Liu Bao is a very rich genre of tea, with a lot to learn. One of the reasons we have included so many articles on the history of this magical tea is that Liu Bao is an aged tea, like puerh, so its history has much more bearing on the genre, since we often find ourselves drinking teas that were processed very differently than farmers do today. In other words, a trip to Liu Bao is not necessarily going to help you understand how the aged Liu Bao you are drinking was made. For that, you will have to research historical records, talk to old-timers and drink the different vintages yourself. Some of you who have been around here for a while will remember the other two Liu Bao teas we have sent out (a year 2000 Liu Bao and Old Grove, which was from 2008), but for some of you this will be your first exposure to Liu Bao (and maybe even black tea as a genre). For our first expansion pack, we wanted to offer you the opportunity to try two older, rarer vintages of Liu Bao, in the hopes that they would help you further understand the articles in this issue, as well as develop a greater appreciation for this wonderful genre of tea. So, here’s this month’s expansion pack:
茶 20 grams of 1970s SSHC Liu Bao (Shuang Xing Hao Yin, 双星号印)
茶 20 grams of 1980s Eight Directions Liu Bao (Ba Zhong Liu Bao, 八中六堡)
These two teas are wonderful examples of vintage Liu Bao and amongst the best you can find without getting into the older and much more expensive baskets. They also will allow you to taste the changes in processing over time, as we have discussed in these pages, since the piling methods changed in the 1980s. Both were stored in Malaysia until now.
Our cost for these two teas, including shipping to Taiwan and packaging, is just under 40$. For this first experimental foray into offering expansion packs, we only produced 50 sets and we are going to ask for a suggested minimum donation of 50$ plus shipping, which Shen thinks will be 15$ or less to most places in the world. You can donate anything you want above that. All proceeds will support our free Center.