One woman's journey to make tea a daily, meditative all-encompassing journey as she begins the second half of her life.
A poet, fiction writer and creative editor of hundreds of publications now turns her full attentions towards a new-ish passion.
It is time to try something totally new, and after discovering Camellia Sinensis Tea House the same day I learn about Liu Bao, I decide to take them up on a sweet and generous offer!
What I am told about Liu Bao teas helps me make the decision to try them next, and it is simply thus: It is a fermented loose black tea, and if I like Oolongs and am working on getting used to and opening up myself to Puerhs this is a natural progression of that interest.
That's good enough for me and so when asked to choose any three teas by one of the owners, Kevin, I choose three Liu Baos.
From the company's website I learn that Liu Boa are teas originating in Gaungxi and that this tea is said to illustrate the effect of time on the appearance of leaves and the flavor profile of the liquor. They tell me it is aged in bamboo baskets, and although it is post-fermented it cannot be called Puerh as that name is reserved for the teas that comes from Yunnan Province.The website describes the tea as you see below. I am off to try it for myself and will share my thoughts!
The lustrous black infusion contains warm mineral nuances of undergrowth and root vegetable (beet). Its silky smooth liquor is easily enjoyed offering subtle notes of pepper and dairy. The feeling of a forest walk in the autumn rain.
Four steeps in and I am not yet ready to describe it, the leaves are waking up very slowly and only at the fifth steep am I beginning to taste some subtle nuances coming through the earthy and soil-like taste just in the back of my throat.
Camphor? Eucalyptus?Menthol? Something that leaves my breath slightly cleaner than before the session began. There is a mild and steady earthiness, a taste of peat-moss, no bitterness and no stringency. It reminds me of a old trunk, cedar-lined that's been in an attic for a long time. Opening it up one feels the contents waiting to be unfurled, the dust shaken off, and for the ghosts to be allowed room to move their formless limbs. It tastes old and more than a wee bit haunting is what I am saying! An acquired taste undoubtedly and one I am not yet sure I will be given the gift of acquiring. Moving on to my next Liu Bao tomorrow, which will be quite a bit younger and perhaps a little more kind to my newbie senses which have a slight fear of decay and age. But that is about me, and turning fifty four years old, I recognize my 'own stuff'! Best in tea and teas yet to be...