Appreciating Another Masterpiece Vintage

Appreciating Another Masterpiece Vintage - The Aged Liu-an Sun Yishun by Chan Kam Pong

Tea connoisseurs who love Puerh tea, no matter whether it is an aged raw or ripe Puerh, are usually attracted by its soft, pleasant, aged, rich, smooth aroma and tastes. Because of the luscious taste of Puerh vintages, it is not surprised that it has been so hot recently. When tea beginners start to realize the beauty of Puerh, which is one of the major compressed teas, it will be natural for them to pay more attention to other kinds of compressed teas which are also capable of aging with time such as (六安) and (六堡).

Apart from collecting various aged Puerh vintages, collectors also love aged Liu-an(六安) tea.Unfortunately, the records and written documents of aged Liu-an (六安) tea were extremely rare. People know very little about it. Not only does it have less information, the well aged Liu-an (六安) prorctsare also rare to obtain so that a genuine little basket can be costly, say, approximately US$4,000 per basket (600g) in 2008. After years of research on my own Liu-an (六安) tea collections, I would like to share my views with readers on this special tea and give beginners some ideas about their different natures and tastes of Liu-an (六安) products from various years.

Simple History of Liu-an (六安)

Simple History of Liu-an (六安) Liu^an. (六安) tea is the product from Anhui (安徽) province Liu-an (六安) county. Liu-an (六安) tea was an old name originated from ancient China, in Song Dynasty. There had been Liu-an (六安) county in the administrative system of Song's government at that time. This tea was named from where it was produced. It was also named as Anea (安茶) because it came from the short form The short form Anhui (安徽之茶) According to the "Dictionary of Chinese Tea Culture (translated name, Chinese edition),it says Liu-an (六安) tea is a tea name. It is the general name for all teas produced from Liu-an (liu) county. In Ming Dynasty, Liu-an (六安) tea was a famous tea throughout the whole country. It helps digestion and decomposing fat. It was used as a medicine at that time." An ancient record "Tea Notes (translated name, Chinese edition)" written in Ming Dynasty says, (六安) tea is very good for appreciation. It is also good as a medicine." Another Chinese record also mentions, " Liu-an (六安) tea is the best tea in the world. If there is extra quantity from the royal tribute, it will be the best gift granted to the nobles and affluent people by the emperor."

In "Tea Commentaries — Tea Production Section (translated name, Chinese edition)" written in Ming Dynasty says, "Good teas must be produced from famous mountains. The warm weather in the southern part of China is very suitable for tea plantation. The most famous tea throughout the country is Liu-an (六安) tea which was named from the county from where it was produced. Actually, it is one of the great mountains ofHuoslian (霍山). ... Local people in the southern part of China find that it helps digestion and decomposing fat so that people always love to drink this tea."

The above ancient notes and commentaries indicate that Liu-an (六安) was very famous in ancient China. Unfortunately, there was no detail record in relation to the exact creation time of it. The only way to prove the approximate time of Liu-an (六安) tea’s existence is from the printed text of one of the description tickets of aged Liu-an (六安) tea, Sun Yishun An-tea Hao (孫義順安茶號), which says, "(translated) In 1898, the firm has been doing the Liu-an (六安) tea business for over a hundred years," Therefore, this infers that Liu-an(六安) tea might be created around 100 years to 200 years ago from 1898. However, the was no indication of ancient method of producing Liu-an (六安) tea a hundred years ago.

Liu-an(六安) tea is unique to Anhui (安徽) province and it was once an extremely popular tea. From the limited written records, there were around 20 to 30 family tea firms operating the business of Liu-an (六安) tea in the early to the middle of 20th century. This indicated that Liu-an (六安) tea was almost the necessity and daily drink for the general public at that time. However, the political environment of China was unstable at that time which caused the decline of these tea firms. Ultimately, this affected the supply of this special tea. Liu-an(六安) tea was different from other kinds of tea. It had a complex manufacture processes. Most importandy, it had to be stored for several years before it was sold to the open market.

