Liu An/Liu Bao Cha


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Liu An/Liu Bao Cha

Postby nw-T » Feb 10th, '12, 23:21

I was given a sample of each and was wondering if someone could explain the difference in Liu An and Liu Bao.

Thanks!
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Re: Liu An/Liu Bao Cha

Postby gingkoseto » Feb 11th, '12, 00:17

Liu An, from Anhui. Created in form of a green tea and can age/oxidize/ferment.

Liu Bao, from Guangxi. Created in form of a Hei Cha (a fermented tea). Historically people didn't age this tea, but nowadays some do.
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Re: Liu An/Liu Bao Cha

Postby wyardley » Feb 11th, '12, 00:35

They are made in different areas, and I believe, made with different raw materials and different production methods. However, they are fairly similar; people with a lot of experience can probably usually tell them apart, though I've heard that, while liu'an had a gap in production, liubao in liu'an size baskets was sometimes sold as liu'an. Both can have some medicinal / herbal tastes, and both are said to aid in digestion and help with constipation. From what I can gather, liu'an basket tea may be considered "cooling" [information based on article mentioned below], however, whereas liubao may be "warming" [numerous internet sources, but nothing super reliable].

The liu'an that I've experienced is usually in a 500g basket. Liubao baskets are often, but not always, much, much larger (up to 20 kilos for a single basket). Liubao is also more recently sometimes pressed into cakes which resemble pu'er cakes.

According to the article described here in issue 5 of Art of Tea [pp10-15], liu'an has two production techniques. Both start with kill-green, like green tea or pu'er. For the first method (I guess you would say more like sheng pu'er), the tea is put into bamboo leaves and then baskets, and roasted in the basket to dry them. For the second method, the tea leaves are withered in the sun, kill-greened, and then rested for about half a year. Then, water is added, and the tea is wrapped / packed in the bamboo leaves and basket. The tea "ferments" like this, and then the baskets are dried.

The article also says that the tea is made in Qimen (祁门) in the south part of Anhui;same Qimen as Qimen (Keemun) red tea), but doesn't have a conclusive explanation as to why it's not produced in Liu'an (六安), which is in the west. My understanding from the article is that it likely does not use the same type of tea leaf as liuan guapian, and that further, that liu'an basket tea has been produced for a longer time than liuan guapian.

The inside is bamboo leaf, not bamboo bark (of the sort used for pu'er tongs). It's customary to brew a small piece of the bamboo leaf along with the tea. In my experience, the "raw" variety can be pretty bitter when young.

There is also liuan guapian, which is a famous green tea, also from Anhui.

Liubao is made in Guangxi. I don't know much about the manufacturing process; I believe it is similar in a lot of ways to liu'an. I don't know how accurate this description is, but this article claims that liubao is partially oxidized after kill-green. I can believe that it's partly oxidized, but not sure whether bruising will work after kill-green.
See also:
viewtopic.php?t=2675
http://teadrunk.org/post/141/#p141
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Re: Liu An/Liu Bao Cha

Postby nw-T » Feb 11th, '12, 01:58

Thanks for the responses!
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Re: Liu An/Liu Bao Cha

Postby wyardley » Feb 11th, '12, 03:25

Two other articles in the same issue [pp 4-9, pp 16-26] are a bit more specific on the dates where there was a gap in production of Liu'an basket tea. The gap seems to have been from about 1943, until demand from HK and SE Asia caused production to be re-started in the mid-80s. So, be skeptical of any Liu'an that's supposed to have been produced in between those times.

This other article also mentions a couple of other interesting teas sold by HK tea merchants which might be confused with Liu'an basket tea [let me know if I've got any of the information, characters, or translations wrong]:

"Nice [read fragrant] Liu-an" (香六安): The article says that this is loose-leaf pu'er [so, not liu'an at all] blended with Aglaia odorata (米仔兰, I believe) flowers, and, in some cases, black or green tea leaves [I don't know whether they mean "red" or "black" in Chinese terms, but assume red]. Cloud's article [pp 16-26] suggests that this actually originated from a practice used to improve the taste of Liu'an green tea that had to travel a great distance.

Liu-an Stems (六安骨): [骨 is literally "bone", I believe, but correct me if I'm wrong] Apparently oolong stems, which are then roasted. No relation to actual liu'an teas. These are not on the market anymore for the most part, because oolongs now have the stems removed before being sent to HK, rather than being shipped there with the stems on, to have them removed before sale.

Also some mention of these last two at
http://www.discuss.com.hk/viewthread.php?tid=12878484 [in Chinese only]

As far as brewing goes, these teas are not pu'er, but I'd suggest brewing them with a ripe pu'er - very hot water, and do a couple of rinses before drinking.
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Re: Liu An/Liu Bao Cha

Postby jayinhk » Sep 15th, '12, 23:49

Liu'an is fast becoming one of my favorite teas. I love the flavor and it does good things for me. :) It's categorized as an 'old man's tea' here in HK, but I love the stuff! Also since it's less popular, well aged loose liu'an is also very reasonably priced. I could very realistically drink this stuff all day every day.

I got some of the 'fragrant' variety from a dealer near me too. The little flowers really pack a lot of aroma (overpowering early on), but the tea itself is very, very nice, especially in later infusions. Great hui tian and a very pleasant light date flavor, and I can get around 15 good infusions from it.
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Re: Liu An/Liu Bao Cha

Postby TIM » Sep 16th, '12, 00:45

jayinhk wrote:Liu'an is fast becoming one of my favorite teas. I love the flavor and it does good things for me. :) It's categorized as an 'old man's tea' here in HK, but I love the stuff! Also since it's less popular, well aged loose liu'an is also very reasonably priced. I could very realistically drink this stuff all day every day.

