Leaves Across the Temple Steps - Early 90's Liu Bao Black Tea - 1 oz
Some aged teas "feel" ancient, like leaves across the temple steps that lead to a time before the technological age. The qualities that we cherish in a thirty year old Liu Bao are there: a smooth, round, deep and ample body, refreshing structured brassiness around the edges, flavors of mineral-rich spring water, vegetal undertones, and a hint of pine smoke. This tea has been aged in Malaysia for the past twenty years, and thus the storage and climate have harmonized: even-keeled, smooth and steady. This is a truly refined Liu Bao, hovering perfectly between a dark tea that speaks of undergrowth and a light tea with the afteraste of pine boughs accented by shafts of light. All these qualities, however, are not what stand out most about this tea. What stands out is the energy. There's something primordial and ancient about this tea. It calms the mind and settles the heart, drawing us into a timeless realm, and speaking the primeval language of the forest.
The soft, settling energy of this tea is best for afternoon or evening tea sessions with plenty of time to share. Heat is the most essential aspect of brewing it well. The fermented, old leaves need strong fire to penetrate the leaves' thick cell wall, which has grown thicker with time, so we recommend brewing just shy of 212 F or "fish-eye bubbles." It's best brewed gongfu with small cups to preserve the heat and concentrate the flavor of the tea.