Black and Green Tea Brick Box (small) Steenbergs

Tea bricks may now be a beautiful tea gift, but their history makes them more than simply a visually striking form of tea.  The origin of the tea brick is in the ancient spice trading routes from China through Russia into Asia Minor then Europe...

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Black and Green Tea Brick Box (small) Steenbergs details and description

Tea bricks may now be a beautiful tea gift, but their history makes them more than simply a visually striking form of tea. 

The origin of the tea brick is in the ancient spice trading routes from China through Russia into Asia Minor then Europe. Tea producers needed a way of transporting picked tea leaves. They came up with the idea of compressing them into tightly packed bricks, then drying them in the sun. The tea bricks that resulted could be packed onto the camels or horses, taking a much smaller space.

Over time, the tea bricks became the most popular way of enjoying tea across Tibet, Mongolia, Siberia and Northern China, even being used as currency in some places. Often, the tea leaves would be brewed with spices or used in making the butter tea favoured by Tibetans.

Traditionally, tea bricks were made with black tea only, but now they are also made with unfermented tea leaves.

Black Tea Brick

Ingredients: Black Tea

Tasting Notes: Full Bodied with slightly musty flavours; not generally drunk

Brewing: Break Tea brick, crumble and place 1 slightly heaped teaspoon (2.5g) per cup into teapot. Bring fresh water to the boil, then pour over the black tea (95 - 100 degrees C). Cover and steep for 3-7 minutes, according to taste. Add milk and sugar to taste.

Green Tea Brick

Ingredients: Green Tea

Tasting Notes: Mild Green Tea, lightly herbaceous with a smooth finish, not generally drunk

Brewing: Break Tea Brick, crumble and place 1 slighly heaped teaspoon (2.5g) per cup into teapot. Bring fresh water to the boil, cool slightly then pour over the green tea (82- 85 degrees C). Cover and steep for 3-5 minutes according to taste.

To loosen the tea: tea bricks are hard and compressed.  This is how they are meant to be.  The way to loosen the tea is traditionally to use a needle or knife, but you can use a screwdriver or chisel.  Holding the brick flat to the surface, try and find an edge within the tea and then patiently try to loosen it.  Once the needle or sharp point is within the tea brick, you need carefully to insert it further and rotate and press until it is loose.  Be careful that you do not injure yourself.