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?

    3 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
      143 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:

    • @OmegaMouseOP
      73 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
        93 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.