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In 2013, having visited Anhua (Hunan), we could not return without a souvenir 36.5kg 'column' of compressed tea.
Apart from the typical fuzhuan (brick tea) in Hunan, it is common to compress dark tea into these 'sausages'; the most common weights are: 10 taels (350g), 100 taels (3.5kg) and 1000 taels (35kg).
This particular tea was made by a very famous company in the region: Bai Sha Xi.
The tea is very rich, with notes of leather, molasses and forest soil in autumn. It is delicious when brewed gong fu style, but can also be simmered for about 10 minutes.
If you've never seen how this tea is made, please check out this CCTV video:
The tea also ages very well. We received some 1980 qian liang as a gift... and have loved every drop of tea from it.
The tea is available in little chunks, in 100g packs. But we also used a Japanese pull saw to make a few, very satisfying slices.
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