2013 Xiaguan 8663 Shou / Ripe Puerh Full Bing Cake (357 grams)
The Xiaguan Tea Factory is one of the oldest in China. They are located at the foothills of the Himalayas on the edge of the Xiaguan mountain range in Dali, Yunnan, China. The factory is uniquely situated to channel the strong winds that travel down these mountains. They claim that it is these winds that give their puerh its special taste.
This shou puerh is a classic blend and very popular in China. This 8663 blend lacks the "T" designation which means it was loose compressed and is not an "Iron Cake". Layered aromas and flavors present a complex experience with notes of earth, minerals, and a pleasing mustiness all balanced with a sweet aftertaste.
Xiaguan uses leaves sourced from many tea gardens in Yunnan. These leaves represent multiple years. Their blend is proprietary and a secret. These leaves are a good balance of different grades with some very large leaves, small twigs, and also smaller buds.
This tea has been Seattle stored since December 2014. Use 5-7 grams of leaves and brew with 6-8 ounces of water at or near boiling. Wash twice for 3s each, then start with a quick steep of 8-10s. With each re-steep adjust the steep time to your taste.