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Had this one again last night.

After carefully re-reading the tin of this tea, we realized that we’d passed over additional brewing instructions in Chinese. Besides the more traditional method of steeping pu’er (a few seconds per steep, adding a little bit of time each round), the Xingyang packaging also suggest another method.

Boil water, let the water cool to 90 degrees Celsius, then pour water into small (yixing) pot and let steep for one minute. Really?

Well, we had to try it! And boy, what an interesting experience.

First steeping, it was like drinking from an enchanted well. So clean, and very minerally and sweet (like the well was full of the best, most amazing perfect stones). The next few steepings grew in complexity and strength. Instead of the a liqour the color of white wine, the steped liquid ranged from amber to stunning orange- always crystal clear. Where before, I described this tea as lunar (weightless, musty like a library, with a taste of the smell of new book binding or money or paper), it was now more like an eclipse- the moon glowing and growing with power as it overshadows the sun. The taste was always incredibly clean and weightless, but the strength was incredible- not heavy or dirty, but almost vibrating with intensity on the tongue.
My friend said it was as if they could taste every possible positive flavor found in puer’s: clean, thick, plum, walnuts, oatmeal, sticky rice, mist/camphor/cooling, brown sugar, caramel, raisins, apples… whatever taste you wanted to find or focus on- it was all there.

This is definitely an intense, intriguing experience. It makes you and your fellow drinkers giddy to experience such a fine tea in this intense, delicious unbelievable way.

I do not know if I prefer either steeping method, one over the other. They are both amazing ways to experience this incredible tea, and both should be tried. Whichever you end of doing, the strenght and depth of these tea is clearly demonstrated. We steeped in this longer method for about two hours, and when we couldn’t stay up any longer, I’m sure the tea could have kept going for another hour more.

Our teapot was so happy!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 15 sec
Nathaniel Gruber

That sounds like the luckiest teapot in the world! I am going to need to try this method out tonight…thanks for sharing the new brewing parameters!

David Duckler

Very fun! This new steeping method takes all the vaporous qualities of the Xingyang flavor and condenses them, as if, by sheer force of will, into a liquid. My tips for brewing like this are to heat the tea pot with boiling water before adding leaves, use 3-5g of leaves (more than you would think for a 4oz yixing. Steep at 90 degrees and pour boiling water over the teapot while steeping to keep it hot. You can go up to 2 minutes by the later steepings. Have fun!

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Nathaniel Gruber

That sounds like the luckiest teapot in the world! I am going to need to try this method out tonight…thanks for sharing the new brewing parameters!

David Duckler

Very fun! This new steeping method takes all the vaporous qualities of the Xingyang flavor and condenses them, as if, by sheer force of will, into a liquid. My tips for brewing like this are to heat the tea pot with boiling water before adding leaves, use 3-5g of leaves (more than you would think for a 4oz yixing. Steep at 90 degrees and pour boiling water over the teapot while steeping to keep it hot. You can go up to 2 minutes by the later steepings. Have fun!

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Bio

I generally drink Chinese teas.

I love things that are interesting, that force me to stop and think about and enjoy what I’m experiencing. Even better are those teas you just have to drink with a friend so that the outpouring of tastes and memories find a sounding board in a trusted companion.

I’m into tea as an experience rather than just a thirst quenching beverage. I love to learn- there’s so much to learn about tea.

I also prefer my teas to be exceedingly delicious, if at all possible. Luckily, I have great tea friends and teachers that can hook me up with the good stuff.

Something I’ve noticed about my ratings:
I tend to use Steepster more like Yelp and less like Twitter. I’ll generally only review a tea once in its life (though that review and rating might be edited over time to reflect changes in my own understanding of it).
I do not generally log each tea I’m drinking as I drink, since that feels like a distraction- I’d rather just drink the tea!
I tend to only review teas I really love or that I really did not enjoy. If it falls somewhere in the middle of “meh” and “that was pretty good, I suppose,” then I won’t be compelled to sit down and spend time giving a nice, fleshed out review and rating.
As such, it might seem like I give out high scores willy-nilly. Instead, I’m doing my first round of rating mentally off-site, and presenting only the teas I really want to share with everyone.

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Richfield, MN

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