The dark side of tea

31 March 2023
The dark side of tea

With all the demonstrations and riots going on in France right now, these might seem like dark times. Tea has a dark side too. Pu-er cakes are made from fermented tea, or dark tea, as the Chinese called it over a thousand years ago. After the leaves are steamed, they are compressed into a brick, a cake, or a more rustic bird’s nest. These compressed teas improve with time. To drink them, you break the side of the block and the leaves crumble off. They can now be brewed, preferably in a gaiwan, several times in a row, until they have given us all they have to give.

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