This unique storing procedure locked up the cash flow. At such time, the society of China was unstable and having some small battles between provinces and counties. Thus, less and less people were willing to make such fine tea for earning their living. That was the reason why Liu-an (六安) tea was almost substituted by Qimen (祈門) black tea subsequcntly. Eventually, people forgot this ancient great tea and its name could not be found in some Chinese tea dictionaries.

Although the supply of genuine Liu-an (六安) tea from Anhui (安徽) province was very limited during the unstable time in the early 20th century, there were still Liu-an (六安) tea lovers demanding for this tea. Because of these loyal Liu-an (六安) tea fans, some tea shops in Hong Kong and Macau, with comparatively more stable political environment, tried to compressed this famous tea on their own in order to satisfy the demands from the market. The demands came from rich people who enjoyed this tea very much. I interviewed a senior tea dealer in Macau in relation to the history of Liu-an (六安) tea in Macau and reported in the issue 15 of "Puerh Teapot" magazine (Chinese). The relevant paragraphs are translated as follows:
"Around a hundred years ago, the tea trading industry in Macau was very prosperous. This was the situation before Macau gradually lost its important role as a tea entrepot. Among these tea traders, some of them had their techniques of processing tea, especially specializing in making small Liu-an baskets (六安藍) and tea cakes. These tea traders had own small workshops for manufacturing these Macau-made small Liu-an baskets (六安藍).Their products were welcomed by Hong Kong and South-east Asia’s tea drinkers. Unfortunately, the descendants of these tea shops did not continue to run their family tea businesses so that these tea shops, with their special techniques of processing small Liu-an baskets (六安藍), eventually ceased their businesses in the 1970's.

According to Macau Hualian Tea Company, a tea wholesaler starting business in the 1960's, Liu-an (六安) tea is green tea, which is one of the famous teas of Anhui (安徽) province. Because of the transportation inconvenience several hundred years ago, it would take more than half a year time to export tea leaves from Anhui (安徽) province to other provinces. Owing to the poor preservation method in the past, high humidity during transportation always affected the freshness of tea leaves. Therefore, traders at that time would adopt a special processing method to save the tea leaves if they were dampened. They would add little flowers into the dampened tea leaves and stir-fry them together. This would then create a new tea called "Nice Liu-an (香六安)". This was one of the methods. Another way to deal with those badly dampened Liu-an (六安) was to steam them for a certain period of time in order to remove the unpleasant smell. Accidentally, tea traders found that the Liu-an (六安) after steaming, not only could that remove the slight bad smell, it also enhanced its aged aroma and tastes. Most importantly, the tea after steaming, with the aged taste, was welcomed by the market and could be sold quickly. After trial in errors for sometime, these tea traders knew how to make aged Liu-an (六安) professionally so that Liu-an evolved into another compressed aged tea which must be stream and compressed. The manufacturing process of Liu-an(六安) basket is similar to Guangxi Liu-bao (六堡) tea, of which the major differences are the sizes of their baskets.

Macau Hualian Tea Company stated that different tea firms in Anhui (安徽) province manufec-tured their own Liu-an (六安) tea in their own brands. The most renowned aged Liu-an (六安)tea should be the Sun Yishun aged (孫義順舊六安). Sun Yishun (孫義順) was the name of the tea firm and also the brand name of the tea. Sun Yishun (孫義順) is not part of the name of Liu-an(六安) tea. There were some other manufacturers making (六安) tea as well. People know about Sun Yishun (孫義順) was just because it was too famous in the old days so that a lot of aged counterfeits were also made under its name. According to the information obtained by Macau Hualian Tea Company, after the last batch of genuine Sun Yishun aged (孫義順舊六安) was manufactured in 1935, there was no more genuine Sun Yishun aged (孫義順舊六安).

However, there were still some supplies of Liu-an (六安) tea from Macau. These were the Macau-made imitated "Sun Yishun Liu-an ". The owner of Macau Hualian Tea Company knew the old man, who just passed away several years ago with his almost a hundred years of age, manufecturing these Macau-made imitated "Sun Yishun Liu-an". The old man remembered that those imitated "Sun Yishun Liu-an" baskets were made when he was twenty something. It implied that the Macau-made Liu-an (六安) was manufactured in around the late 1920's. No matter what quality they were, those Macau-made Liu-an (六安) baskets are now very aged vintages.

