Week 21: Kettle and Brick

How do these three things go together?

Do we use them together today?



Answers:

How do these three things go together?

You probably recognized the kettle, and the artifact on the right is a strainer, but if the artifact on the bottom was less familiar, it might be because in the U.S. it usually comes in smaller bags -- that's right, it's a brick of tea! The practice of pressing tea began in ancient China, where the leaves of Camellia sinensis (the tea plant) were dried and ground and then formed into bricks. Then the tea could be stored more easily, and sometimes aged, before selling.

Do we use these things together today?

Tea is still sometimes pressed into bricks, but mostly only for certain special varieties such as pu-erh. Interestingly, the tea bag as we know it was invented in 1903, so in 1773 during the Boston Tea Party, loose-leaf tea was thrown overboard, because the Colonists preferred loose tea to bricks.



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