2012-2013 Hong Kong Natural Storage Sun Yi Shun Raw Liu An

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From TeaLife Hong Kong

The basket in the pictures has been airing out in my warehouse for several months: when initially purchased, there were humid storage notes to the tea. These baskets are from the same warehouse as my raw/ripe mix, and when newly purchased, the characteristic aroma of this family’s warehouse is unmistakable to me! This storage aroma has now entirely dissipated!

I initially thought this was a ripe liu an because of the low price, but it is a raw liu an, and it is one of the best examples of liu an I have ever had! After trying top shelf raw liu an, I now completely understand why pu erh was considered inferior to liu an by the Cantonese for so long!

The leaves are dark and have a sweet smell to them when dry. The tea has coalesced into a mass that is almost pu erh-cake like, and you need to chip some off when you want to brew it.

My first surprise with this tea came after the rinse. The tea smelled like sweet cherry candy! This is the second time a Hong Kong-stored liu an basket has made my jaw drop with surprise. Needless to say I’m a fan of liu an, and will keep hunting down Sun Yi Shun baskets, because I love this stuff! Raw liu an when young is extremely bitter. Painfully so. This tea is only very lightly bitter, and it’s quite a pleasant level of bitterness! The family that warehouse this tea have been in business since the 1960s, and I only just realized liu an was one of their offerings. I’ve bought tea from them since 2012, and they’ve surprised me with teas I had no idea they carried on several occasions. I have yet to get a bad tea from them!

In the cup, the flavor is like a sweet sheng with citrus notes. There is a hint of cherry, as well, and the finish is date and jujube, like you’d find from a shu pu erh or well-aged sheng.

I expect this tea to be very popular. The family don’t seem to have many baskets of this tea. This is just an astonishingly good example of liu an! All purchases of 100g packs will come with some of the bamboo wrapper, pieces of which are customarily brewed with the tea.

Please note each basket contains approximately 400g of tea (the basket as a whole weighs around 500g).

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