I have ordered some premium loose pu-erh tea for the family recently. My young child has got right into an aged raw pu-erh, describing it as ‘not green, not black, but the perfect balance of the refreshness of the un-fermented tea and smooth texture of fermented tea’. Three kilogram of the loose teas is taking up a box of the storage space, which fortunately is available at our residence.
A flash of thought came into my mind: it would be only seven cakes if this was cakes. A further reflection of the advantages and disadvantages of pu-erh teas being in their traditional ‘cake’ form came up with following summary.
Advantages of the cakes:
- Less storage space
- easier to transport
- less likely to be damage (crushed as loose leaves)
- facilitating the post-fermentation
Disadvantage of the cakes:
- needs to be breakup
Four to one, the Chinese have got it again.
From many years of tea drinking and trading, I have noticed over and over again that there are little but practically meaningful aspects like these that the Chinese have fine-tuned over their long history of tea consumption, from planting the tea bushes/trees right to the end of making a perfect cup of tea. Call it perfection or obsession, this is how the tea masters were born, a nation full of them.