Mandarin Orange Pu'er (小青柑, Xiǎo Qīng Gān, "Small Green Orange") - These small mandarin Pu'er balls are made with fermented Pu'er pressed into the skin of a mandarin orange. This technique has been adapted from traditional Pu'er pressed into pomelo - a much larger citrus similar to a grapefruit. Dried citrus peel is called Chenpi in China and is a classic Chinese medicine. Aged Pu'er is also known in Chinese medicine to have a soothing effect on the digestive system. These Xiao Qing Gan represent a diminutive, single-pot denomination of the citrus Pu'er tradition. Our version is made with high grade Nannuo mountain Shu Pu'er. Each one can be steeped dozens of times - one of these can last all night long. It is traditionally steeped with the citrus skin, and may be cracked, cut, or perforated to allow the leaves to expand. Likewise, there are multiple preparation techniques - it may be boiled, steeped in a pot or gaiwan, or infused using a pour-over technique sitting in a filter over a gong dao bei.
It's no surprise that citrus dominates the flavor of this tea. When my friends and family came in out of the snow, I offered this and it was most appreciated. The design extends the life of the session. mug after mug was brewed for quite a while. This is certainly not your everyday tea. The next time I have a cold, I'm certainly bringing this out.