The reasons why genuine Sun Yishun aged Liu-an (孫義順舊六安) faded out from the market were due to the bad economy and poor business operation in the early 20th century. Before the Second World War, there was a big economy recession in the 1930's. It was due to the over supply of labors and serious shortage of job vacancies in various countries in the world. Unfortu-nately, there was a civil war in China from 1927 to 1937 and then the Second World War soon happened. In this period, wars were around the world and China. Since there was no peace, there was no prosperity. At that time, appreciation of tea was the entertainment of rich people. The culture of tea had to survive with good economy. Therefore, even though Sun Yishun (孫義順) was a big family tea firm with its renowned and time-honored brand name, it was still forced to close their businesses. This must be related to the sta-bility of society at that time. The situation was different from the acquisition of tea firms in Yunnan in the 1950's by the status government.

On the other hand, some people have another story heard from the market that after the last batch of Sun Yishun aged Liu-an (順舊六安) was sold to the tea traders of Singapore with its high wholesale price, it was the end of manufacture of Sun Yishun aged Liu-an (孫義順舊六安). However, there were still demands from the overseas Chinese for aged Liu-an (舊六安) as medicine. An overseas Chinese association wrote letters to Zhong-cha Company asking for re-production of such tea in the middle of 1980's so that there were some re-produced Liu-an (六安) basket tea embedded with Eight-zhong Trademark Tickets manufactured in the 1980's.

From my point of views, the cessation in between the last batch of Sun Yishun aged Liu-an(孫義順舊六安) to re-production being around 40 years is a bit long, especially there were continuous demands from overseas Chinese as medicine. Besides, it was also the fact that numerous old people drank a lot of aged Liu-an (舊六安) basket tea in this 40 years when they were young. It does not make sense and one will ask where the tea came from. By considering the history fragment provided by Macau Hualian Tea Company, I believe that this perfectly explains why there were strong re-production demands from overseas Chinese association in the 1980's. It was because the last supply of Macau-made Liu-an (六安) was in the 1970's so that the stocks made were last until the 1980's. Without any supply of Liu-an(六安) basket, the market demanded for reproduction in the 1980's. In short, from the 1940's to the 1970's, the demands of Liu-an (六安)basket were fulfilled by Macau-made (some Hong Kong made as well) Liu-an (六安) baskets.

In the 1980's, when the Zhong-cha Company accepted the order from the overseas Chinese association, the company sent people to conduct research in the origin of Liu-an(六安) tea and tried their best to re-produce the tea which had not been manufactured for 40 years by themselves. At that point, the responsibility of manufacturing Liu-an (六安) tea fell on the Zhong-cha Company. Definitely, the re-produced Liu-an (六安) baskets would be different from the genuine Sun Yishun aged (孫義順舊六安). This batch of Liu-an (六安) were embedded with square Eight-zhong Trademark Tickets.

Because of lack of information, it was very difficult for people to know more about Liu-an tea than Puerh tea. However, from the appreciation point of view, Liu-an (六安) tea is similar to Puerh tea that they are both compressed tea and will age with years. Since the tea leaves raw materials of Liu-an(六安) and Puerh tea are different, which Liu-an uses tea leaves from Anhui province while Puerh tea is compressed from tea leaves of Yunnan province, the tastes of aged tea broth of these two teas are not the same. Generally speaking, aged Liu-an (六安) tea has its reddish clear tea broth. Apart from the aged axoma, old Liu-an (六安) tea is soft and vivid with its little bitterness. However, the slight bitterness is perfectly enhancing the overall performance of the tea. The brewed tea leaves of aged Liu-an (六安) tea are usually soft with a darker reddish color. All these characteristics make it quite different from Yunnan Puerh tea, in particular, its vivid and bright tea taste gives aged Liu-an(六安) tea a very outstanding sensation.

Production of Liu-an (六安)

The major cultivation and manufacturing area of Liu-an(六安) is around Luxi (蔵溪) Qimen (祈門) Anhui (安徽) province. The manufacturing process of Liu-an (六安) is complex which requires years of aging. This may explain why there was no businessman willing to produce such tea in the unstable political environment.

