Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Burdock Root Tea

Nowadays, kung fu tea brewing techniques can be used to brew non tea beverages like floral and even root infusions.  Floral 'tea' infusions would include rose bud tea, chrysanthemum flowers, lemon grass and even dried lemon or orange skin peels.  Root infusions would include ginseng and burdock root teas.

And to my newer tea readers, 'kung fu tea brewing' is just a fanciful name to a tea brewing technique.  Its basically using 5-10g of tea leaves into a 150-250ml clay teapot or gaiwan and brewing your tea.  Quick pour outs of the infusions are necessary so a seasoned tea drinker will look quite skillful; movement of hands and water without spilling or making a mess......like some martial art in action.  Why do Chinese tea drinkers prefer kung fu tea brewing than say teabags?  Teabags usually contain about 2g of tea that you infuse in your teacup.  Kung fu tea is more concentrated in a sense that you may use up to 10g of tea leaves to make a cup of tea, though the infusion time for kung fu tea is only a couple of seconds for an infusion of tea.  

Dried burdock root slices are used primarily in traditional chinese medicine (TCM) as a blood purifier (detox).  Chinese families, I know, use burdock root in meat soups.  They may add a piece of pork or chicken, add some burdock root slices, some salt and then boiling the soup for a couple of hours under a small fire.  Its a real tasty soup to make.  Burdock is called 'niu pang' in Mandarin.   

A Burdock tea brewing session basically uses a spoonful of burdock slices.  Do remember to use boiling water to brew this tea and you can easily get 10 good cups of burdock root tea.  The scent is very pronounced, a earthy smell like ginseng but lower notes.  The taste is herbal, pleasant with a nice mild sweetish taste.  I enjoy this tea very much.  I would recommend the Japanese dried burdock slices as the tea is more aromatic and tasty.  Dried burdock slices are usually available  in Chinese traditional medical shops, which will be happy to sell you in small amounts.  

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