I was given a gift of two tea cakes of Lavender Pu-erh over the weekend. I have never used the caked tea (just bags, loose tea and the pearls/flower tea.) So I was excited to try out some caked teas that my friend got from China!
I love the simple, but colorful packaging with the name of the tea on it! (the characters on the top 薰衣草, means Lavender in Chinese.)
Opening up the small packages that are wrapped in a wax type paper you have a small tea cake that is shaped like a birds nest. It was just the right size to fit into my tea infuser too! So didn't have to break it or anything!
The tea cakes are about as round as an american quarter, and fit great into one of my tea infusers, I basically made it the same way I made loose tea, put it in the infuser and then poured hot water over it!
After I made my second cup of tea with it I was curious how the packed cake looked once it had steeped a bit. Just the same as loose tea! I got many many more cups out of the one tea cake, and the tea was strong and not watery for all of them!
The tea cake itself did not have a smell when I smelled it after opening. Once I brewed the tea it had an earthy, musty smell to it. The taste was good, the first few cups had that strong bitter taste (which i like in a tea), it had a small hint of lavender in the taste. After my first cup I needed a little bit of sweet and added some honey to mine though.
The tea also had an incredibly lovely shade to it once brewed.
Overall I would be interested in trying other types of tea prepared as cakes. The lavender Pu-erh was good, I would drink it again when I wanted something with just an earthy taste and not a fruity or other flavor added. Just a nice, warm tea to enjoy and relax too.
You can find this tea online sold through an ebay seller (where my friend got theirs) This is the exact person they ordered from so they sent me the link to their store which has other varieties and even a set of different teas!