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Spring 2019 Hubei Crabapple Tisane (50g)

Spring 2019 Hubei Crabapple Tisane (50g)

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This is a traditional tisane from Hubei Province that has been consumed for centuries. You can read about the tree here:

The tree is native to Hubei. I initially thought these leaves were large-leaved, lightly processed hongcha, but I did more research and learned a great deal more about this tea. There is some research into the health effects of this tea, but I'll let you do your own research into malus hupehensis.

This tisane is brewed through the summer and is very popular with Hubei natives. It is traditionally brewed in low-fired clay pot like the one you see in the pictures. I wanted to offer these pots, but I believe they are lacquered with something since there is a chemical aroma that dissipated after lots of rinsing and use. I don't want to offer these pots for that reason, even if they are pretty appealing because of their very rustic construction!

Traditionally, a few leaves are placed into the teapot with boiling water, and then consumed the next day (cold). The low fired pots allow water to pass through their walls to the exterior, where the water evaporates, cooling the teapot (and the liquor) in the process. Low fired clay vessels are used for water in India to provide cool water where there is no refrigeration (and it works).

As an alternative, I'd put a few leaves in a 300-500ml pot and leave it overnight. The entire teapot can then be placed in the refrigerator, or just the liquor alone. You can also brew it stronger and ice it if needed.

I brewed this tisane much stronger while researching it (10-15 leaves in my Hubei clay teapot, which is approximately 350ml) and consumed it hot. 
I found the tea to taste of sweet camphor with a note that reminded me of apples (this tree is from the same genus as the apple tree). It never gets bitter, and has a pleasant and lingering huigan that was very interesting. I can see why this has long been a popular summer beverage. It is light, inoffensive and pleasantly sweet.

These large leaves take up a lot of volume in shipping, so I'm only offering 50g amounts at this time. A 50g portion takes up an entire pu erh cake bag!

This is a rare offering in China, let alone on the Western market, and part of Hubei's cultural heritage. I'm proud to offer this unusual traditional tisane to the world.

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