A Tea Addict's Journal

My tea got wet

January 6, 2017 · 3 Comments

Well… that’s sort of the idea, isn’t it, getting your tea leaves wet? In case you can’t tell what’s going on – on a recent trip, I took some tea with me to drink, since I don’t like drinking whatever the place I’m staying at might provide – it’s too much of a lottery unless I’m visiting Taiwan. So, one day we went outside, and when I came back, I met the cleaning lady still working. A short while later, right after she had left, I discovered that my bag of tea was gone. So…. long story short, we fished it out of the garbage, and she claimed that the bag – what you see above – was already that way when she came so she threw it into the trash. Now, I don’t think anyone in my family is insane enough to throw some wet, spent leaves into a bag of dry tea leaves, and I’m pretty damn sure my kids aren’t old enough to learn how to clean up yet, not this way anyway, with a stray tissue to boot. Needless to say, this cake looked nasty, wet all over, and looked like a bit of a lost cause.

Except, it’s not, because of the magic of puerh. Your tea got wet? What to do? Well, you can dry it.

I scraped off the leaves that got wet, and the rest of the cake, since it’s the center of it anyway, the leaves are pretty dry. Some are still a bit damp, but nothing that indoor heating on a cold day can’t fix. A few hours later, everything is dry to the bone again. I brewed some tea up the next day – no problem. All good as new.

You can’t do this with loose leaf tea. If this were a bag of oolong, for example, the whole bag would’ve been toast. However, because this is a solidly compressed cake, and because the bag wasn’t doused in liquid, other than the surface layer of leaves not much else got wet. In fact, once I scraped off the wet leaves the rest already felt pretty dry to my touch. Leaving it out overnight merely made certain that everything got dry – it probably wasn’t strictly necessary. This illustrates two things: 1) puerh is pretty resistant to moisture and dampness, and it takes a lot to get a cake thoroughly wet, and 2) don’t panic when accidents happen. It’s just tea.

Categories: Teas
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3 responses so far ↓

  • Von Monstro // January 6, 2017 at 1:33 pm | Reply

    ..So someone bummed some of your tea and left it in that condition? I mean, stealing tea is one thing.

    No worries indeed at least.

  • Tiago // January 29, 2017 at 8:32 am | Reply

    Hi Marshal, I hope you don’t mind but I remember you mentioning his blog before so I am here adding William from farmer leaf/bannacha link on youtube.

    I don’t know him at all personally but wish him best of lucks. I hope you enjoy it too as I did. He’s focusing more on the tea farming aspect.

    Very interesting stuff.


  • LCF // February 27, 2017 at 9:04 pm | Reply

    Oh God! I admire your equanimity. Something to aspire to. I would be pulling out my emergency meditation and still be screaming bloody murder.

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