【How to Brew】Xiao Qing Gan Chinese Tea, Chinese Puer Tea in Green Citrus Orange, How to Brew, Production(中国茶 小青柑)English Version

Hello, we are SHIHA TEAPOT SHOP. We introduce Xiao Qing Gan (Xiaoqinggan 小青柑) Chinese Tea. We sell teapots which are good to brew Chinese tea. Please check our shop to find good teapot for xiao qing gan! (Japanese version is here)

This article is continuation of the story of Tea and Chenpi Orange Peel.

What is Xiao Qing Gan?

Xiao qing gan is unriped green small orange whole peel with ripe Puer Tea, staffed in it. Ripe Puer tea is called Shu Pu / Shu Puer Cha. In Chinese, Xiao qing gan is written as 小青柑 .

小 (Xiao) mean “small”,
青 (qing) is “blue”,
柑 (gan) is “citrus”
In together it is name of tea, that is “small unripe(green) citrus peel with Puer Tea”

Dried Orange peel in certain condition is called Chenpi (陳皮). Please refer Chinese tells Health benefit of Chenpi.

Ms. Xia (夏) in Beijing explains how to brew (text in green)

Xiao Qing Gan was in big boomed in China several years ago. Xiao Qing Gan in Ms. Xia’s have 5 year old Gong Ting Ripe Pu’er (Shu Pu’er). It is said that Xiaoqinggan become more delicious over time, and because of the health benefits of mandarin orange peel and tea, many people buy them for gift to friends and parents.


How to Brew Xiao Qing Gan (Basic)

The technique of brewing Xiao Qing Gan is the harmony of aroma and flavor of citrus orange and pu’er tea. Since the flavor of orange and the taste of pu’er tea comes out in different speed, it’s a good to understand the characteristics of your Xiao Qing Gan and control aroma and flavor.

1 Take out lid of Xiao Qing Gan put it in brewing pot (Gaiwan/Teapot/Glass)

2 First, wash tea at least once. (It’s called Xi cha 洗茶) Since the tea leave inside is aged for 5 years, I wash this small green citrus twice in order to get original flavor of the tea. The tea is awakened by washing. (It’s called Xing Cha 醒茶)

Washing: Pour hot water into teapot and drain soon. Tea leaves are moistened. This is not “brewing”.

3 After washing the tea, use boiling water to brew the tea.

4 Pour the hot water slowly into the opening of the small green citrus. Water has to go through the tea leaves in the citrus.

5 For the first brew, wait 30 seconds then pour into your cup or gong dao bei. (there is no rule of how many seconds. You can judge right time by the color of water in the pot.)

The key is “slowly”. In this way, the changes of the tea water color will be even and well and the texture in your mouth will be good. Tea leaves doesn’t like so much impact of water pressure in this case.

After brewing several time, please extend the infusion time (steeping time).

In case you crush the citrus and brew (for faster brewing), please shorten infusion the time. The flavor will come out quickly, otherwise tea will become too thick. Please adjust it well.


It is summarized in the below table.

Tool to brew/ tea wareAny Kind
(Gaiwan, Chinese Teapot, Japanese Teapot
Xi Cha (Wash tea before brewing)Necessary. At least once, twice is preferable.
TemperatureBoiling water
Water flow from kettlePour slowly (small water flow)
Water dropping PointAim tea leaves in the citrus. Water has to go through tea leaves.
Infusion TimeApprox. 30 seconds for first brew, judge with the color of tea

How to Brew Xiao Qing Gan (No.2)

My Chinese tea teacher in Beijing showed me how she brew. She said that there is no rule of how to brew Xiao Qing Gan. It is really depend on person. The point of her technique is to make the same flavor on very brewing. She decide infusion time by the color of tea water.

1 Remove the lid of a citrus and put it in a teapot/gaiwan.
2 Take out and put some tea leaves from the citrus (see below photo2,3). By doing this, the first brew will have right thickness and right flavor in appropriate time.
3 Wash tea at least once or twice

Please pay attention to the water flow in the photos. The size of water flow and water dropping point (position/height of the spout). The temperature of the hot water was just after boiling or a moment later.

④ Slowly pour hot water toward the opening of the citrus.
⑤ After a while, pour hot water toward the edge of the bowl. (Outer tea leaves are easy to open, so do not give impact directly with the pressure of water)
⑥ When the outer tea leaves are soaked, pour hot water toward the inner tea leaves again.
⑦ Pour toward the inner tea leaves until it is full.
⑧ The upper is weak and the lower is darker/thicker. .
⑨ in Gong Dao Bei, tea water is mixed, and color/taste become perfect.

Making space in the citrus first by taking out little amount of leaves. This method makes tea leaves in the citrus easy to expand in it. It influences taste and speed.

Brew Xiao Qing Gan With Japanese Teapot

Japanese teapots are also popular with Chinese customers to brew Chinese tea. We have selected teapots which is good for Xiao Qing Gan brewing. Please visit our teapot shop and check.

Storage of Xiao Qing Gan Tea

Please keep Xiao Qing Gan dry place. And keep away from light (sunlight, light). Put in a sealed container.


It is said that, Xiao Qing Gan can keep for 3 years and some says 10-20 years. My personal opinion is that it is best to drink as soon as possible without long-term storage.

Because, one of the conditions for Pu’er tea becoming delicious over time is good storage environment (such as fixed temperature and humidity). When stored in everyday space in Japan, it is hot in summer and cold in winter. There is a danger of the mold if tea absorb moisture in the air under high temperature.

For long-term storage, first avoid exposing it to moisture. We recommend a room where the temperature does not change so much (not in the kitchen). This is an idea based on my own experience of storage failure.

Xiao Qing Gan Production in China

This is photo from Xin Hui district (新会) , Guangzhou City in Guangdong Province on July 30, 2019. I got a photo from the chairman of Guangdong Tea Leaf Association. You can see the mandarin orange field in the back.
Xiao Qing Gan are made exposed under the sun for 4-5 days. The chairman explained as below.

● First, only the orange peel is exposed to the sun for one day, then Pu’er tea is stuffed and dried in the sun for 2-3 days.
● The method in the photo is pure sun-dried. Pure sun-dried have better flavor than the ones dried with a dryer.
● You can judge whether it is pure sun-dried or dryer dried by the color of the peel and the tea water.
● The tree (variety) name of small green citrus is “新会茶枝柑” (above photo)


Peels of flesh citrus are taken out. There are holes on the top and bottom.

Only Peel

With Pu’er tea stuffed. When the surface is dry, turn it over and expose.

Location of Beijing Ms. Xia shop

This is Ms. Xia’s shop information who introduce how to bew Xiao Qin Gan. If you go to Beijing. In China, at many tea leaf shop, you can taste first and buy. she also sell green tea, white tea, blue tea, black tea, black tea, jasmine tea, etc.

Yong Xin Tang (用心堂)
Liang Ma Antique Market Building, No. 2218
Address: No. 27, Lingma Bridge, Chaoyang District, Beijing
北京市朝阳区亮马桥路27号 亮馬国際珠宝古玩城 2F 2218号 用心堂

I introduction a customs/manner of shopping tea leaves in China. If you go to a tea shop and taste various teas (and stay long time), you buy tea leaves or something at the shop (spend money) for their time and kindness . Please refer.

【Video】How to Brew Xiao Qing Gan

Brew Xiao Qing Gan in Gaiwan (Appox. 3min) From China

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For those who want to know in more detail, I have collected a video of how to Xiao Qing Gan in China. I chose the ones that are easy to understand only with images. (Japanese Language)

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