2001 Golden Flowers Liu Bao Tea from Guangxi

Tea type
Black Tea
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Dirt, Earth, Mushrooms, Spicy, Coffee, Smoke, Tobacco, Ash, Dark Chocolate, Molasses
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Loose Leaf
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Edit tea info Last updated by Yunnan Sourcing
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 15 sec 4 g 4 oz / 130 ml

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From Yunnan Sourcing

This a perfect example of a clean and complex aged Liu Bao. Special traditional fermentation process gives the tea a mellow, sweet and spicy taste. Golden Yellow spores called “golden flowers” (金花) have been allowed to flourish just after pressing, which gives this Liu Bao a unique taste and feeling.

Processed in 2001 and then packed into 25 kilogram baskets this tea still has some lumps and chunks but is easily pried apart. The tea soup is sweet and thick… there is a camphor spice and hint of aged raw pu-erh. The feeling in the mouth is pleasant and coats the mouth and throat long after drinking. Very clean storage condition, with basically no moldy taste.

A great opportunity to enjoy a 15 year aged Liu Bao tea!

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4 Tasting Notes

135 tasting notes

Weird and funky. While it has a classic mushroom taste, it’s not overwhelming. There’s definitely a strong taste of earth as well. The tea leaves are a bit ‘dusty,’ so it’s best to pour them over a fine strainer if that bothers you. I’m not sure I’d recommend this to most people, but if you’re looking for something different, it’s definitely worth a try.

Flavors: Dirt, Earth, Mushrooms, Spicy

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 2 OZ / 55 ML

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144 tasting notes

In recent years, there’s been a bit of noise around liu bao on the online tea universe. For those who have never had, it’s quite similar to shu pu’er, but still quite distinct. The “golden flowers”, aka good mold that this genre – heicha – is known for, was a turn off for me at first, as I thought it was either a marketing ploy for poorly stored tea. In fact, the opposite is true. It’s a good thing and their growth is natural and intentionally triggered. There’s plenty of literature out there for those interested.

I’m an openminded guy, so I ordered a sample without expectations. This is not a pretty tea, BUT it has grown on me fast. Dried tea chunks smell like old furniture, which makes sense for 16 years old leaves. Wet leaves smell of wet leather. Interesting.

The tea soup is an aesthetically pleasing reddish hue and very clear. The initial steeps are thick, lively, complex, and almost spicy. Lots of wood notes, leather, and hints of paprika that linger on the tongue. It looks and tastes clean. Especially after airing it out. 5 g will yield about 9 steeps, depending on how you brew of course.

This one is very comfortable going down, yet still interesting on the palate. I ended up purchasing more. I find airing out the tea upon arrival for a week or so will help it settle, improve sweetness, and produce a cleaner taste.


I very much liked this too….Quite unexpected.


I have some left from my phoenix collection order a few years back, I love it. Not as an every day thing, but for sure as something that I miss and have to comeback to. Also, for some reason it makes me feel like it would be great to settle a overstuffed stomach. lol


Yeah, it’s very soothing in every way. It reminds me more of a clean-humid-stored very aged sheng than shu pu’er.

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28 tasting notes

This tea seems to have good reviews so take mine with a grain of salt. I let this air out for a couple days, gave it a good ten second rinse. It has a beautiful deep brownish red colored soup. That’s about all I find pleasant about this tea. The scent of the brew is a black strap molasses (I like molasses but does not flatter this tea). The overall taste is dark and deep. The base flavor is a dark dark chocolate (90% cacao) with hints of tobacco. The overall tea is very bold and smooth but there is a bitter ashy/chocolate aftertaste that lingers on the tongue. The complexity is medium. This tea is not for me, but others might enjoy it. The dark chocolate in a bold cup sounds good in theory, but this tea is just not a good balance of flavor. Unique yes. Delicious? No. This tea gives my tongue nightmares.

Flavors: Ash, Dark Chocolate, Molasses, Tobacco

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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400 tasting notes

Backlog 3 Oct. 2016

Old books with deep earth. More to come later with another session.


Beautiful description!


Sometimes I only jot one little note down and just enjoy the session. I really love the profile to both the dry and wet leaf. The flavor is as I had described, and hadn’t lasted as long as I expected (7 steeps). However, it was nice. Sometimes you don’t need a lot of description to get the profile right on point. However, I’m just short on time to write as much as I’d like to. :)

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