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.
Tea should be simple. I typically brew gongfu except when I make a good English Breakfast. Zhuni pot is one that I dedicate to Chinese b...