• 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

    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…

  • Learn About Tea

    A Bowl of Peace – Lessons from the Life of SEN Genshitsu

    The world seems a bit more chaotic than usual as of late. This blog is not a political platform and I would never want it to be (please note that political comments on this post will be deleted for that reason) but a story I heard some time ago came to mind and I thought this was a good time to share it. Tea has long been celebrated as a connector of people and a facilitator of conversation. The Japanese tea ceremony,  or chado, is a particularly good example of that. I’ve never formally studied it but have read every book I can find on the fascinating subject. We often hear legends of samurai meeting…