Last year, I discovered Leaves with Hugs almost by accident and I ordered some teas right away. The teas looked really promising and they turned out great! Last month, Admar was kind enough to send me some samples to try some of his more recent teas. One of those teas is the 2011 Silent Hymn Liu Bao, which was high on my list of teas to try.
It’s a Liu Bao from 2011 and they chose it for their shop after extensive tasting last summer. This one was the only one they picked because it stood out, especially at this price point. I don’t have much information, except that it was stored in a hot and humid climate.
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- 6g for a 130ml zini teapot
- Water 99°C
Relatively small and broken leaves and there are some stems as well. Uniform dark brown color but I also spot some lighter tints of brown. It has a grounding aroma of beets and a touch of ginseng. There is also a slight hint of wood. Once the leaves get wet, I’m also a bit of wood varnish.
Infusion 1 (20sec): this one immediately goes for it as the flavors are quite intense already right from the start. It’s mostly focused on the beets and ginseng I got when smelling the leaves. I also sense some warmer hints of camphor, but those only appear from the middle onward. It’s really nice to feel how this one is changing already even though it’s only the first infusion.
Infusion 2 (25sec): the texture feels really thick and it immediately coats my whole mouth when taking a small sip. It feels gentle and warming as the camphor has moved to the front. I can still feel the freshness of the beets and ginseng but it’s in perfect harmony with the camphor.
Infusion 3 (30sec): the texture still feels thick and the flavors haven’t changed that much. I do feel the ginseng has moved to the front again and the camphor has diminished a bit.
Infusion 4 (40sec): the color is still as dark and the texture seems even thicker. Ginseng and beets are still dominant but there are some traces of the camphor as well. Right after the initial beets and ginseng, camphor quickly shows itself and disappears as quickly as it came. It slumbers a bit and is noticeable in the aftertaste.
Infusion 5 (60 sec): I still can’t see the bottom of my cup so the leaves are still going strong. It’s not as dark anymore, but the liquor has a dark chestnut color now. It’s fascinating to feel how the camphor from earlier seems to be back at the front. Definitely right there from the start and it slowly guides you through the infusion.
Infusion 6 (90 sec): similar to the previous infusion as it’s still thick and full of camphor. The aftertaste is more intense and has even more camphor to it.
This was such a great tea session and showed me once again why I absolutely love a nice liu bao. I mainly got camphor in combination with beets and ginseng.
It was both refreshing and warming at the same time and quite intense when brewed with the proper focus. I had a couple of sessions with this tea and I definitely felt a difference when I didn’t pay attention and didn’t brew it properly. It was still a good tea, but it wasn’t as intense as during today’s session.