2002 Aged Wild Liu Bao Tea "803" from Guangxi

Tea type
Pu-erh Tea
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Earth, Hay, Sweet, warm grass, Vegetal, Wood, Stems, Grass, Bitter, Burnt Food, Cherry, Decayed wood, Leather, Nutmeg, Nutty, Pear, Pine, Popcorn, Tart, Tobacco, Wet Wood, Berries, Dark Chocolate, Pleasantly Sour, Spices, Autumn Leaf Pile, Camphor, Freshly Cut Grass, Green, Mud, Vegetables, Spicy
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Edit tea info Last updated by Togo
Average preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 4 oz / 107 ml

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From Yunnan Sourcing

Liu Bao Tea

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12 Tasting Notes

6 tasting notes

I thought this tea was a shou puer. I’m glad it isn’t as I now have a new type of tea to explore. Sure heichas and shous are siblings. Some would suggest that all shous are heichas but not all heichas are shous.

This tea is wonderful. I’m going to politely disagree with those that suggest grass as in mowed grass. Mowed grass scent and taste is more of a green tea and this is not a green tea. Now… I’m going to tell you that it does have a grassy scent and taste. When you were a kid, did you ever walk along, come across grass that had grown a really tall stalk with seeds, ripped that stalk from the rest of the grass plant and then sucked/chewed on the end of the grass stem? That’s how the first couple of infusions of this tea are. It so reminds me of a meadow after a quick rain, or the bank of a pond or lake. I’ve had this tea several times since I bought a basket of it. The other times, I’ve gotten more of an earthy flavor from this tea. Hopefully that means I’m getting better at tasting different nuances and will be able to write better reviews.

The taste hits you right square in the middle of the tongue. No preamble, no aftertaste. The taste is just there and then it’s like, where’d it go? Ok maybe it lingers a little while.

Subsequent brewings bring out a little more woodiness in a good way.

Flavors: Earth, Hay, Sweet, warm grass, Vegetal, Wood

0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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4 tasting notes

stunning cha qi

Flavors: Grass, Hay


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613 tasting notes

One of my favourites from the Hei Cha sampler is this aged Liu Bao. All Liu Bao teas I’ve had have a somewhat simple profile and this one is no exception. However, it is exceptional in how much of a comforting brew it produces. I have little doubt that it has to do with a successful maturation process over the last 17 years. Moreover, it seems to last longer than similar teas, I got just short of 200ml/g from it.

The dry leaf aroma is distinctively “dungeon-like”. In the wet leaf smell, I further noticed notes of decaying wood, pear, leather, tobacco, cherry, and burnt popcorn. The taste is tart, earthy, bitter and nutty, with notes of pine, wet wood, walnuts, and nutmeg. I find it very hard to place the aftertaste in relation to anything, but it is long-lasting with an interesting character – seems to disappear and reappear over time. Finally, the mouthfeel is very smooth and colloidal with a medium body to the liquor.

Song pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0xlVDLCXGo

Flavors: Bitter, Burnt Food, Cherry, Decayed Wood, Earth, Leather, Nutmeg, Nutty, Pear, Pine, Popcorn, Tart, Tobacco, Wet Wood

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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189 tasting notes

This Liu Bao has a muddier, grassier taste and is not as sweet as the 2003 Hei Cha I tried recently. There is the slightest hint of blackberry and birch bark but the mud and earth tones dominate. It’s pleasant to drink and has a beautiful reddish color but it’s not all that complex; good to steep throughout a cold day.

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 4 OZ / 130 ML

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2 tasting notes
My first introduction to Liua Bao Hei Cha was a good one with this tea. In fact not only was it my first Liu Bao, but also my first hei cha. For those of you who do not know what hei cha is: Hei cha means ‘black tea’ and is a term that is generally used for all post-fermented tea other than ripe/shou pu-erh (shou pu-erh is technically also a hei cha, but from a specific region).

When I had brewed this 16 year old tea what I noticed was that it had a sort of ‘sour’ fruity flavour that I hadn’t experienced with shou pu-erh before. There was also a hint of pine. After several steepings it turned into a sweet licorice kind of smell. The taste was fairly sweet, smooth and creamy. The qi was powerful enough to give me an alert and awake feeling, but it wasn’t over-powering. It was very enjoyable to drink. Aftertaste was the sort of dark chocolaty woody taste that people who are familiar with shou pu-erh will probably recognise.. I could get quite a number of steepings out of this tea, it was only after 12 (large) cups that the strength of the tea started to diminish so much that it wasn’t enjoyable to me anymore (I must say that I like my tea quite strong, so people who enjoy their teas lighter may even get more steepings out of it).

