2005 Three Cranes Special Grade Liu Bao Tea Tasting (Lao Tea Shop)

  • Last edited: October 5, 2022
  • Time to read: 3 min.

After drinking a lot of puerh tea, it was time to go back to one of my favourite types of tea: Liu Bao. The one I’m drinking today is Lao Tea Shop‘s 2005 Three Cranes Special Grade Liu Bao. I’ve already had some very pleasant sessions with Three Cranes liu bao, so I’m excited to see what these leaves want to tell me today.

Lao Tea Shop

2005 Three Cranes Special Grade Liu Bao

This is a liu bao from 2005 and it was produced by Wuzhou Tea Factory in Guangxi under the Three Cranes brand. The tea leaves were pressed into tuo cha from around 90g each (current weight). The material that was used is supposedly a bit older than 2005, but I don’t have exact details. The official sale of these tuo cha started in 2007.

The fact that the 2005 Three Cranes Special Grade Liu Bao was pressed into tuo cha is quite remarkable as it doesn’t happen that often. Storage on this tea is good and it had been stored in cellars and/or wooden warehouses (not sure which one or even both). I don’t have a full tuo cha because I only bought a 25g sample.

Tea Tasting

  • Water 99°C
  • 6g for a 140ml duanni teapot

The leaves are fairly small and the colour is faded brown with some copper tints. The aroma has camphor to it and I’m also getting a touch of walnuts and spices.

2005 Three Cranes Special Grade Liu Bao Lao Tea SHop Tea Adventures

Infusion 1 (20 sec): just as I expected; the colour is fairly light because it takes a while for the chunks to fully open. Flavours are almost non-existent. When I’m really focusing, I can spot some faint hints of walnuts and damp wood. Even though the flavours are subtle, the texture feels smooth.

Infusion 2 (25 sec): it looks much darker and after taking a sip, I notice that the flavours are more intense as well. It’s unlike most other liu bao teas I have tried. It has some faint hints of camphor but it’s dominated by wood and walnuts. It feels really smooth and has a spicy finish.

Infusion 3 (30 sec): this one feels different. It has a spicy undertone throughout the infusion. Some hints of camphor pop up occasionally. It’s only in the aftertaste that the camphor is really shining. It feels smooth and lubricating.

Infusion 4 (35 sec): it tastes similar to infusion 3 but the spiciness is less intense. There are more notes of dry wood and the finish is slightly creamy and camphoric (is this even a word?). The creaminess carries over into the aftertaste.

Infusion 5 (50 sec): this one has a woodsy flavour profile with a touch of camphor in between. It still feels really thick and smooth. It’s really lubricating and immediately coats my mouth when I take a sip.

Infusion 6 (long): the flavours have faded a bit but the texture still feels good. From the middle onwards, some dry wood is popping up.

Infusion 7 (long): now the flavours are really starting to fade. However, the texture still feels nice.

Infusion 8 (long): more of the same but it has faded a bit more.


The 2005 Three Cranes Special Grade Liu Bao had enjoyable flavours but I really had to focus in order to fully experience them. They were subtle but good. It was less about flavours and more about sensations. This is a good and affordable daily drinker.

It started with notes of walnuts and a touch of damp wood. I also got spices throughout some infusion and camphor towards the finish. The texture felt really good as it flowed well and it had a lubricating effect.

If you’re interested in trying the 2005 Three Cranes Special Grade Liu Bao, you can buy it over here.

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