Basically, there are two parts for manufacturing Liu-an (六安) tea, preliminary manufacturing and fine manufacturing. The preliminary manufacturing is performed by the tea farmers. First of all, the raw tea leaf materials must be plucked around Guyu (穀雨), "corn rain",which is one of the 24 solar terms in the mid-April). The raw tea leaf materials must be fine buds and young tea leaves. After plucking, these tea leaves will then be undergone the process of preparatory fixation (殺青) by stirfrying in wok. Then, the soften tea leaves will be twisted and rolled on the large bamboo mat on the ground. The next step is to use a very large bamboo basket or cage to roast the wet tea leaves over fire in order to make them dry. The drying process is also divided into preliminary drying and final drying. After finishing all the above procedures, the tea leaves will have shiny appearance. There are the raw dry tea leaf materials (Mao Cha ,毛茶) of Liu-an (六安) tea before compression. In the past,the tea formers sold the raw diy tea leaf materials to private tea firms performing the basket compres-sion. In the old days, Sun Yishun (孫義順) was one of the these private tea firms. This part is similar to Puerh tea that tea farms sell their raw tea leaf materials to the tea factories.

After the acquisition of raw materials from tea farmers, the private tea firms or tea factories will perform the fine manufacturing. Firstly, they will classify the raw materials into different grades and then pick out the yellowish old leaves, if any. After obtaining the best fine and young tea leaves, they will roast these tea leaves again. After roasting, these tea leaves have to be exposed outdoor overnight during good weather in order to absorb the natural humidity at night. At dawn, tea factories will put them into buckets for steaming and then compress these hot tea leaves into little basket with bamboo leaves. These little baskets are the (六安) baskets we know. However, individual Liu-an (六安) tea basket is not convenient for storage so that every 2 little (六安) baskets will be packed face to face. All together 6 baskets will be tired up by bamboo stripes which go through each little basket in order to stabilize them. That means a stack of Liu-an (六安) baskets will have 6 little baskets. After bundling up a stack of Liu-an (六安) baskets, they will put these stacks on shelf in the drying room. There will be charcoal fire under the shelf so that the appropriate temperature is maintained in the drying room. After the Liu-an (六安) stacks are completely dry, every 10 stacks will be bundled up again. A bamboo mat will be used to cover them up as the largest stack. However, according to the tradition of Liu-an (六安) tea, these newly made Liu-an (六安) baskets should not be sold into the market immediate because customers know that Liu-an (六安) baskets are aged tea, but not the tea for fresh tasting. Therefore, private tea firms in the past must store their stocks for several years for aging so as to allow the Liu-an (六安) tea to be mellower.

By knowing the manufacturing procedures, one will notice that Liu-an (六安) tea is a kind of com-pressed tea aging naturally to its maturity by adding moisture during the compression. After aging, its dry tea leaves will become dark red with a reddish tea broth. The tea broth color will become more reddish after many years. There is a Chinese poem describing the color and taste of Liu-an tea in a vivid manner, it says its reddish color is like the twilight. The thick, mellow and smooth tes broth gives incredible freslmess Appreciating a sip of 30 years Liu -an (六安) tea at this moment will make one feel good and harmonious."

Keeping and storing aged Lh an (六安) tea is not difficult. What they need is an aging spa with ventilation and no direct su light. Besides, the storing place must be kept clear, dry and no unpleasant odor. If one wants keep these little baskets away fix dusts, a piece of air-permcal wrapping paper can be used wrap up these baskets individus It is heard that the age Liu-an (六安) tea is good to be brewed with the aged bamboo leaves which used to wrap the Liu-an (六安) tea itself. Some aged people would like to put a little piece of the aged bamboo leaves together with the Liu-an (六安) tea leaves to brew. The tea broth will also have the bamboo aroma and freshness.

Liu-an Stems (六安骨)

After talking about Liu-an (六安) tea, some of the tea lovers may have heard about "Nice Liu-an (香六安)" and "Liu-an Stems (六安骨)". However, many people, even the Chinese people, are confused by these names which are not truly the aged Liu-an (六安) tea. "Nice Liu-an (香六安)" has been explained in the previous paragraphs.

