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I’ve had a number of different 4 Gold Coins Liu Bao vintages and it’s always nice to compare them. That is why I picked the 2011 4 Gold Coins from Lao Tea Shop today. The older ones were really good (definitely the 1999 one), so it’ll be nice to see how this one compares.
2011 4 Gold Coins
4 Gold Coins is a very famous brand of Liu Bao tea because it’s unlike most other Liu Bao teas. It is sometimes described as the Hong Kong style of Liu Bao. This particular vintage was packed in 2011 in 1kg bags and the material was from around 2008-2009. It’s a kind of blend of different materials as it consists of leaves from Guangxi, but also from Vietnam and other nearby places. This is what makes this such an interesting kind of Liu Bao.
- 6.1g for a 140ml Duanni teapot
- 99°C water
The leaves have a dark brown colour and some of them have a twisted shape. I see fairly big and medium-sized leaves and some stems. These are some really good-looking leaves! The aroma consists of dry wood and strong camphor and there is also a touch of forest undergrowth. When the leaves get wet, some fresher notes are popping up.
Infusion 1 (20 sec): the colour is fairly dark already. Flavours are not that intense but I feel there is a certain spiciness right from the start. This spiciness makes my whole mouth tingle. Shortly after, some hints of forest undergrowth pop up and gradually change into camphor in the finish and aftertaste. It’s noticeable, but the aftertaste doesn’t stay around for long.
Infusion 2 (25 sec): the colour is a lot darker but I can still see the bottom of my cup. This one is more gentle from the start and even feels a bit creamy. It’s a mellow creaminess with a touch of wood and an undertone full of camphor. Really good and it was a good idea to drink this one today.
Infusion 3 (30 sec): after brewing this one, I decided to smell the leaves and I got strong citrus notes. The colour of the liquor is almost black now. It’s full of flavour and there is a strong energy right from the start. There is also a slumbering undertone of camphor but you feel its presence throughout the infusion. Right after the finish, a creaminess pops up, which makes the aftertaste really creamy. I’m still getting some of that forest undergrowth as well.
Infusion 4 (35 sec): I feel this one has camphor right from the start and it stays around for the whole infusion. It doesn’t really feel creamy anymore and it’s just straight-up camphor. The aftertaste has strong camphor to it that stays around for a long time.
Infusion 5 (45 sec): the camphor is less intense but it’s still there. It feels smooth and goes down easily. The aftertaste is really short without anything noteworthy.
Infusion 6 (long): this one is very similar. I do feel the camphor is a bit more intense and that it has become creamier again. A couple of minutes after swallowing, I get hit by a creamy camphor aftertaste.
Infusion 7 (long): it’s similar but not creamy anymore. However, it’s still a really good infusion and the aftertaste has camphor to it.
Infusion 8 (long): now the flavours have faded but there are still some traces of camphor.
It was such a good idea to drink the 2011 4 Gold Coins today. I was really focused during the session and got everything out of the leaves I usually look for in Liu Bao: cream and camphor.
The early infusions had some traces of dry wood, forest undergrowth and a camphor undertone. From the middle onwards, the camphor became more dominant and also got creamy. Really good session and this is how I like my Liu Bao.
If you’re interested in the 2011 4 Gold Coins, you can buy it over here.