Here’s a secret: Don’t cut the bricks. Don’t try it. You will end up with stitches and weak tea.
So, here’s the scoop: These bricks make Xiaguan compression look like sissy stuff. Honestly, when I broke up one brick I used a meat mallet and a steak knife. A saw probably would have worked too. They are too small and too dense to fiddle around with without resulting in some sort of embarrassing self-injury.
The other reason is that the resulting half-bricks just didn’t have enough oomph to make me very happy with the session. Now, I like strong brews, so this may not be the case for everyone. But, really, these half-brick sessions just didn’t have any decent flavor.
So, I chucked an entire brick (~10g) in a 150ml gaiwan. The difference was night and day. Great flavor, great staying power; very dynamic in-mouth.
So, why get DHP compressed as a brick? I guess if you were going to age it, the compression makes sense. Beyond that, I can’t really say it’s a great medium for your daily oolong drinking. But, that said, this is a great session. Don’t cut the bricks, don’t get stitches, don’t break your cheap steak knives, and you will have a good time.
Dry leaf: cocoa powder, peanut shell, hints of licorice/anise. In preheated vessel – some sweet/sour notes.
Smell: roasted nuts, sweet/sour, hints of dark caramel. Sweet, pungent herbal like anise or sassafras.
Taste: roasted nuts, cocoa powder, baking spices, nice woodiness, mineral, sweet/sour. Aftertaste of citrus and tart raspberry, sweet minerality.