For the "Liu-an Stems (六安骨)" it was once a popular tea in the old days of Hong Kong. In the 1950's to the 1960's, Hong Kong was a society after the Second World War resuming its economy. However, it was hard to earn the living. It was not easy for people to find jobs. Therefore, buying good tea leaves was luxurious.These poor family could only afford to buy "Liu-an Stems (六安骨)" for their daily consumption.

What were these "Liu-an Stems (六安骨)" indeed? They were the stems and stalks of the cheapest oolong tea. In order to make more money and not to waste, the retailers picked these stems and stalks out. They roasted these stems until they had a nice aroma. In order to have a better sale, they gave it a beautiful name as Stems (六安骨)" because Liu-an tea was famous for rich people to drink in the past. Even thought these were only the stems of oolong tea, the name Liu-an (六安) in this tea name was equivalent to good tea. As one knew that the genuine Liu-an (六安) tea was fine and young tea leaves. Therefore, the feet was that Liu-an Stems (六安骨)" had nothing connected to Liu-an (六安) tea. The reason why oolong stems could also be brewed because tea stems and stalks carried some slight sweet taste and aroma. After appropriate roasting, fortunately, it could still offer some tastes better than boiled water so that the "Liu-an Stems (六安骨)" became a very cheap tea for poor family but with its bright name. Many Hong Kong old people know about this tea which accompanied them through the hard time of Hong Kong several decades ago.

Sun Yishun aged Liu-an (孫義順舊六安)

Among the Liu-an (六安) basket tea, the most famous and renowned one should be the Sun Yishun An-tea Hao (孫義順安茶號). Thus, most of the counterfeit Liu-an baskets in the old days imitated the Liu-an tea of Sun Yishun An-tea Hao (孫義順安茶號). Apart from this famous tea firm, there were other tea firms manufacturing Liu-an (六安) basket tea before the establishment of New China such as "Qimen Wang Botang An-tea Shop (祈門王伯棠安茶莊)", "Zhengai Ji Yishun Hao (鄭蕩記義順號)" and "Kang Yangchun Original Yishun Hao (康秩春正義順號)".Because of the celebrity of Sun Yishun An-tea Hao (孫義順安茶號) (as if it were the Red Mark in today's market), it attracted lots of imitations which also had high qualities. Although it is not encouraging for counterfeit products, these imitated products with high qualities now have decades of aging years also providing fascinating tastes and aromas. This implies that no matter which tea brands they are, as long as the Liu-an (六安) baskets were made several decades ago with original Qimen (祈門) Liu-an (六安) tea leaves, it will offer a very good aged Liu-an (六安) tastes and aromas nowadays.

Sun Yishun aged Liu-an (孫義順舊六安) has its shiny and dark fine tea leaves. It brews clear reddish tea broth with deep color and gives vividness, richness and slight bitterness. However, the aftertaste changes very quickly into the long-lasting sweet tastes. In order to identify the genuine original Sun Yishun aged Liu-an (孫義順舊六安), one should pay attention to its basket. The genuine one was usually with shorter height with a little bit flat appearance. It must bear trademark tickets. Those larger baskets without any trademark ticket were usually the imitated products.

Therefore, unless consumers can locate a honored tea vendor, it is not easy to purchase a genuine Sun Yishun aged Liu-an (孫義順舊六安) basket tea. It was because there were many counterfeit Liu-an(六安) baskets manufactured with low grade Puerh tea in the 1990's, Without much experience, it is hard for beginners to tell the differences. Sometimes, it was sorry to hear that some novices criticized the bad tastes of "aged Liu-an (舊六安) Unfor-tunately, it was believed that those novices who made complaints were actually drinking the counterfeit one. The genuine Sun Yishun aged Liu-an (孫義順舊六安)has a very elegant aged taste and aroma. Such a genuine little basket can cost a high price, as mentioned, around US$4,000 per basket (600g).

