Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Tools of the Trade



As some of you have experien-ced, breaking-up pu-erh bricks, beengs, touchas or what have you into manageable pieces can be quite pesky. When pu-erh is compressed into various shapes, the results can truly be impenetrable - Ok, well I embellished it a bit, but nonetheless, they can be HARD

When I first started drinking pu-erh, my first pu-erh breaking efforts had involved a flat-head screwdriver. Albeit this proved to be somewhat effective, I was always unable to maintain the proper leverage needed to break up the pu-erh into nicely defined and even portions for proper storage. For instance, if I buy 3 beengs, I will decide which two of the three are the most pristine and place them in storage and divide the other. In dividing the beeng into two parts I will have 1/2 a beeng for drinking now, and another to be stored for at least 1-2 years which I would then periodically taste in order to evaluate as to whether or not it is worth a time investment.

1 - beeng for (Potiential) Market Speculation
1 - beeng to try in 3 or 4 years or longer
1/2 - beeng to try in 1-2 years
1/2 - beeng to drink now.
Total of 3 beengs.

As Cloud had stated in his mini-clip, a letter envelope opener is the perfect accouterment for this job. (View “Clouds Tips” in sidebar for elaboration.) Of course some tea shops will attempt to sell you a “pu-erh knife”, - but trust me it is a letter opener. The one shown is mine. It has a nice weight with nice sharp edges for easy handling, but most of all it comes with a knife blade. This has become extremely useful for cutting into boxes, ribbons, plastic packages, and for trimming leaves which look unpalatable.

3 comments:

Mary R said...

That is a handy lil' gizmo. Where on earth did you find a letter opener with a Swiss Army style knife?

Oh, when I read about the purchasing of multiple beengs I had a lovely vision of a giant tea cabinet chockablock full of puerh. But that got me thinking...where's a good place to store this sort of thing for the long term, especially with storage being such a commodity in an American home? (I pick on us Americans because...well, we have shows like "Clean Sweep" on TLC.)

Steven Dodd said...

Right now the few puerh cakes I have are in a cardboard moving box with the top closed but not sealed in any way. Oxygen gets in, but keeps light out. Nothing fancy.

Bill said...

Hi Mary, I found this item on Ebay where you can find everything if you look hard enough! :) As for you storage question, just like Steven, I currenlty use cardboard boxes. However, I separate them by type and age. They are located in a closest away from light and odors. In the spring and summer, I will open the boxes and set them out at night from time to time with the windows open to let them breath the night air in order to facilitate their aging

Cheers!