One of my colleagues visits China regularly and was given this tea as a gift. However they didn’t see themselves making the most of it so offered it to me.

I have no idea what to do with it though. It’s like a circular brick of compressed tea leaves. Do I just take off a chunk and leave it in hot water? Does the temperature matter, and do I need any particular tools?

I’ve only ever used tea bags so I’m a bit lost

Edit: also the expiry says November 2023… but it’s just tea right?

  • @TheAlbatross@lemmy.blahaj.zone
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    4 months ago

    I think this is white tea, so you may want to try brewing it at a lower temperature, around 180°F, for a few minutes.

    You can also try brewing it in a gai wan by using about 5 to 8 grams of it, rinsing it once with water just under boiling, then brewing it for 10 seconds at a time, enjoying the tea between successive infusions. It should peel off delicate layers of flavor that way, though you may want to adjust the infusion time and water temp to your preferences.

    Edit: yeah it looks like the text says it’s White Tea from Fuding, so I wouldn’t brew it with boiling water, might kill some of the more delicate flavors and make it bitter. And it doesn’t expire. I’ve heard white tea improves with age and while I’m not sure that’s true, it certainly gets more expensive! 😅

    I’d recommend the latter method, you can jury rig up a gai wan pretty easily, and once you get used to brewing tea like that, you might not want to buy nearly as many tea bags!

    • Classy Hatter
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      144 months ago

      Beat me to it. But I’d like to add that white tea is usually brewed at 90C, which is about 194F.

      There are two common styles of brewing tea, western and eastern. Western style uses less tea leaves for an amount of water and the brewing time is longer. Eastern style, commonly known as gongfu style (can also be written kungfu), is more leaves per amount of water and shorter brews. Gongfu style also lets you brew the same leaves several times, while western style spends the leaves in one brewing.

      If you want to gongfu brew it, I recommend about 5g of leaves for 100g of water. White tea doesn’t go bitter that easily, so you can just brew it until it’s good for your taste buds. You can start from 10-30s for the first brew and then add 5 second for every successive brews. Adjust as you see fit.

      To break the leaves from the cake, use some long thin metal object. Screwdriver if that’s all you have. Avoid cutting it, unless that’s the only way to break it.

      Google Translate gave this result:

    • @OmegaMouse@pawb.socialOP
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      74 months ago

      Very useful information, thank you! I’ll look up some videos to watch the technique. Would using a teapot with an infuser have a similar effect to a gai wan?

      Thanks for confirming that the tea doesn’t expire.

      Once I’ve got a hang of it, I’ll bring some into work to share with the colleague that passed it on 😂

      • Classy Hatter
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        94 months ago

        Would using a teapot with an infuser have a similar effect to a gai wan?

        To brew tea or coffee, you need about four items/things:

        • A method to heat water to a proper temperature
        • A vessel to do the brewing in
        • A method to separate the tea leaves / coffee grounds from the liqueur
        • A cup to drink the liqueur from

        If you want to try to gongfu brew it with what you have at home, you can use some kind of smallish vessel (about 150ml), like a coffee mug or small water/milk pitcher (make sure it can handle boiling water). Use something as a lid-like object to keep the heat from escaping and helping to pour the liqueur while keeping the leaves in the vessel. A big spoon might work, if that’s all you can figure. If you have any kind of fine mesh filter (or just coffee filter paper), you can use that to keep the leaves from getting to your drinking cup.

      • A tea pot with an infuser should work just as well, the commenter below mine details the gongfu brewing method a little more than I did, and that’s mostly what you’re trying to do with the gai wan, the pot itself just lends itself to that method, but the tea pot with infuser will work similarly.

  • @iturnedintoanewt@lemm.ee
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    144 months ago

    Heads up! Many Chinese products have manufacturing date ONLY. From then, you kinda figure it out yourself when is best to consume it. Some will go as far as hint “best consumed within a month or the manufacture date” or things like that. But yeah, as others have said, with tea, if properly kept, doesn’t really expire. I’d day that date is really the manufacturing date.

    • Classy Hatter
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      84 months ago

      Most teas don’t expire if stored correctly. Green teas should generally be consumed within a year from the manufacturing date.