The genuine Sun Yishun aged Liu-an (孫義順舊六安) vintage has two editions, the younger one with "3 trademark tickets" edition (approximately made in 1930's) and the older one with "5 trademark tickets & an autumn tea leaf" edition (approximately made in 1920's or even earlier). One of the identification characteristics of genuine Sun Yishun aged Liu-an (孫義順舊六安) is that both versions have a very thin red trademark ticket. The older edition with "5 trademark tickets & an autumn tea leaf" was the supreme grade of aged Liu-an (六安) As there were numerous counterfeit products in the past, only the genuine products would add so many anti-counterfeit features into their products. The "5 trademark ticke & an autumn tea leaf" edition w carefully hoarded by collectors are could not even locate one in tl market. Thus, in today's marke the younger one with "3 trademai tickets" edition, which has almo the same taste performances, largely collected by tea lovers ar became rare in last few years.

As a collector, I will show read ers the differences of some of the aged Liu-an (六安) tea collection of mine so as to give some ideas 1 beginners how good they are.

The Counterfeit Liu-an (六安) Basket

Before knowing some goo aged Liu-an (六安) tea, it is also important for beginners to kno some information about the coup terfeit Liu-an(六安) baske Although it has similar bask, shape as the 1980's Liu-an (六安) basket, the tea leaves inside an actually the ordinary ripe Puerh tea. This kind of counterfeit bask is definitely a teaching material for beginners. Because of the high price of aged Liu-an (六安) basket tea nowadays, normally tea shops do not allow customers to open the bamboo leaves to check inside until they buy a basket as a sample.I bought this one in a tea shop and then opened the bamboo leaves immediately after payment.

The tea leaves inside told by themselves that it was a counterfeit Liu-an (六安) basket because the leaves did not look like good and fine Liu-an (六安) tea. This basket was blended with many stems. Well aged Liu-an (六安) tea in the past did not have such stems and only with fine and small tea leaves. After brewing such, it definitely told its identity that it was a counterfeit Liu-an (六安) basket filled with ripe Puerh tea. I kept this basket as a teaching material for showing to beginners. Although it was not too expensive, just US$90 per basket, it Is not worth buying such as your own tuition fee.

The 1980’s Liu-an (六安) Basket Without Any Trademark Ticket

This was one of the baskets collected many years ago. By judging from the style of basket, its aging status and its taste, it could be possible that it was the tea product manufacturing in the 1970's. However, without concrete evidence, I would judge it as the early 1980's Liu-an (六安) basket. Although this Liu-an (六安) basket had a comparatively flatter shape, it was not the same style as chose Sun Yishun aged Liu-an (孫義順舊六安) baskets so that it must not be made from many decades ago. Certainly, nowadays, a Liu-an (六安) basket with more than 20 years aging years is a quite good tea to be appreciated.

After opening its bamboo leaves,one would see its small tea leaves. However, these tea leaves were not as fine as those used in the Sun Yishun aged Liu-an(孫義順满六安).Definitely, there was no stem being added Into the recipe. It was mainly the young tea leaves and the quality was still high. Apparent aged aroma was released from the dry tea leaves; the smell was fresh, good and not muddy. The tea broth was the expected reddish color with the aged aroma. The brewed tea leaves had their shiny brown and red color. Owing to the selection of tea leaves being not too fine, this reduced the smoothness of the tea broth of this basket of Liu-an (六安). Nevertheless, with its maturity, the taste. and aroma of this tea was almost as good as those very well aged tea in the 1980's and 1970's. It had a quite good tea Qi (茶氣) indeed. After taking several sips, it offered great, delectable and pleasant aftertaste. It was very comfortable with its slight bitterness which would be changed into sweetness shortly afterwards. Although it was still young when comparing with Sun Yishun aged (孫義順舊六安), it offered a not bad overall performance for tea connoisseurs.

The Liu-an (六安) Basket With Eight-zhong Trademark Ticket

This Liu-an (六安) basket has its special appearance with a larger height and oval shape. The unique feature of this basket is the square Eight-zhong Trademark Ticket which is the same as the Guangyun Tribute Tea Cake (廣雲貢餅). It is believed chat this batch of Liu-an (六安) baskets with the square Eight-zhong Trademark Ticket was produced in the 1980's. The dry tea leaves were even finer than chat of the one mentioned in the previous paragraph. The dry tea leaves offered a smooth and attractive aged aroma. The tea broth was reddish clear. By judging from the brewed tea leaves, one could notice that the raw materials used were not rough so that it gave a smooth and elegant aged tea caste. It was smoother than the tea broth of the 1980’s Liu-an (六安) basket without any trademark ticket described in previous paragraphs.

