What is “a section of the block”? Does that mean that I put the whole 2.5 ounce brick into a pot?
When it says “or scraped with a knife into each cup” does it mean that after the block is used for tea, it is scraped into each cup? Or does it mean that instead of steeping the whole brick, the tea is made by scraping the dry tea into a cup and adding water? The text seems to say the former, but the latter makes more sense.
How is the brick stored for the next batch? Dry it off with a paper towel and wrap it in cling film?
Is a 2.5 pound (not ounce) block really a “year’s supply of tea” for someone in China?
You scrape some tea off the block, into your cup, then add hot water to the cup. The brick stays dry, and the tea brews in your cup like it always does. You just don’t have a teabag around it. Think of it as a block of loose tea, only not so loose.
There’s a tool shaped like an ice pick or letter opener used to break chunks off of the tea brick. You only brew a little at a time, since brewing the whole brick would (a) cause the tea to mold and go bad, and (b) require a really large teapot. Trying to scrape tea from the block gives you dust, instead of whole leaves, and makes for a really disappointing cup of tea. Some kinds of tea are good for multiple infusions. Pu-erh (the stuff many tea bricks are made of) can be re-infused 3 or 4 times, depending on the kind of leaf and how strong you like your tea. This is probably what the “pulled out and stored for the next batch” refers to.
I just bought a 500-gram (1.1 lb) block of Pu-erh, and I figure it will last about six months. However, I have a pretty good selection of other teas to choose from, and I’m constantly buying new ones. If that block were the only tea I had on hand, it would probably last 2 or 3 weeks.
not sure what kind of block this is talking about. Yunnan tea has some different varieties. That said, I guessing it’s the block of tea that is about like a brick. Really compressed. Break off a chunk and throw it in the pot.
yep, in previous days, 2.5 pounds probably was the ‘standard’ consumption.
another type is all the left over tea (stems, etc) that are compressed into serious bricks for the Tibet market. Tibetan’s throw a pinch into a boiling caldron and just let it boil all day. Adding additional water and pinches of tea as necessary. These tea bricks are more like dust. Of course, you don’t really taste the tea as Tibetans also add in salt and yak butter