Liming puer

2005 Liming Qiaomu Chawang

Qiaomu and Other Oft Used B.S.

Oh, Liming Factory! Never bashful about overstating the quality of your tea. You are the American student of tea factories, 1st in confidence, 37th in ability. Alright, I am unfairly singling out Liming factory, as the entire puer tea industry is filled with this kind of over ambitious labeling. This particular puer tea, labeled Qiaomu Chawang [Arbor Tea King] is certainly high on ambition. Maybe a less regal title, something more in the middle management range.  Maybe Qiaomu Junior Supervisor. And arbor…we would need to change that too. But, I guess Plantation Junior Supervisor just isn’t sexy enough to sell cakes.

Dry leaves in a very yellow photograph
aged raw puerh
Closer detail

The leaves are a beautiful dark brown color, and they smell how they look; brown, rich and aged. I noted their smell was “enchanting”, so maybe we should promote this tea to the position of Qiaomu Baron.

Qiaomu puer

The first steeps left a lot of aged tobacco flavor in the gaiwan, with a creamy scent on the lid. The first several infusions presented a nice kuwei [pleasant bitterness] and a fast huigan [sweet aftertaste]. The soup was a little bit thin overall, but there were several flavors warring for dominance. Also, for a tea that was a bit thin,  it had some staying power. The tobacco flavor that was so prevalent in the first four steepings trailed off and the later session was dominated by some throat coating bitterness, which was quite pleasant, even if the flavor became a bit generic.  Overall, the body feeling and general feeling of the tea was fairly average, for a tea with a higher than average price tag of around USD 90 on Taobao.

The tea has some potential to age further, as it still retains a fair amount of strength, but I would rather drink several other teas with lower price tags, were I buying factory productions from this time period.

raw puerh tea
Spent leaf

The leaves were fairly heavily fragmented. The leaf pictured above is one of the bigger leaves I could find when rummaging around the gaiwan. If I were to lay a bet, the label of qiaomu on this tea is pretty misleading, seems like mostly plantation material. The title of tea king is not worth discussing – there can only be one king, and that is clearly Tiandiren. (ha)

For the price/quality of this tea, I am just not sure who is buying this stuff? To prove I am not just relentlessly crapping all over Liming factory, there is a ripe Liming cake that I really enjoy. I will break it out and take some photos one of these days, as a penance for my treason against the king.

puerh tea leaves
Wet leaves in the gaiwan (before the lid cracked)
  • See if you can google 2001 Baojating. That one got totally ripped in livejournal back in the day. Like this one, not a bad tea, but, whew! expensive! Was $40+ in 2007 or so…

    • TwoDog2

      Right. This tea was not bad at all, it had some charming aspects. But $90? or $40 in 2007? Think of what you could have theoretically spent $40 on in 2007 puer-wise. Maybe that would be a good topic of discussion. Make a list of 2007 prices, and ask people how they would invest $100. I am guessing you would be buying as much XZH as possible?

      • Early 2007? First and foremost, the older tea, your 88 green, 97 Lan Yin, 97/99 XZH, 80s 8582. You would have paid maybe 3 thousand to various folks, but…

        Then I would have bought as many XZH as possible, with only exceptions to buy tongs of good recipe puerh from before 2004, like Jin Dayi ’03… This was also when Liu An wasn’t quite crazy expensive, so 30 year+ liuan might have been purchaseable…

        • TwoDog2

          Maybe it would make sense to have the hypothetical budget be more like USD 1k-5k ,that way, if you wanted to sink your budget into older cakes, fine, or you could pick up xiang after xiang of XZH

          I am going to post that Liming Shu, just because, I honestly enjoy it. I also had a 2003 Liming tuo a month or two back that was ok. The prices for their older tea generally doesn’t make sense though. That tuo was also really pricey/mediocre

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