Hth its smoothness, k still had its vividness. The extensive aroma with its slight bitterness triggered every single taste bud in its activated status. Although there was a slight bitterness between the tongue and both cheeks, such a little bit bitterness was the characteristics of aged Liu-an(六安) tea. The vivid sensation and clear tea broth offered by well aged Liu-an(六安) tea is unforgettable and irreplaceable, even by the aged Puerh tea. Even though I had taken only 2 little cups of such, the tea Qi (茶氣) offered by it started to function. I felt a slight sweating with good feeling from my body and stomach. Inside the tea broth, there was a slight herbal aroma which did not offer by other similar Liu-an(六安) baskets several years ago. This implied that the tea had reached its maturity. Therefore, even though there was not concrete proof for its production year, the tea broth could tell. It is because there will be no such slight herbal aroma if it is not old enough. In any event, no matter from what year it was produced, the tea broth it provided at the present moment is definitely a classical aged tea vintage.

The Sun Yishun Aged Liu-an With 3 Trademark Tickets (三票孫義順舊六安)

Sometimes) it is not easy to locate and collect a specific aged vintage even though one may have enough money to buy. If the chance comes, it would be lucky and fortunate to appreciate the genuine Sun Yishun aged Liu-an with 3 trademark tickets. Only after the appreciation in person, one will understand why such tea can be one of the home medicines. The basket I bought obviously is a very old basket made by traditional methods. It had the flat shape and short height. One can notice that the shape was very different from the one manufacturing in the 1980's. The style of making such basket was very similar to many of those very age Liu-an (六安) vintages produced before the establishment of New China.

By opening its bamboo leaves, the extra fine tea leaves tell its supreme grade. Just by putting a small amount of Sun Yishun Aged Liu-an tea leaves into the tea bowl, the leaves would give its smooth, bright, clear and enjoyable slight herbal aroma. This aroma was definitely derived from years of This kind of great aroma was unique to the supreme Sun Yishun Aged (孫義順舊六安), in particular, the tea must be stored drily and properly.

The shiny and brilliant black color of the dry tea leaves would only be found in naturally aged tea vintage with proper storage. When hot water was pouring into the tea bowl, the obvious and gorgeous herbal aroma rose into the air. Many tea lovers paying a great sum of money was just for pursuing such aroma. I think calling this aroma as "best of the best" is the perfect description. In the tea broth, I could feel and taste the apparent herbal taste which was soft, pleasant and gentle. The tea broth proved the importance of the role of Sun Yishun Aged Liu-an (孫義順舊六安) among all the other brands of Liu-an (六安) tea. Not to mention its clear, brilliant, smooth and fine tea liquor, the thick tea broth and its clear reddish color is as good as the color of fine wine.

By sipping several cups of these thick tea broth with the slight herbal taste, the tea Qi (茶氣) went though the whole body. Apart from the herbal taste, it also offered its sweet and plentiful taste. However, appreciation of such a very aged vintage did not focus on its superficial tea broth sensation. Tea connoisseurs always loved the feeling and reaction from the entire body which made one feel soft, relax and comfortable. The most important enjoyment was the feeling rather than the tea broth sensation. Drinking such an aged tea has already been out of the need for thirsty. It is the tea good for health and longer life.

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 (六安) 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. Without doubt, every aged tea lovers storing their young teas right now just want to have similar tea tastes in the future by purchasing these young teas at their low prices in their early stages. Because of such a good taste, it was not surprised that there were so many counterfeit Sun Yishun Aged Liu-an(孫義順舊六安) baskets. This little Sun Yishun Aged Liu-an (孫義順舊六安) basket is the best among many aged Liu-an (六安). That is the reason why our Chinese wisdom says, "Liu-an (六安) is the best for appreciation and also an effective medicine (六安, 品亦精, 入藥最效)."