Tea: Sweet Memories 2023 Spring Xigui Raw Puer
Type: Raw Puer (生普洱）
Harvest: April 2023
Press Date: April 2023
Region: Xigui, Lincang, Yunnan
2023 Tasting Notes: Champagne Mangos, Sour Skittles, IPA, Spring Gardenias,
Xigui is a name that carries a lot of weight in the world of puer tea. It's often awarded a place in the top three most coveted production regions: Xigui, Bingdao, and Laobanzhang. As a result, there is a huge amount of fake Xigui tea out on the market in China and in the West. The reasons these teas are fake is because they are not made of tea that was grown in the rather small core region of the Xigui village out East of Lincang. This blend here is a mix of Xigui Qiaomu, meaning these are all taller trees ranging from just over a meter to a few meters tall. This is not a pure Xigui Gushu production, if it were, the price of this tea would be multiplied five times. However, in such a respected region, a pure, single origin Qiaomu raw puer will stand out in the world of corner-cutting copies.
As soon as the leaves are placed in a warmed gaiwan or teapot, the aroma is thick and juicy on the nose, redolent of tropical fruit and something distinctly more meaty. The mouthfeel is pleasantly thick and refreshing on the palate, and as is characteristic of Xigui, as a very swiftly passing bitterness that quickly turns into a wonderful huigan. The Li brothers, the ones who make this Xigui tea, say that it likes a fast pour, adding hot water quickly to the gaiwan, and pouring it out quickly.
We sourced this tea directly from the mountain. We visited the Li brothers Afang and Acai in Spring of 2023 and helped them make a late-season batch of Xigui in their mountain processing household. Later the next day, we returned to secure this little bit of tea ourselves from their mountain-top warehouse. There are a lot of new regulations in the area prohibiting people from bringing extra-regional teas into this area to sell for a higher price under the Xigui moniker, thus it is important to go to the mountain itself when you're wanting legitimate Xigui, we also watched these leaves all the way from Xigui until their pressing with our Neifei. Sometimes for teas this rare, it pays to follow the leaf all the way.
We offer this tea in 25 gram samples (chunks lovingly pried off the cake), whole 200 gram cakes, and a set of 5 cake tongs wrapped in bamboo leaves and totaling 1000 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.
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