Friday, June 5, 2009

Xiao Xiao's big day

You may already know that quality loose leaf tea is a great value. I usually tell my clients that a pound of tea brews 180 to 200 cups, which means that the price per cup can fall anywhere from one penny to a few dollars. While I'm sure this all varies greatly from person to person and tea to tea, I still feel this statistic is a pretty accurate rule of thumb.

One day Xiao Xiao and I decided to find out just how much brewed tea we could make using my last 8 grams of 1997 Nannuo shou cha. This tea cost $128 per pound, so 8 grams would be $2.26.

Xiao Xiao!
(What he lacks in size he makes up for in spirit.)

Xiao Xiao holds enough tea to fill three small teacups, but because I was drinking solo, I poured a third of each infusion into a large mason jar, a third into another small drinking cup, and the rest into my own cup to savor. We went for 13 delicious infusions.

After I was done the mason jar held 10 ounces of tea:
(This room temperature mix of all 13 infusions tasted great too!)

... and the cups looked like this:
(I didn't drink all of these, because I was already feeling a super puer buzz.)

(They are shown here in order from left to right, top to bottom.)

30oz of tea is 3.75 cups so this time a $128 per pound tea worked out to about $0.60 per cup!

After our little experiment, Xiao Xiao was very sleepy (brewing 30 ounces of tea can be very hard work when you're the size of a golf ball) so I made him a nice little "nest" out of some used tea leaves and let him rest.

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