• Learn About Tea

    Why Do Puerh Cakes Weigh 357 grams?

    Puerh cakes can be found in many sizes and shapes, especially now that a lot of U.S. based vendors are doing custom pressings. Tuocha, puerh balls, and smaller 100g cakes are a great option for tea drinkers that just getting started. Traditionally though, bings weigh an oddly precise 357 grams. I’ve often wondered what the reasons are for that and this post sets out to find the answer. First, we should keep in mind that the metric system is a fairly recent invention (in relation to how long people have been drinking tea). Production of puerh cakes dates back to the Qing Dynasty. For most of the world’s history, units of measure rarely crossed…

  • Learn About Tea

    Legends of the Leaf: 3 Chinese Green Teas

    One of my favorite things about Chinese tea is the rich cultural history that can be traced back thousands of years. Many teas have legends associated with them that have been passed down through the centuries. These are a few of my favorites. Bi Luo Chun Bi Luo Chun’s original name XiaSha RenXiang translates to scary fragrance. Legend has it that tea pickers ran out of room in their baskets so they placed tea leaves between their breasts. Body heat caused a surprising aroma to be released from the leaves. I don’t really find this tea scary at all but it is definitely delicious. It was later renamed green snail spring by the…

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    How Long Have People Been Drinking Tea?

    When I got into tea one of the first stories that really grabbed my imagination was that of Shennong. Who doesn’t love the idea of a mythical horned emperor accidentally discovering the beverage that changed the world? Some versions say that a Camellia Sinensis leaf fell into his mouth while others say that it fell into some boiling water. This event occurred at the oddly specific time period of 2437 B.C. It is fairly unlikely that a single raw leaf would add much taste, let alone cure the 70+ poisons that he supposedly ingested. Nevertheless, the fable does lead one to wonder, how long people have been drinking tea? Shennong – “the divine…

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    Chinese Tea Color Terms

    One thing that new tea drinkers often struggle with is understanding all of the terms that are used to describe tea at origin. I thought it might be fun to make a simple infographic. Most of these terms are pretty straight forward with a few exceptions. -Wulong and oolong are used interchangeably for the most part. The supposed origin is a translation of the Chinese words for black dragon. In China these also might be called Qing Cha, or semi-green. I rarely see that term used though. -In China what the western world calls black tea is referred to as red tea. It got that name because when you brew it the liquor…