Now I finally understand why people thought it was crazy to buy whole cakes, bricks, or whatever, for personal consumption. Instead, they preferred to buy loose tea, or tea that was broken up by the seller in advance.
It’s very annoying to drink things from compressed tea.
I’ve been burning through my aged baozhong stash, so in an effort to stem the tide, I thought I’d sacrifice quality by drinking….. well, cooked puerh that I have sitting around that will otherwise never be consumed. The item in question right now is a Menghai factory brick, one of those 5th grade bricks that I bought for about $4 back in 2006. I got it pretty much just for fun, and still have it around as I barely touched it. I figured, why not?
Well… turns out there’s a hassle after all. When I was drinking tea properly everyday, it wasn’t that much of a hassle to break open a cake or a brick and consume that. When you have all the tools around with you, with the tray that catches all the loose tea, with everything in place, breaking open tea is pretty simple.
When you’ve been used to just throwing some leaves into a pot and then brewing, however, breaking a brick is annoying. Flakes are everywhere. You have to break it off before you drink. It’s hard to figure out how much tea is in the (big) teapot, and so dangers of overdose is high (at least this is cooked puerh from Menghai, so it can’t go terribly wrong). It doesn’t even taste all that great. Why, oh why, would anybody bother with this crap?