This tea has definately made me interested in trying more tea of this hei cha ‘style’. If you like shou pu-erh you will probably like this tea as well.. Even though this is my first Liu Bao, and therefore I don’t know how this tea holds up to other teas of the same style, I am fairly confident to say that this is a good tea in general for the price and as such I can recommend it to all people who are interested in post-fermented tea, especially those who are interested in older teas of this type.

Flavors: Berries, Dark Chocolate, Pine, Pleasantly Sour, Spices, Wet Wood

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102 tasting notes

Forgot I had this sample sitting around. Bought a bunch of Liu Bao samples a while back and got to figuring that they all tasted like someone boiled some rotten twigs and leaves and made you lick it off a moldy basement floor…not my bag. So when I found this unopened sample I was curious I was intrigued but leery…Turns out that this tea actually reminds me of a good shou. It does have the decayed wood taste but also notes of marzipan and strangely Dr Pepper. Not sure I’d drink this daily but it is nice.

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673 tasting notes

2002 aged wild Liu bao 803 review

Dry leaf: green, veggies, cut grass. I never smelled a raw puerh like this before! ( this is a raw puerh right?) what is it that I’m smelling?

Wet leaf: im so confused! Is this a raw or ripe? If this is a raw, it smells cool aged. light earth/fermentation. heavy autumn leaves

Just found out it might not be a sheng or shou :( I was hoping this is what aged sheng would smell like.
My friend says it could be a black tea or an oolong and a small chance it could be a sheng

So now I hear it’s a hei cha.

Well sadness aside, on with the review

1x medium rinse

I let it sit for about a half hour to 45 mins.

Light steep: I taste/smell; light —→ earth/fermentation, autumn leaves. Slight camphor.

Medium steep: I taste/smell; medium —→ earth/fermentation, autumn leaves. Light camphor

Heavy steep: I taste/smell; strong earth/fermentation, autumn leaves. Light to medium camphor. Light mud.

All in all this is an amazing tea! The taste, aroma and cha qi is amazing. I rate a 100!

Many thanks AllanK for this sample!


Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Camphor, Earth, Freshly Cut Grass, Green, Mud, Vegetables

200 °F / 93 °C 8 g 6 OZ / 165 ML

Liu Bao is not puerh.


It is a type of hei cha.


Yes I stated half way through my review that I confused it for a puerh

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485 tasting notes

Got this in a recent YS order and tried it for the first time today. I was dismayed when I opened the bag, because it smelled like wet, almost rotten leaf pile. The only other tea I’ve tried that smelled a bit like this was almost unpalatable to me. For this I used 6g in a 100mL gaiwan with boiled water. I did two rinses because I was nervous of wetness. The liquid of this tea was remarkably clear and an orangish brown color. It got more red as the session went on. I did steeps of 7s, 10s, 15s, 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s. I almost certainly could have gotten more but I sort of had to rush through the session.

The flavor was dominantly wet wood, but wasn’t particularly unpleasant. The smell which had put me off in the beginning became a bit more alluring as I drank the tea, maybe just because I knew the taste wasn’t nasty. Around the third steep a sort of softer/creamy flavor started to creep in on the aftertaste, and the next steep reminded me a good bit of shou. The next one (the last I got to) had a bit of a metallic taste along with wet wood, feeling like it may have been dying, I don’t know. Glad I have 50g of this to mess around with.

Flavors: Wet Wood

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

It is nice. I like it in Yixing more than gaiwan


I did enjoy it for sure. Don’t have me an Yixing yet so won’t be able to try that way just yet unfortunately :P

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493 tasting notes

i was bitten by Liu Bao bug so now i have to try every Liu Bao I see. Got a small order from Yunnan Sourcing of Liu bao last night.
I had to try it right away. normally i give some time to rest for cakes. but i thought since its loose and in ziplock and didnt travel for too long (only 10 days from China, super fast. actually out of 1o days it spent 3 days in SF mail jail ;((
Ok, the dry leaf is beautiful. long, some twisted. occasional sticks but not too many
2 rinses 6g/80ml yixing 212F
short steeps of 3/5/7 sec
i love humidly stored cakes. so i havent noticed anything off putting. this tea tastes clean to me. no fishiness or other stinkiness. it is dark rich, somewhat spicy. Also it has some quite powerful qi. i was teadrunk and it made me very warm. it was welcoming since we have a chilly weather.
I highly recommend pu lovers to check this Liu bao out



Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 80 ML

Thanks. This one is clean. But maybe someone who hasn’t tried any humid stored teas won’t find it appealing. I’m going to get more with next purchase ;)


I find myself favoring Guanxii over most other Liu Bao I’ve tried. You mentioned betel nut, the Guanxii area teas have the most pronounced, in my opinion.

