New Teas from Lincang: Raw Puer, Gushu, Blends, Pure Bud White, Minis

New Kicks 2023 Xiao Hu Sai
New Kicks 2023 Xiao Hu Sai
New Kicks 2023 Xiao Hu Sai
New Kicks 2023 Xiao Hu Sai
New Kicks 2023 Xiao Hu Sai
New Kicks 2023 Xiao Hu Sai
New Kicks 2023 Xiao Hu Sai
New Kicks 2023 Xiao Hu Sai

New Kicks 2023 Xiao Hu Sai

One River Tea

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Tea: New Kicks 2023 Gushu & Dashu Blend 
Type: Raw Puer (生普洱)
Harvest: April 2023 Dashu, September 2023 Gushu
Press Date: April 2024
Region: Xiao Hu Sai, Lincang, Yunnan
2023 Tasting Notes:  Honeycomb, Fresh Baked Cake, Papaya, Guava, Fruit Loops
Xiao Hu Sai is the name of a village with a large amount of gushu and dashu trees on in the South West Shadow of Big Snow Mountain, in Mengku, Lincang, Yunnan.  We've heard about this region ever since we started sourcing tea from Lincang, the common sentiment is that Bingdao is too expensive, Da Xue Shan is overproducing young bush puer, but Xiao Hu Sai has some really great gushu material undiluted with an abundance of newer, smaller tea trees.  
We visited the gardens in April of 2024 and the drive out there was one of the more difficult mountain dirt roads we have experienced in the past decade of sourcing teas.  Utterly impassable if the rain falls, the roads are dreadfully uneven and hitch back all the way up and down and backup a few mountains.  Like a crowning jewel, one can see the Xiao Hu Sai village clinging to the ridge of a mountain for a majority of the ride, as you drive down into the valley and up the steep slopes.  Villages like this maintain their ecological integrity by their sheer remoteness.  While this isolation doesn't directly ensure a higher quality tea, it is certainly a good sign.
As characteristic of teas from Xiao Hu Sai, New Kicks has a powerful upfront bitterness that fades almost immediately into a lingering sweetness.  This is one of the more powerful Mengku teas we have tried, and this first bitter, then sweet reminds us of our beloved Xigui.  
The leaves have an incredible sweetness in them, at first reminding us of fresh baked cake, then transforming to something much more fruity, almost to the point of candy (see the Fruit Loops tasting note).  While we get tropical fruit fragrances, like grava, from the wet leaves, this translates to something more akin to papaya in the soup.
The tea soup is very clean and bright gold, this tea was picked and processed in 2023, so it has had time to settle into itself before we pressed it in spring of 2024.  A blend of Spring Dashu and Autumn Gushu, this tea really occupies the whole mouth, from the tip of the tongue to the back of the throat.  The young spring material gives the tea a powerful mid session, while the autumn Gushu takes control of the sweet infusions after the storm, from steep 10 and on.
Typical of Xiao Hu Sai, this tea has fantastic energy.  Gentle at the start with notes of cream, honeycomb, and tropical fruit, it becomes powerful in the middle steeps, thick and creamy if riding the edges of a pleasant bitterness which perfectly complements the mineral notes.  Taking a break from the session leaves the mouth salivating, the tongue pleasantly tingling, while the digestive track gets moving.  
With great longevity, we pushed through a liter of water before taking a break, and the brews continued in its unwavering gold with the pleasant bitterness giving way to  very gentle sweetness.
We offer this tea in 25 gram samples (chunks lovingly pried off the cake), whole 100 gram cakes, and a set of 5 cake tongs wrapped in bamboo leaves and totaling 500 grams.
If you're interested in sampling this year's full flight of puer pressings, check out the Yunnan Flight, a set of 6 dragon balls from different regions each pressed in 7 gram balls for convenient brewing.
We recommend brewing this tea gongfu style in a gaiwan or Chinese teapot.  We use 6 grams of tea in a 100ml brewing vessel with boiling water, steeping 5 second for the first few infusions and adding 5 seconds after ever subsequent infusion.  Most of these puer teas can be re-infused over 15 times, when brewing in this gongfu style.
Curious about these Chinese puer tea terms, check out our growing appendix of Chinese - pinyin - English translated terms here.
Never bought a cake before, learn how to break it up with a tea pick on our YouTube.