I got some of the 'fragrant' variety from a dealer near me too. The little flowers really pack a lot of aroma (overpowering early on), but the tea itself is very, very nice, especially in later infusions. Great hui tian and a very pleasant light date flavor, and I can get around 15 good infusions from it.


FYI. Real aged Luk An worth more then aged Sheung puerh.
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Re: Liu An/Liu Bao Cha

Postby shah82 » Sep 16th, '12, 01:44

Well, I'm not sure it's worth more than aged sheng.

Allow me to ask for clarification, is it worth more than *good* aged sheng? I've never seen Liu An sold at prices commensurate with what Houde asked for...The Red Mark was 36 dollars a gram, and that was was very cheap, even during the time they still had it. Nada's most expensive liuan tea is less than half that, and from a time period where good examples of equivalent sheng costs obscene amounts of money, about more than three times than Houde's Red Mark sample.
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Re: Liu An/Liu Bao Cha

Postby jayinhk » Sep 16th, '12, 05:45

I think my concept of well-aged for my luk on purchases may be a little different :D As long as it's pleasant to drink from time spent breathing in the HK air, I consider it well-aged.

One day I too hope to be pleasant to drink from breathing in the HK air. :lol:

$36 a gram, or even $108 for tea? I'm definitely in the wrong business. :idea: I just spent $20 on 150g of broken up shu and sheng cake, and felt that was a bit much.
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Re: Liu An/Liu Bao Cha

Postby gasninja » Sep 16th, '12, 12:00

A hong kong vendor that sells 70's lui an claims that is made in canton(Guangdong ). They state that when production ceased in Anhui Canton tea merchants started producing tea in a similar manner. You can find a quite a few sources for lui an online that is allegedly from the time when it was not produced. I wonder if this is where it is coming from.
The owner of Generations tea generously included a sample of 50's lui 'an with an order. I have no frame of reference as I have not yet tried a known genuine lui an of that age. But whether it was made in Guangdong or not It had the qi of a tea of fifty+ years. I have a sample of the 1940's Sun Yi Shun Liu An from EOT. That is supposedly from the same batch drunk with Zhou Yu in the issue of Art of Tea that Will was referencing. I'm just waiting for a special occasion. It will be interesting to see the difference.

I also recently tried the 50's pu tian gong qing gong lui bao. It was easily top five teas Ive managed to get my grubby little hands on. I would say the best value easily available online for someone who wanted to try a trully mature tea. I wouldn't know how it compares against antique or masterpiece pu-erhs as far as cha qi is concerned, but it easily surpased the 60's gyg which I have had multiple times. ( I wish I had grabbed an ounce of that 50+ year old dragon ball from houde when it was available :? )
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Re: Liu An/Liu Bao Cha

Postby shah82 » Sep 16th, '12, 19:37

At one point, while the last XZH really worth buying, or maybe after those two bing sold, I declared that the only truly good *deal* around were those dragon balls. I wish I had the money then to buy them myself, or have bought that box of shu earlier (that one had killer aged tea qi).
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Re: Liu An/Liu Bao Cha

Postby gingkoseto » Sep 17th, '12, 07:04

shah82 wrote:Well, I'm not sure it's worth more than aged sheng.

Allow me to ask for clarification, is it worth more than *good* aged sheng? I've never seen Liu An sold at prices commensurate with what Houde asked for...The Red Mark was 36 dollars a gram, and that was was very cheap, even during the time they still had it. Nada's most expensive liuan tea is less than half that, and from a time period where good examples of equivalent sheng costs obscene amounts of money, about more than three times than Houde's Red Mark sample.


It's all relative and varies case by case. But puerh being valued a lot more just in recent few decades. In the Cantonese traditions of the old days, aged tea was part of the wedding gift from the bride's family, and brides with Liu An were generally from richer families than brides with puerh :D

On the other hand, I do think puerh has greater diversity than liu an and greater potential to be expensive. So if this tradition extends in future, maybe future affluent families would give their brides more puerh than liu an.
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Re: Liu An/Liu Bao Cha

Postby Wh&yel-appr... » Sep 17th, '12, 16:05

gasninja wrote: I have a sample of the 1940's Sun Yi Shun Liu An from EOT. That is supposedly from the same batch drunk with Zhou Yu in the issue of Art of Tea that Will was referencing. I'm just waiting for a special occasion. It will be interesting to see the difference.
. I would say the best value easily available online for someone who wanted to try a trully mature tea. I wouldn't know how it compares against antique or masterpiece pu-erhs as far as cha qi is concerned,


EOT said: "this tea is of the same type and age as that drunk by Zhou Yu in Issue 5 of The Art of Tea Magazine" ...does not mean same "batch"

just want aged tea more than 40yrs + qi (+ - a decade :) ), then cheaper option would be EOT's 1985 Shui Xian

http://www.essenceoftea.co.uk/tea/oolon ... k-tea.html
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Re: Liu An/Liu Bao Cha

Postby jayinhk » Oct 26th, '12, 15:45

Revisiting the luk on with Aglaia Odorata flowers tonight and it's much more enjoyable than the last time I had some. It's definitely not pu erh, that's for sure! The aroma of the flowers is quite enjoyable and like nothing else I've ever tasted. From doing a little reading, it appears the flowers are used to help cure coughs and colds and improve lung capacity in TCM.
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Re: Liu An/Liu Bao Cha

Postby TIM » Nov 4th, '12, 11:31

Image

1990's SunYiShun Liu An. With Golden Blossom before the storm:

Image
Image

Clear and Red, looks aged enough but still have many years before its ready and mature.

Image

Classic small leaf Green Tea varitial, 2 Leaves and 1 Bud. After 5 days and 30 brews later with sweet beets, nutty, sweet woods and camphor.
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