Liu Bao factory codes?

Puerh and other heicha
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mbanu
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Sat Jul 25, 2020 10:21 pm

I've noticed that some of the older liu bao factories like Three Cranes will mark some of their blends with code numbers, I'm guessing as an homage to the nationalized era like with some of the older pu'er factories. Is that actually the case, or is this a new thing that they invented because the factory codes were so popular with pu'er? If it is an older thing, are there any guides that break down what liu bao codes used to represent?
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Balthazar
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Sun Jul 26, 2020 4:32 am

Interesting question. This is something I have wondered about myself, but not bothered to look further into.

Did a search today, and found this article from the seemingly official or semi-official "Liubao family".


Google does a pretty good translation job on this one:
When we buy Liubao tea, we can see that each tea has its own serial number, some with four digits and some with five digits. Even if it is a four-digit number, the meaning of each manufacturer's representative is different, which is difficult to understand.

How are these numbers defined? What do they mean?

Numbers of Liubao Tea

In fact, before January 30, 2018, there is no uniform standard for the serial number of Liubao tea. Each manufacturer defines its own serial number. The veteran Wuzhou Tea Factory and China Tea Company have their own set of rules for inheritance, and emerging private enterprises are also determined according to their own business needs.

For example, at the Wuzhou Tea Factory, the editor once asked people at the tea factory: "The previous serial numbers were all five digits, and one digit represented Wuzhou, especially for exported tea. In the 1990s, there was not so much attention. 4 digits, easy to remember, such as 0818, the first digit 0 is the meaning of premium tea, the second is the year, and the last two are the batch number." "Because the year is represented by a single digit, it is inevitable that there will be duplication of numbers. However, there are instructions in the package that clearly mark the product’s aging date and production date. In general, the product name is directly called, such as XX year's Jinhua 103, XX year's Betelnut Fragrant 103, etc."

The serial number of Liubao tea in Wuzhou Tea Factory usually has four or five digits:

Four digits: the first digit represents the grade, the second digit represents the starting year of aging, and the last two digits represent the batch.

For example, 2601, it means: Class 2 tea, aged in 2006, the first batch.

Five digits: the first represents the start year of aging, the second represents the Wuzhou Tea Factory, the third represents the grade, and the last two represent the batch;

For example, 85109, it means: aging began in 2008, first-class tea, the 09th batch.


The classic 92101 of Liubao tea, do you know what it means? In fact, this is a product of China Tea.

There are four digits (such as 5118), five digits (such as 40318), and six digits (such as 431029) in the serial number of China Tea Liubao. After 2008, the coding method is more standardized, and the first digit usually represents The age of aging, the second represents the grade. However, you will also see the full Chinese tea name (such as Sai Pinang) or the three-digit number (such as 802).

There are other Liubao teas with the same six-digit number, but they come from different manufacturers and have different codes. For example, 52104 may represent the first batch of grade 1 tea, and 75302 may represent the grade 2 tea produced by another manufacturer on May 30, 2007. These codes are like passwords. What number corresponds to what craftsmanship and tea taste. There are no rules at all. This is why Liubao tea enthusiasts can only try it by taste. If it tastes good, come look for this numbered tea next time.

The lack of uniform coding rules is not conducive to the promotion of Liubao tea, even if many ordinary consumers want to try it, they have no way to start. However, starting from January 30, 2018, the Guangxi Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision approved the release of the "Liubao Tea Product Batch Code Code" standard, which is the first standard formulated by the national tea industry for the tea product batch code method.

In the "Liubao Tea Product Lot Number Coding Specification" standard, the product lot number consists of five Arabic numerals. In the batch code, the first two digits indicate the year of aging, the third digit indicates the quality level, and the last two digits are the serial number of the product.

The issuance and implementation of this standard unifies the product batch number coding rules of the Liubao tea industry. It has industry stability and easy identification. It satisfies the needs of manufacturers and consumers in various aspects and helps to improve Liubao. The standardization level of the tea industry.

With the implementation of the coding standards, the previous serial numbers of Liubao Tea have gradually become history, but the classic serial numbers of some major factories represent classic products.
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wave_code
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Sun Jul 26, 2020 8:24 am

very interesting- thanks! also something I have often wondered about.

while cakes and bricks are a bit trickier (but not as much as with something like sheng) at least loose liu bao has been a little easier to estimate just by eye if a photo is decent since you can get an idea of stem content, leaf size, fermentation level. but of course the final taste with lesser known factories can of course still get pretty up in the air :roll:
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mbanu
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Mon Jul 27, 2020 7:00 pm

Balthazar wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 4:32 am
Interesting question. This is something I have wondered about myself, but not bothered to look further into.

Did a search today, and found this article from the seemingly official or semi-official "Liubao family".
Very nice, thanks for finding this!
DailyTX
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Tue Sep 14, 2021 11:06 am

Lately, I have been taking a detour from my puerh to explore liu bao. So far, most US vendors I noticed are carrying 1st or 2nd grade liu bao. Anyone has recommendations for 特級/special grade liu bao from US vendors? Thanks 🙏
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LeoFox
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Tue Sep 14, 2021 11:28 am

DailyTX wrote:
Tue Sep 14, 2021 11:06 am
Lately, I have been taking a detour from my puerh to explore liu bao. So far, most US vendors I noticed are carrying 1st or 2nd grade liu bao. Anyone has recommendations for 特級/special grade liu bao from US vendors? Thanks 🙏
Havent tried but I like some of their other offerings.
https://www.threebearstea.com/collectio ... aw-liu-bao
DailyTX
Posts: 607
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Tue Sep 14, 2021 1:14 pm

LeoFox wrote:
Tue Sep 14, 2021 11:28 am
DailyTX wrote:
Tue Sep 14, 2021 11:06 am
Lately, I have been taking a detour from my puerh to explore liu bao. So far, most US vendors I noticed are carrying 1st or 2nd grade liu bao. Anyone has recommendations for 特級/special grade liu bao from US vendors? Thanks 🙏
Havent tried but I like some of their other offerings.
https://www.threebearstea.com/collectio ... aw-liu-bao
@LeoFox👍 will take a look at it, thanks for the recommendation.
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wave_code
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Tue Sep 14, 2021 2:59 pm

@DailyTX I brought back a big pile of samples with me from Purple Cloud when I was in the US recently. Slowly starting to work my way through them and I'll try and put some little blurbs/reviews up here as I do. In a way I wish I had more than 25g of each - at this point 100g feels like a 'sample' to me in that I need that much at least to feel if I really got to know a tea properly or not. Anyway, are you looking specifically to buy only from US vendors? Other than the 'grade' is there something particular you are looking for character wise, or just wanting to try what you know would be of better quality or different type of leaf?

I also haven't tried Three Bears, but from what I could tell looking at batch numbers and descriptions of certain teas that didn't have them I think quite a few of them are coming via Yunnan Sourcing, or they just happen to be carrying some of the same teas.
DailyTX
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Tue Sep 14, 2021 4:57 pm

@wave_code
Thanks for your contribution. I am mainly looking for the special grade. I have a tea mentor from China who has been educating me about liu bao. I have bought a few samples from YS, The Chinese Tea shop, Chawangshop, and a local tea merchant. Most of the liu bao I found are grade 1&2. I am curious on grade selection, and doing comparison with the liu bao that I have on hand. The purple cloud tea house does carry a special grade from the zhongcha brand which I have been eyeing on ;) too bad they are not open, I am within 2 hours from their shop :lol:
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