- Mr Chen’s home Taiwan dry storage
- Medicinal aged tea flavour
- Calming and deep Qi
Liu An is the closest Heicha (“dark tea”) to Puerh, and Sun Yi Shun is arguably its best producer. A refined tea made in Anhui, it needs to age at least 20-25 years (in my opinion) to be consumed, is a bit more explicitly medicinal and refined compared to Puerh.
Hong Kong tea houses had a saying “Puerh downstairs, Liu An upstairs” signifying how Liu An would be reserved to the most exclusive guests (admitted to the private upstairs part).
1970s and early Liu An are really magical both in taste and Qi, 1980s are great, and 1990s are pretty good too. The bamboo leaf, of which a small piece can be added to the tea when brewing, gives it some of it’s unique, powerful, medicine qualities when it’s aged enough.
With Liu An quality standard were all pretty high and similar to each other, so my understanding is this basket will eventually age in the same way. To this end, I’ve put away a lot for myself to age. It’s pretty good now, but with enough humidity and time, it should become really magical.
I hope to dig up some 70s and before during the Taiwan Collector Experience, but the prices for the real and well stored ones start at $5/g, and easily go into the $10-20/g (compare to $0.75/g for this basket!)
This basket has had hong kong storage in its early days, but it was then stored dry for almost 20 years and there are no storage flavours whatsoever.
As far as I can see, this is the or near the lowest price available for 1990s Sun Yi Shun Liu An and together with the clean storage, makes it even more of a deal.
I conclude with a quote by Chan Kam Pong (emphasis mine):
“As a tea collector, it is no doubt that aged Liu-an (六安) is one of the best collectible items which can be brewed whenever I want. Apart from its sweetness and pleasant aftertaste which are the basic good tastes of well aged tea, most importantly, aged Liu-an offers an overall balanced performance which provides relaxation and status of comfort. Drinking such kind of tea is not to pursue the strong taste or very powerful aftertaste. On the contrary, tea connoisseurs are pursuing the satisfaction, relaxation and comfort from the cups of aged tea.”
Mr Chen’s introduction
There’s actually a lot of old tea in Taiwan at much more reasonable prices than in mainland China, unfortunately most of what is found in Taiwan is too wet stored. Mr Chen, a personal friend of ours, old time collector, bought a few tongs of various teas during the 90s and early 2000s (before prices skyrocketed), and has been storing them in his home (dryly) since.
This kind of tea in China sells for crazy money, it’s very lucky we’ve access to these at all, Mr Chen has sold them to us at a very generous price and we pass the great deal on to you.
250g baskets nominal, weight loss over the years because of aging