Liu Bao tea literally called Six Forts tea is a kind of Chinese dark tea, produced in Liu Bao Town of Cangwu County in Guangxi Province.
Liu Bao tea is made from the fresh tea leaves of a special tea tree that is native to Guangxi Province. It is a national Geographical Indicator Product of China.
Liu Bao tea is commonly called “Grandpa and Grandchildren Tea” which means the tea made by grandpa is stored for grandchildren to drink.
The new Liu Bao tea is usually stored and aged for a few years to become more flavorful, so the tea is inherited from generation to generation. The more aged the Liu Bao tea, the more valuable it is, which is like aged wine.
1. History of Liu Bao tea
Liu Bao tea is a famous tea in Chinese history. It has a long history of production, which is said to be over 1,500 years.
In the early Qing Dynasty (1636-1912), Liu Bao tea was already flourished. Later, it was listed as a famous tea due to its special betelnut fragrance.
At that time, almost every family of Liu Bao Town grew tea trees and produced Liu Bao tea. It is a major source of income for the local tea farmers.
In the 19th century, Liu Bao tea was mainly exported to Hong Kong, Macao, and Southeast Asia.
With the outbreak of war in the early 20th century, the production and sales of Liu Bao decreased gradually. After the founding of New China, with the improvement and development of the domestic economy, Liu Bao tea returned to the public again.
In the early 1990s, the producing method of it was separated from the original way. It is from the family workshop to industrial production. Subsequently, the production of Liu Bao tea entered a stable mature period.
In 2011, the State Administration of Quality Supervision and Inspection of China approved the implementation of the protection of geographical indication products for “Liu Bao Tea”.
2. Characteristics of Liu Bao tea
In Liu Bao Town, the tea trees are mostly planted on hillsides or canyons, 3-10km away from the town. There are crisscross streams, beautiful mountains, and fog is all year around.
Because the tea trees are located in the mountain, the water content of them is sufficient. In the afternoon every day, the sun can’t shine to the trees, so the evaporation is less and the leaves are thick and big, with rich nutrients.
“Red, Thick, Mellow, and Aged” is the obvious characteristic of Liu Bao tea. The shape of Liu Bao tea is curled and tight; the color of it is dark and glossy; the color of the tea soup is strong red and bright; its fragrance is similar to that of betelnut or smoking pine; its taste is mellow and meaningful.
Under the right environment, the aged Liu Bao tea will grow a kind of beneficial bacteria called Jin Hua (golden flower), which is called Eurotium cristatum in biology.
This kind of beneficial bacteria can produce a variety of enzymes to catalyze the transformation of various substances in tea, forming a unique color, fragrance, and taste of the tea.
The new Liu Bao tea needs to be stored and aged for a long time to be sold. According to the previous requirements of Liu Bao tea, it took three years for the new tea to reach the standard.
Later, with the improvement of the producing technology and the change of the tea market, the current new Liu Bao tea only needs to be aged for one and a half years or even one year.
Some very expensive Liubao tea has been stored and aged for 30-50 years.
3. Health benefits of Liu Bao tea
The climate of Liu Bao Town is wet and rainy. For hundreds of years, Liu Bao tea has often used in the form of medicine. The local people use Liu Bao tea to treat dysentery and dispel dampness in the body. Up to now, this traditional habit has been maintained.
Scientific experiments have proved that Liu Bao tea contains not only a variety of essentials such as amino acids, vitamins, and trace elements, but also more lipid-decomposing enzymes than other kinds of tea.
Therefore, Liu Bao Tea has a stronger effect of decomposing greasy substances, reducing fat compounds, cholesterol, and triglyceride. Long-term drinking Liu Bao tea can lose weight, improve the stomach and nourish the body.
With the improvement of people’s living standards, Liu Bao tea is more and more popular with consumers.
Here are the main benefits of Liu Bao tea:
- Weight loss
- Treating dysentery
- Relaxing the bowels
- Promoting digestion
- Dispelling dampness
- Supplying nourishment
- Prevention of cardiovascular disease
- Lowering blood pressure and blood sugar