Out of Stock Aged & Rested Liubao 1st grade 2008 hei cha

Liubao 1st Grade 2008

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Hei Cha (fermented)

 

Liubao 1st Grade 2008

 

Appearance: mixture of leaf with some twigs
Flavor: light mouth-feel, a slightly woodsy flavor, and well-balanced, soft, sweet liquor
Aroma: woody, enticing and earthy, not musty
Liquor: dark red color in the cup

 

 

Wuzhou Tea Factory
Liubao Town, Cangwu County,
Guangxi Province, China

2008 Late Spring Pluck
(8-years aged)

 

This Liubao was made in 2008 and packed in large 45-kilo baskets.
The tea was stored for several years for aging and developing flavor and re-packed for sale in 2015.

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

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 (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 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.

This Liubao 1st grade was made by the Wuzhou Tea Factory under their TF Three Cranes Brand. It was made from high quality 2008 spring raw materials and kept in storage for 7-years until its release 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 tea that was sent from China to nomadic people living in the border lands located north and west of China. We love it’s straightforward, earnest style and appearance.

Liubao is a simple, easy-to-like, tasty tea with light oxidation and light fermentation. Once the tea is made, loose-leaf Liubao is packed into 45-kilo bamboo baskets for storage and aging, but is then packed into smaller baskets of about 1.5 kilos of tea for retail sale. The baskets allow the tea to continue developing as air-exchange is essential for the tea to breath and age.

This tea is classified as dark tea, and can be comprised of large leaf and many twigs or finer, small leaves. Despite its rough and tumble appearance, this batch of Liubao has a light mouth-feel, a slightly woodsy flavor, and well-balanced, soft, sweet liquor. It very a light aftertaste and leaves the palate clean and refreshed. Overall, this tea is clean tasting and bright, and we think, a great tea to pare with spicy food.

The aroma is enticing and medium fermentation has kept it from becoming musty. It is tasty for drinking now and has great potential for aging as well. It has been stored carefully in dry storage and will provide many cups of good quality Liubao. Think of it as comfort tea for the cold winter months and the damp wet spring weather to follow.

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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