Xiaguan 2007 Xiao Fa Tuo Yunnan Sourcing Ripe Pu’erh [Episode 64]

Another personal Yunnan Sourcing recommendation from Denny, this time a ripe pu’erh. Xiaguan’s 2007 Xiao Fa Tuo.

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12 Responses to Xiaguan 2007 Xiao Fa Tuo Yunnan Sourcing Ripe Pu’erh [Episode 64]

  1. Peter says:

    I agree that puer is not easily accessible for new tea drinker. In fact, even some of us seasoned drinkers have trouble with it (though I am realising that I probably prefer a shu over a sheng).

    What features would a tea need to have, Denny, for you to deem it a “daily drinker”?

    Thanks.

    • James says:

      Hi Peter,

      I’m not Denny, but here’d be my answer. A daily drinker for me would be relatively inexpensive, comforting, and solid quality without being overly complex. Ripe pu’erhs nearly always fall into this category (with a few exceptions). Shengs can be much harsher and simply more challenging.

      I’ll let Denny know about your question and maybe he’ll have a different answer!

      Cheers!
      -James

  2. Uncle Larry says:

    While using the Flash brew method, I once walked away from a yixing pot of puerh for an hour and a half. After that time period it was impossible to make the tea hot again.

    • James says:

      Hi Uncle Larry :),

      Flash brew for 1.5 hours? Sounds like a mistake we’ve all made at one point or another!

      Cheers!
      -James

  3. Zach says:

    On water temp:
    This morning I tried brewing my golden needle white lotus at 205 (farenheit) instead of boiling (i recently got my first temp controllable kettle and I’m having a little too much fun with it)…and surprisingly I honestly got more complexity out of the tea. Could you offer any explanation for this?
    Thanks,
    Zach

    • James says:

      Hey Zach,

      Great question! Usually higher water temperature will bring out more out of the tea, but here’s a couple things to consider.

      It is possible that more in certain cases is something fairly singular and not incredibly complex, i.e. bitterness or some specific flavor note. This bitterness can overshadow many of the other nuances and complexities going on. Pay attention to the body and thickness of the tea too.

      The actual temperature. An often overlooked parameter is the temperature of the brewing device before your brew even occurs. If the device is at room temp, that means that the water will instantly cool down. If the device is at the same temperature, than there won’t be any such temperature drop. The same principle for pre-heating all teaware. This is especially true on a device that retains heat well on consecutive brews, i.e. a clay teapot. Similarly if you drink tea when it cools down it will taste different as well! Another factor, albeit small, is how high you pour the water from.

      Device you heat the water in. This has some impact as well. If you are switching from electric kettle to electric kettle there probably won’t be much of a change but you can’t know for sure.

      I’m sure I’m missing a few more, but hopefully this will give you some food for thought (and for experimentation :).

      Cheers!
      -James

  4. Arnold Zeman says:

    Thank you for all your wonderful videos, the effort, and research behind them! I’m curious about rinsing. I’ve come across info, I think on the Teavivre website, to the effect sheng should be rinsed once, while shou twice. I’ve noticed on your recent videos of both raw and cooked puer, that you’re rinsing both twice. Grateful your thoughts on number of rinses, and whether the one rinse vs. two rinses makes any sense to you.

    • James says:

      Hey Arnold,

      Great question! I don’t think there’s necessarily a right or wrong answer in this case.

      Generally speaking, the early steeps (or rinses) will tell you about the tea’s storage conditions. Rinsing twice helps to remove the tea’s storage taste. Obviously this will affect teas that are older much more than younger teas. The reason why ripe pu’erh is more commonly rinsed twice is to eliminate the fermentation taste. Teas (both raw and ripe) that have undergone more humid/intense storage are good candidates for more than one rinse. This is less necessary if the tea is a young raw pu’erh or has been very cleanly stored. For wetter stored tea, one alternative to rinsing an extra time is to air the tea out beforehand.

      Another reason to rinse twice is simply to get to the stronger steeps faster. Usually if you just rinse once, the first steep will be a bit weak. For prolific tea drinkers like myself, this can be a big reasons for rinsing twice.

      Hope this helps to clarify and cheers!
      -James

  5. Evan says:

    This was the first puerh I ever tried, and for years afterward I avoided it- and puerh in general- like the plague. I bought it at an asian grocery in Minneapolis (for about $3!) right after I’d made the leap from bags to loose tea, and had really no idea what I was doing. I brewed it western style, with no initial rinse and way too little leaf to taste much of anything except that low tide “storage” flavor. I don’t even think I broke apart the chunk I pryed off the tuo by hand.
    Once I got a little more experience, and had the opportunity to try good puerh, my opinion off it changed, but that $3 tuo from United Noodles still occupied the space in my mind for cheap, low quality puerh. After a positive review from you guys, though, I may have to find one again and reevaluate my initial assumptions.

    • James says:

      Hi Evan,

      Thanks for the comment. Denny and I both like this tuo (Denny especially). I don’t think it’s anything ridiculous or worth spending more than $10 on, but it’s a very functional, very drinkable one.

      Cheers!
      -James

  6. bellmont says:

    Have either of you tried the 2010 version of this?

    peace,

    bellmont

    • James says:

      Hi bellmont,

      Thanks for the comment and sorry for the slow reply. Yes I have the 2010 version of this and much prefer the older ones. I think the recipe changed at some point.

      Cheers,
      -James

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