  • @khrol@lemmynsfw.com
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    4 months ago

    That looks like a cake of white tea. There are tools called tea picks that can be used to break the leaves apart or break chunks off, but you can also use a dull knife or anything that lets you wedge it in between the leaves. The goal is to break the leaves apart while leaving them as individually intact as possible.

    For brewing, water temp does matter but Im not very familair with white tea, I would suggest doing a quick internet search, or you can experiment with different temps between 170°F-ish and boiling. I would recommend starting with a tea infuser basket, that would allow you to steep the loose leaves and remove them when done steeping. You could also look into brewing it gongfu style with a gaiwan or similar brewing vessel, again do a search for gongfu and you will find a plethora of information about tea brewing that way.

    The tea subreddit is very beginner friendly, if you are ok with using reddit you can pop over there too, there is a ton of information about brewing guidelines and tea identification

  • Leraje
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    124 months ago

    Best way:

    1. Break a chunk off x4 teaspoons sized
    2. Put it in a teapot
    3. Boil a kettle
    4. Pour about 2 mugs/cups worth of boiled water into the teapot
    5. Let the tea mash for a few mins
    6. Pour it through a tea strainer into a mug/cup
    7. Add sugar and milk if you’re an uncultured heathen

    Source: am British.

    • SatansMaggotyCumFart
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      124 months ago

      I find it works better if you add the milk and sugar to the water before you microwave it.

      Then you add the tea.

    • FuglyDuck
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      94 months ago

      This is white tea and it shouldn’t be steeped at boiling. I’m not sure what the temp is, but I find it funny the snobby Brit doesn’t know that when the heathen American does!

      (Sorry. Couldn’t rssist.)

      • Leraje
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        64 months ago

        Great. Now I have to turn my passport in.

      • Skua
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        4 months ago

        Let’s be honest, taking other countries’ culinary traditions and doing them wrong is our culinary tradition

  • @Banana_Piranha@lemmy.world
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    94 months ago

    Would definitely have a look at the many instruction videos online. Drinking this kind of tea is quite different from the usual tea bags (normally smaller brewing pots, lower than boiling water temp, throwing out the first brew etc).

    Also, the dates you see on Chinese products is often manufacture/production date as opposed to expiry date, especially for tea. If you share a pic of the date then I can confirm. In any case tea doesn’t really go bad, just keep it cool and dry.

  • @ace_garp@lemmy.world
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    84 months ago

    In the Chinese style of tea making, there is a short prewash of the leaves.

    Put the tea leaves in the pot, and then add enough water to cover the leaves, swirl for 3 seconds and pour out the water. Then fill the pot with hot water to brew the tea to use.

  • @Xakuterie@dormi.zone
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    74 months ago

    also the expiry says November 2023

    It obviously is not for drinking. I hope you didn’t pay taxes! Throwing it overboard will send a strong message!

  • Kerb
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    74 months ago

    the instructions i found for other teabricks said to cut/snap of a pice and boil it. pur-erh-tea-cake

    and aparently tea doesnt go bad,
    it just looses some flavour
    does tea expire?

    Does tea expire? The short answer is no.

    The date stamped on the bottom of your tea tin > or tea bag box isn’t technically an expiration date. The Senior Advisor for Food Safety at the > FDA has stated that the “Best If Used By”

  • HatchetHaro
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    64 months ago

    I may be native Chinese, but my tea skills start and end at “put tea leaves in hot water”.

    Only thing I can contribute is that the “expiry date” you see on the packaging may just be the date of manufacture. Unless it explicitly says it’s an expiry date, most food products in mainland China have a manufacture date instead.

  • @thedirtyknapkin@lemmy.world
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    44 months ago

    from the other comments this sounds like kind of a fancy and particular tea. maybe you could offer to share some with someone nearby that has the tools and skills to brew it properly. perhaps a fancy tea shop would be willing to brew it for you.

    I know nothing about tea, but I love sharing food with friends. this seems perfect for that.

  • @AbouBenAdhem@lemmy.world
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    34 months ago

    Break a bit off, crumble it up a bit, rinse it for a few seconds in warm water, then brew it like loose-leaf tea.

  • @Ziggurat@sh.itjust.works
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    4 months ago

    I bought some Pu Ehr in nest (delicious tea actually, but not for everyone). So the game is to take a small chunk of the nest put in a tea pot, just like regular tea, at first it might be quite hard to free some tea out of the nest but after a while ti’s degraded enough so that it goes