble appearance, Liubao is known for its light mouth-feel, and a rich, earthy, satisfying flavor. The tea liquor is clean and bright, and the taste is well-balanced.

This Liubao was manufactured in 2010 and released for sale in 2013. It is the strongest tasting, earthiest, and generally most mature of our loose-leaf Hei Cha. It has a slight forest-floor aroma in the dry and wet leaf but that character is not off-putting, and does not come through in the taste of the tea liquor.

Despite the shorter fermentation time in the tea factory that Hei Cha receives versus that of shou Pu-erh, this tea is reminiscent of nice, aged shou Pu-erh, and is bolder in flavor and style than many other Hei Cha we have tasted.

This tea is a great value for tasty, everyday tea drinking. We also think this would be perfect to accompany spicy food. It has been stored carefully in dry storage and will provide many cups of good quality Liubao. We feel that it has aged very well and is a superb example of its style.

Think of it as comfort tea for the cold winter months and the damp wet spring weather that follows, as well as refreshing most anytime a hearty tea is appropriate.

Loose-leaf Liubao is similar to the Liubao bricks and beeng cha discs that we sell but offers the convenience of loose-leaf tea.

Want to know more?

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