This tea is good for four or five steeps; before steeping, rinse the leaves briefly (I just use a mesh drainer then toss the leaves in the bottom of a very thick glass that I cover with a ramekin top for steeping). I tend to add a touch of either a very neutral honey—sourwood or fireweed, never wildflower/clover/alfalfa/blackberry ones as they overpower—or minimally processed sugar ie Florida Crystals.

The aroma is absolutely stunning. It is a special occasion tea, though—not necessarily meaning I need company but meaning I really don’t grab it for everyday occasions but rather when my palette is especially sensitive and I am desiring this particular sensory experience as it’s $10 an ounce on average (now, at least—I got it for $4 an ounce ever so long ago… running low on that so I use it sparingly) and can’t imagine it for the jelly mentioned as all the gelatin and sugar (and it being cold) would take an already delicate flavor and for me ruin it. The first steep, stick to a minute… after that, it can handle up to 2:25 or so but I only usually steep that long at the final steep to prevent any bitterness. It is extremely calming… I just wish I could capture its scent as brewed and burn it in a candle! Oh, I should also mention… the glass I use is clear, almost the size of a stein… the reason simple: it’s BEAUTIFUL as it unfolds. Frankly, every time I open my special little triple layer bags of it, I just stare at the beautiful hand-rolled leaves and think fondly on the proud farmers as their teas were chosen for the silk road prize, ensuring them many years of success. (Angelina’s Teas, btw, is not the “maker” only a shop that is able to import it; Loong Tea is another that sells Zui Gui Fei, though their word is “Tipsy” Concubine instead of Drunken and is a bit more accurate to the original word).

200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 15 sec

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