Malaysian commission Liubao
This is one of the Liubao teas which was recently put up for sale at Teas We Like (link). It was curated by a couple of good friends in Malaysia, one of whom is a life-long lover and collector of liubao who actually commissioned this tea, specifying the type of material used and the old-fashioned style of processing. Since the tea went up on TWL I’ve been asked a few times to review it – I hope this will be helpful.
The dry leaf and wash have a beety geosmin aroma, clean, no fermentation smell.
- Crystal clear liquor, strong orange brownish colour. The beety aspect of the wash is mostly gone. The betel nut taste is quite apparent. Very active in the mouth, a bit roasty. Frisson comes very fast to the back of the neck.
- Thick, complex sweetness and a yancha-like yanyun. More frisson.
- More betel nut now, red dates, and complex sweetness, very slightly juicy.
- The sweet aftertaste coating is really accumulating now. Frisson all over back and head. Long sweet aftertaste.
- Longer steep gives much sweetness, nuttiness, and only a tiny bit of astringency, very nice, concentrated taste, without any off notes or bitterness.
- Warm comfort feeling. Concentrated taste continues, big frisson.
- The frisson experience continues to increase, becoming a mood enhancing effect. Remarkable long-lasting liquidy qi effect.
This liubao is a sheng style liubao with traditional Malaysian storage and aged material — there are plenty of aged notes in addition to the betel nut and date taste. The taste is concentrated, complex, sweet, and overall very enjoyable, with little bitterness and almost no astringency. But where it really shines is the accumulating aftertaste which remains coating the mouth and throat for quite a long time, and above all the energy experience, which is a lot of frisson leading to a mood enhancing feeling, and then a kind of floaty liquidy cool feeling which lasts for at least an hour after the session. The qi reminds me very much of the Wistaria Qingteng (although the tea does not). Highly recommended.