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365 Teas Challenge > Day 259 - Tibetan Brick Tea 2016

A few days ago, I reviewed Tibetan tea from 2015. I did not find their tastes too dissimilar. I thought this one had an aroma more like jujube and an earthy aroma like a shu pu-erh, which was pleasing.

These brick teas are made out of old leaves of tea plants. Unlike green and black teas, the brick tea has no buds or top leaves. I found fascinating research, which states that according to the biological characteristics of the tea tree, fluorine can be selectively absorbed from soil by trees and accumulated in leaves. When the tea grows for a more extended period, the concentration of fluorine increase. In brick tea, the fluorine concentration is high as it is composed of mature leaves. The research found that due to brick tea-drinking dental fluorosis (which is a cosmetic condition that affects the teeth) is common in Tibetans of Sichuan Province.

After breast-feeding Tibetan children start drinking brick tea and considering that fluorosis is caused by overexposure to fluoride during the first eight years of life. This makes the casual link between brick tea drinking and fluorosis more plausible.

It is interesting to find out about a tea’s adverse health effects. I think this is the first one I found out about. But it is possibly a fair condition as far as Tibetans are concerned. Given that A famous Tibetan proverb says “Tibetans would rather have no food for three days than no tea for a day.”

Tea Profile:

Type: Dark

Origin: Yan'an, Sichuan, China

Harvest time: 2016

Leaf colour: Tones of dark brown

Liquor colour: Burgundy

Tea aroma: Fruity and earthy

Tea taste: Fruity (jujube) and sweet

Steeping/brewing: Place 4 g of this tea in a teapot or gaiwan and add about 100-120 ml water at around 95°C. Rinse after 20 sec. Steep for 20 seconds for the second time and increase the consecutive steeping time by 10 seconds each time. You can steep this tea multiple times.

Shelf life: Can be aged.

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