Artistic Green Tea Brick - 1.1 lb
0.75 28.75 $0.75 - $28.75
Mild green tea character. Lightly vegetative with a smooth finish. About 1.1 pounds, and makes about 200 cups of tea. Each brick is pressed to display a decorative woodland scene.
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Mild green tea character. Lightly vegetative with a smooth finish.
These days a shipment of tea from a warehouse in Shanghai can reach Tibet's capital of Lhasa in a matter of days. Thanks to the recently constructed railway to "the rooftop of the world", a tea merchant can now accompany his shipment on the long journey in heated and pressurized comfort. Pressurized of course because the train hurdles along at elevations as high 16,640 feet above sea level. (You read that correctly.) Now, people in Tibet have been drinking tea for many, many centuries - stories of hot yak butter tea are legendary. But how did the tea get there prior to the construction of the great iron road in the sky? If you answered "by truck", very clever, but we're talking even further back. If you answered, "by pony", again very clever but many parts of the journey weren't accessible by pony. The correct answer is that tea, pressed into the form of bricks for ease of transport, was hauled up to the mountain kingdom on foot. And just how impressive a feat was that? An examination of the new rail line will help put it in perspective.
For its entire length, the new railroad sits at over 13,100 feet high. The highest station, in the town of Nagqu, is situated at 14,764 feet. Almost half the route travels across permafrost. As mentioned, the cabins of the train are pressurized to compensate for the lack of oxygen at these altitudes. The threat of altitude sickness is so real that at all times, doctors are present on board to treat passengers who succumb. Talk about goin' up the rails on a crazy train. Now, imagine yourself carrying 300 lbs worth of tea bricks on your back and covering approximately 6 miles per day walking along the tracks.
Without exaggeration, that is how tea bricks once made their way to Tibet. The only saving grace was that merchants packed the tea into large packs with a built in tri-pod that allowed them to rest the towering loads up against a wall - that, and the magnificent views. The journey took weeks, sometimes months depending on weather. You can see why for centuries tea bricks were used as currency - with each step their value literally raised with the altitude. Subsequently, wasting tea was considered something of a sacrilege in ancient Tibet. (We'd like to think wasting tea still is - anywhere!)
Beyond their historical method of transport, green tea bricks were something of a novelty when they first appeared. Traditionally, tea bricks were made using fermented, or black, tea. And while many people elect to display them as a novelty art piece, they also make a wonderful cup of tea. Either way, we offer them in honor of the many men who crossed mountains in their name. Hint: Tea bricks make an excellent sales piece. Customers can't help but ask about them!
Brewing for Best Results
Ideal Brewing Temperature: 185°F/85°C.
Minimum Brewing Temperature: 175°F/79°C.
Modern Method: Bring filtered or freshly drawn cold water to 185°F/ 85°C. Break apart tea. With an infuser, use 1 slightly heaping teaspoon of loose tea per 8 oz of fluid water. Rinse the tea first by placing enough prepared water over the leaves and leave set for 10 seconds. Discard rinse water. Do not drink. Steep 5-30 minutes according to taste (the longer the steeping time the stronger the tea).
Traditional Method: When preparing by the traditional method, this tea can be used repeatedly - about 3 - 4 times. Bring filtered or freshly drawn cold water to 175°F/ 79°C. Break apart tea. With an infuser, place 1 slightly heaping teaspoon of loose tea per 8 oz of fluid water. Rinse the tea first by placing enough prepared water over the leaves and leave set for 10 seconds. Discard rinse water. Do not drink. Pour the prepared water directly over the leaves after the rinse. Steep for about 3-5 minutes then remove leaves. Rinsing the leaves are not recommended when brewing the second or third time.
Tea(s) From: China
Region(s): Hubei Province
Luxury Ingredients: Green tea
Making an amazing cup of tea requires several things. High quality tea, filtered or freshly drawn cold water, correct water temperature, time of infusion, and filters/infusers. Unfiltered water or too hot of water can ruin the best of teas. Always use filtered or freshly drawn cold water. Any flavor from water treatments or heavy minerals such as lime or calcium can taint the water. Brew at the ideal temperature. Too hot of water can scorch the leaves and produce a bitter brew. If you find that the tea is still bitter following the recommended brewing temperature, try lowering the brew temperature another 5 to 10 degrees. Use infusers that allow the tea leaves to fully expand and has full contact with the water. Ditch the tea bags. Know the steeping time for your tea. Too long of steeping can make your tea bitter and undesirable. Too short of time will make a weak tea. Don’t make tea in the microwave.
We strongly recommend using filtered or freshly drawn cold water brought to a rolling boil when brewing all types of tea. Today’s water has been known to carry viruses, parasites and bacteria. Boiling the water will kill these elements and reduce the potential incidence of water-borne illness. Cool the water to the ideal brewing temperature before brewing.