In ancient times, the completely dried and ground black, green, or pu’er tea leaves were pressed to make compressed tea in China. Compressed tea comes in many shapes: round shape, square shape, bowl shape, ball shape and roll shape. The dry compressed tea is dark brown. Its liquid is orange or red, with a rich mellow flavor. It is very popular in China’s ethnic minority regions. Compressed tea provides high resistance to moisture and is easy to transport and store.
China has a long history of compressed tea production. Around the 11th century, tea merchants in Sichuan Province had steamed and pressed teas into tea cakes and shipped them to the northwest. Hunan dark brick teas and Hubei green brick teas were produced by the end of the 19th century in China. Compressed tea helps promote healthy digestive function. It adapts to the special cooking and drinking methods of ethnic minorities across China. It also provides high resistance to moisture and is easy to transport and store. Due to the inconvenience of transportation in most tea-producing areas in the past, teas could only be carried over on men’s shoulders or on horses’ backs. During long-distance transportation, teas can absorb moisture easily. However, teas become compact after being pressed, which enhances moisture resistance. The mellow flavor can also be enhanced because of the effects of moisture and humidity in the long-time storage. Therefore, until now, compressed tea made from various teas is not only a necessity in China, but also greatly demanded globally.
Based on the raw material, compressed tea can be divided into the following types:
1.Yunnan Sun-withering Compressed Tea and Yunnan Pu’er Compressed Tea
2.Anhua Hua Brick Tea, Anhua Dark Brick Tea and Anhua Fu Brick Tea
3.Hubei Green Brick Tea and Hubei Mi Brick Tea
4.Sichuan Kang Brick Tea and Sichuan Jinjian Brick Tea
5.Guangxi Liupu Brick Tea
Anhua dark tea is rich in polyphenols, which can help dissolve fat and promote the excretion of lipids. It can also activate protein kinases, accelerate fat decomposition, and reduce body fat content. So, Anhua dark tea is called “slimming tea” by Korean, “beauty tea” by Japanese, and “digestion tea” by Taiwanese.
Probiotics in teas can help improve the intestinal microbial environment and digestion.
Polyphenols and their oxidation products in teas can help dissolve fat, promote the excretion of lipids in blood vessels, and reduce cholesterol content in the blood. Flavonoids in teas can help relax blood vessel walls, increase the effective diameter of blood vessels, and lower blood pressure.
The functional factors of unique probiotics in teas and various compound components such as polyphenol oxides and catechins can participate in human metabolism. It has special functions of purifying the internal organs of the human body and adsorbing toxic substances (alcohol, heavy metals, internal waste) in the body. It also has an inhibitory effect on germs, thereby protecting the liver and kidneys.
1. Compressed tea is not loose and you need to break it into small pieces first.
2. You will not get tea liquor by brewing or steeping compressed tea leaves. It is recommended to use the method of steaming or boiling.
3. Generally, spices or ingredients are added to the compressed tea in the steaming or boiling process.