Xiao Qing Gan (小青柑, Xiǎo Qīng Gān) also known as tangerine Pu-erh tea or green orange Pu-erh tea, is made of green tangerine stuffed Pu-erh tea. Xiao means “small”, Qing means “green”, and Gan means “tangerine”.
Xiao Qing Gan is produced in Xinhui District of Jiangmen City, Guangdong Province, China, so Xiao Qing Gan is often called Xinhui Xiao Qing Gan. Since Xiao Qing Gan became famous in 2016, the attention of tea lovers to Xiao Qing Gan has been continuously increasing.
Besides, there is another similar tea called Da Hong Gan, which is made of ripe tangerine stuffed Pu-erh tea and also produced in Xinhui. Da means “big” and Hong means “red”.
Xiao Qing Gan and Da Hong Gan are collectively called Gan Pu Cha. Gan means “tangerine”, Pu means “Pu-erh”, and Cha means “tea”.
Table of Contents
- Characteristics of Xiao Qing Gan
- Processing of Xiao Qing Gan
- Benefits of Xiao Qing Gan
- How to Make Xiao Qing Gan
Characteristics of Xiao Qing Gan
A high-quality tea should be made from high-quality raw materials. Xiao Qing Gan is made of Xinhui tangerine and Yunnan Pu-erh tea.
The tangerine in Xinhui has very high quality, so Xiao Qing Gan is produced in Xinhui. Xinhui tangerine is a specialty of Xinhui and is a national geographic indication protection product of China.
Xinhui tangerine can be used for medicine and food. It was popular all over the country in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and the Qing Dynasty(1636-1912) and was regarded as a tribute.
Sometimes, Xiao Qing Gan is covered with a layer of white frost and looks moldy. In fact, it is the crystallization of tangerine oil, which is similar to that of dried persimmon and preserved plum. But if you see a layer of white frost and smell musty, it is really mildewed. The normal Xiao Qing smells fragrant.
The tea liquid of Xiao Qing Gan is yellow-brown and tastes mellow and delicate.
Processing of Xiao Qing Gan
August to September every year is the golden period for picking green oranges. This is the time to process Xiao Qing Gan. When winter comes, the oranges will mature. This is the time to process Da Hong Gan.
The picked green tangerine will be washed, hollowed out, and dried within 48 hours. Then stuff the Yunnan Pu-erh tea into the inner of the tangerine and put it in the sun for 8-15 days to let the water evaporate and let the fragrance and taste of the tangerine be blended with that of the Pu-erh tea. The dried tangerine is a kind of traditional Chinese medicine.
Benefits of Xiao Qing Gan
Xiao Qing Gan tea contains the benefits of green tangerine and Pu-erh tea.
Green tangerine contains citrus acid, limonene, phenolic acid, nobiletin, vitamin C and E, etc, which have good effects of relieving cough, eliminating phlegm, antibacterial, skincare, and so on.
Pu-erh tea has more nutrients, including tea polyphenols, tea pigments, flavonoids, various vitamins, amino acids, and trace elements, etc, which have many pharmacological effects.
Benefits of Xiao Qing Gan:
- Weight loss
- Relieve cough
- Improve eyesight
- Eliminate phlegm
- Lower cholesterol
- Lower blood sugar
- Lower blood pressure
How to Make Xiao Qing Gan
- Tea sets: porcelain cup or purple clay teapot.
- Dosage: only one Xiao Qing Gan.
- The temperature of the water: 100℃.
There are three ways to make Xiao Qing Gan:
- Uncover the top peel cover that seals the Pu-erh tea and put the whole Xiao Qing Gan in the tea set. Then add 100℃ water to steep it. If you prefer light tea, you can use this method.
- Pour Pu-erh tea into the tea set, tear up the tangerine peel, and add 100℃ water to steep it. If you prefer strong tea, you can use this method.
- Make a few small holes in the Xiao Qing Gan and brew it with 100℃ water. Its taste is between the above two.
Xiao Qing Gan can be brewed many times. One Xiao Qing Gan can be brewed a day, but should not use the overnight Xiao Qing Gan, which will produce many bacteria overnight.