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1758 tasting notes

Bought this in a recent order from Yunnan Sourcing. I have tried so many puerhs now I find myself branching out to liu baos and tian jians. This is a tea that someone who likes wet stored tea may really like. The dominant note to this tea was the note of wet wood. All aged Liu Baos in my experience seem to have this note. Maybe Guangxi is just a hot and humid place I don’t know. This flavor was especially strong in the first four or so steeps but was present in all ten steeps I gave this tea. I only bought 100g of this tea. I have a 2015 Liu Bao coming in the mail from Yunnan Sourcing. I am not 100% sure that this note is not just a characteristic of all Liu Bao teas. When I get the 2015 Liu Bao in the mail I will see if it has this note too. The 2015 will be too new to have taken on any wet storage tastes. So if it has this taste I know that it is just a characteristic of Liu Bao’s. I did manage to enjoy this tea although I am not a fan of wet storage. I am wondering if the note will dissipate in six months or a year of storage in the relatively dry climate here in New York.

I steeped this tea ten times in a 100ml gaiwan with 7g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, and 1 min.

Flavors: Wet Wood

Boiling 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

How do you store teas? I buy a little bit of Pu-erh at a time due to my lack of knowledge on storing. I’ve read that a fridge works fine, but is there a better way, do you think?


Storage is a controversial subject. Most of my teas are stored in cardboard boxes. Each tea that I have started on gets a paper bag too. This is to keep the tea all in one place so to speak. And a partially open plastic bag over the paper bag. This method was suggested to me be a puerh store owner, either Puerhshop or Purepuer I forget which. Some of my tea gets stored in a pumidor built with a mini fridge. But I have a lot of tea that doesn’t fit so they go in cardboard boxes. I have been thinking of buying a couple of big stoneware crocks but haven’t yet. I do have a giant yixing container that holds about 30 or 35 cakes.


Thank you for the tip! I might steal this method. Ha-ha.


Storing teas in cardboard boxes covered with unsealed plastic is actually a great idea. I’ve been playing around with a lot of methods, but that seems to make more sense since temperature, humidity levels, and smells can be more effectively regulated.

If by fridge, you mean something that’s powered off, then fine. I highly recommend against keeping any tea in a cold refrigerator. The second you take out the cold tea leaves they will condensate, leading to spoilage within a few days. Generally speaking, avoid all environmental extremes. Keep the tea in an environment that’s comfortable for you.

Scott from Yunnan Sourcing has a video dedicated to pu’er storage and he emphasizes this point. Hope that helps!


Yes, I was told that an old fridge that isn’t working is the best, but I like the cardboard method since that is easily regulated as well.


Of course I mean a fridge that is powered off. Only an idiot would keep their puerh in a fridge powered on. I have heard some people keep certain types of tea in a fridge powered on but not puerh and then Vacuum sealed.


I used to have customers who came into Teavana tell me that they stored tea in a working fridge and complain that something was wrong with it. It was frustrating.


I have some liu bao that I got from curlygc, who got it from Chawangshop. It’s a 2005 raw, and it has a powerful smell of dirt that becomes less with months of airing out.


AllanK, I was referring to R.F. Hill, but I’m relieved you both were referring to a powered off fridge. My Japanese mother-in-law keeps her oolongs and green tea in the fridge habitually. Then again, summers in Asia are extremely humid, so I suppose it depends on what options one has available.

I agree with Aardvarkcheeslog (love that name!), that airing out the liu bao will improve the flavor and smell. I’ve alleviated some unwanted smells by leaving in an open basket or breaking them up into maocha and storing them in earthenware containers.


I have heard of people keeping green tea and matcha in the refrigerator as long as it is vacuum sealed. If it is not properly sealed moisture will get into the tea and you don’t want that until it’s time to brew the tea.


Liu Bao generally needs to air out. A lot of it is warehouse stored in baskets.

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