Many of my friends have a beautiful tea brick somewhere inside the house. It may be a gift received or purchased during one of the China trips. However it just sits there because they haven’t figured out how to chip a small piece off the brick as recommended or suggested.
Are you one of them? Loosing the tea brick is actually easier than you think.
- a steamer pot with a perforated stack, the pot should be wide enough to hold the tea brick flat.
- water, at least an inch deep in the pot, but not too deep to touch the tea tray
- a mitten
- a flat tray, as a working surface for breaking and drying the tea. I use my cookie sheet lined with paper to absorb the moist.
- tea jar and/or any container, to store the loosened tea
First, prepare the steam pot by bringing water to boil. Then carefully (hot steam) put the tea brick on the steamer stack, close the lid. Set a timer for FIVE minutes. That is right, all you need is to steam the tea brick for no more than five minutes!
While the tea is being steamed, get your mitten ready. When the time is up, use your mittened hand to take the tea out to the tray. The edge of the brick will be slightly bendable and center still solid. Work QUICKLY with both hands. Start from the edge, breaking your way into the center of the brick. Once the broken pieces cool, they turn harden again; so you only have a few minutes of workable window.
I didn’t take any pictures while actually working on the tea brick. Too busy!
Five-minute is a good time frame for my round pu’er tea brick, less than an inch in thickness. If your tea is thicker or thinner than mine, you may need to adjust one minute more or less of steaming period. As we all know, tea making is a delicate process. The brief steaming here is to loose the binding of the tea only. Never we want to introduce excess moist, which will create all sort of problems, such as taste change, or worse, mold growth etc.
After the broken pieces cool and dry, it is time to store them away. I usually put the chunks in a cloth bag and the loose tea into a jar. Always use the loose tea first.
Well, I hope this article help and good luck with your tea brick! If you like, I appreciate you hit “like” at the bottom of this blog, and give me your feedback and thoughts. Bon AppeTEA!