For my last Bana Tea Company order, I bought 2010 Kang Yang Chun Liu An on a whim. I don’t own any Liu An so I wanted to play with it. I didn’t want to go all in on a basket, as cool as they look. This particular tea’s material was selected by Tea Master Vesper Chan. I’ve found most teas I’ve had of his were great, so it was a safe purchase.
The 100 gram option is packaged in plastic inside a box.
Dry Leaf and Steeping Method
The dry leaf scent is of tires and red grapes.
I haven’t actually made a Liu An tea myself. I’ve drunk it a number of times at tea shops but never brewed myself. I snooped around and found people tend to recommend lighter on the leaf. I went with the stronger leaf ratios I found, so 1 gram of leaf to 20ml of vessel size, steeped in boiling water gongfu style. Either way, if my ratio sucks at least it is a starting point.
Tasting of Bana Tea Company’s 2010 Kang Yang Chun Liu An Tea
First Infusion: The hot leaf smells strangely black olives and rubber. The 2010 Kang Yang Chun Liu An has an interesting green olive taste and smoothness with a toasted pumpkin seed flavor. Bana Tea Company’s description was quite accurate. The texture is very smooth and oily, with an aftertaste of a tart olive.
Second, Third, and Fourth Infusion: This tea probably needed two rinses as the next infusions are quite different. It still has an olive and pumpkin seed flavor, but with a finish of tart and musty paperback books. This dry musty flavor is something I taste in dry storage puer that I tend to like. Despite the 1g/20ml ratio, the second infusion is face punching strong. This tea will wake you up and kick until you are running.
Fifth and Sixth Infusion: The Liu An finally started to chill out and taste less intense. The flavor is still similar with olives, roasted pumpkin seed, and musty books, but the aftertaste reminds me of how an avocado pit smells. The texture has started to shift to astringent, drying out my lower teeth.
The colour shifted to an orange, from the original gold.
Seventh and Eighth Infusion: The tea is losing potency fast. These steeps are light and taste different. The flavor is of avocado pit and smooth, that shift to a strong astringency to squeaky feeling teeth. The aftertaste is of tart raw almonds and impressively nutty. It has a dryness of eating a zillion almond skins the more and more I drink these last infusions.
I am feeling particularly energetic drinking this Liu An. I think I will tackle the office and the pile of RPG books piled 4 feet high from the ground.
The stick appearance we started with is now full expanded green-tinged leaf + stems. For 8 years of age, it is still pretty green looking.
If you are a puer fan, especially of the dry storage variety, this 2010 Kang Yang Chun Liu An from Bana Tea Company is of interest to you. The notes are super smooth to start, lots of potent flavor and energy, with later infusions being surprisingly nutty. Bana Tea Company’s description of this tea is quite accurate. I find the other notes I tasted, the musty book ones, fun and delicious.
This is considered a pretty young Liu An, as many seem to not bother drinking it unless it has a decade or two. This tea is a good opportunity to have some aging fun and I like the idea of this tea aging to more smooth and sweet.
The 100 gram sample was only $24 (at this time) which isn’t too bad, but there is the option to buy the full basket. I plan to toss this tea in a jar and forget about it. It would be fun to get a whole Liu An basket one day, but that is a lot of tea – this one being 450 grams.