2005 Four Gold Coins
2005 Four Gold Coins is a super full bodied Liu Bao (六堡) dark tea. It’s one of those “all-around” teas, suitable for pretty much any kind of tea session.
Origin, processing, trees
It is quite fermented compared to other Liu Baos. Often these kind of Liu Baos are aimed towards Hong Kong tea drinkers who like more earthy tastes. It was stored in Malaysia.
Liu Bao(六堡) is a dark (fermented) tea from Guangxi province, China.
The most important difference in dark tea processing to other teas is the post-fermentation step where the leaves are gathered to big piles and fermented in moist and warm conditions for 1-2 months. This process is caused by microbes in the leaves and should not be confused with the oxidation of black tea. Post fermentation or “wet-piling” is a similar process to decomposing, hence the earthy smell and taste. Also shou (ripe) pu’er is post-fermented but it’s not dried over a pinewood fire or compressed to big baskets like Liu Bao.
Processing steps of Liu Bao
2. Kill-green, stopping the oxidation by frying or steaming
3. Withering over night
6. Drying over pinewood fire
7. Steaming and compressing to big baskets
Taste, aroma, mouthfeel
Very earthy and smooth taste. You can also find hints of Chinese Medicine.
It is probably the thickest and oiliest tea I know. If you make it thick it’s creamier and oilier than pure cream (trust me I drink pure cream regularly).
Qi, TCM, my experiences
For me it has a gentle, relaxing and thick Qi but for some it can also be somewhat trippy.
According to TCM Liu Bao has cooling or warming character depending on the situation. I would say this has more warming character than liubaos usually have.
We (me, Ville and Bea) fell in love with Four Gold Coins already in 2014 sparking the interest in other dark teas than shou pu’er. We were brewing it everywhere. For example under a bridge while ice swimming (check the third photo). Unluckily we didn’t win the Gth photo contest with the photo 🙁
It’s best brewed super dark.
Best brewed in a teapot (gong-fu or side-handle) but it’s also good boiled or brewed in a thermos
I got this (5 days processing time) batch pretty cheap. Next time I need to order the price will increase about 50% ! 🙁