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I just noticed that the red coloured packet of tea contains the tea dust!

This is very surprising. Tea dust available in that kind of packet means that it is available for home use, otherwise it would have been in a tea bag. For commercial use, I don't think selling such small packets makes sense.

How am I supposed to use this tea dust at home? Why should I prefer it over the normal crumbled leaves of tea?

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You don't necessarily want tea dust. The reason commercial producers grind it so fine is to maximize the flavor output and steep speed with the least amount of tea, but and this is my opinion only, I think that makes an inferior tea.

Good tea just uses more leaf so it can reach the desired richness in less than 5 minutes.

Steeping for longer draws more tannins out of the leaf and woody bits and makes tea more astringent, and so does grinding the tea too finely.

  • Those comment don't add up. A fast brew is less astringent, and fine dust produces a fast brew. So you like astringent tea? – TFD Nov 9 '15 at 23:24
  • You are not parsing the statement correctly. Dust is a way to be able to use less tea leaf in a product, but it has a side affect of added astringency. To get good quality tea you use more leaf rather than grinding it up finer and rather than steeping for longer. – Escoce Nov 9 '15 at 23:27
  • I didn't think they are proportional though, and the astringent polyphenols take time to dissolve regardless of leaf size. See worldoftea.org/engineers-guide-to-tea-preparation BTW tannins are in wine, tea has mostly catechins (both are polyphenols) – TFD Nov 9 '15 at 23:53
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    I don't know if they are proportional or not, but I am a tea drinker and I use the convenient tea bag as well as tea strainers as use and my mood dictate. I have a pretty good idea of how to make the proverbial perfect cup of tea, and bagged tea just isn't the way to get there. Grinding tea so fine exposes parts of the leaf in greater proportion than what would be exposed in hand shredded Lead or whole leaf. You get a sweeter tea with whole leaf when steeped the right amount of time (sweetness being the wrong term but the best I can think of at the moment). – Escoce Nov 10 '15 at 0:00
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    If you've ever ground up dried leaves, or even cinnamon sticks, you'll find you always end up with a fair amount of dust. With cinnamon, I just sieve the stuff off, and use it instead of store-bought powder. With Orange mint, or other tea mints, I sieve, and toss the dust. It's too much trouble to work with. If I were running at a 500 kg scale, I might well want to save that 20 or 30 kg of dust, and market it as a special product. – Wayfaring Stranger Nov 10 '15 at 0:10
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I agree with Escoce that you personally may or may not want the dust form of tea, but it can be used in the home. Using it is a little different from leaf teas. If you are used to steeping whole leaf (or at least, large piece) tea and then pouring through a wire mesh tea strainer, you will find that the tea dust goes straight through the mesh. You need to strain it through something finer.

Many (most?) tea bags are made of a sort of filter paper, some are made of very thin silk. You can place a clean square of silk in your tea strainer (large enough that it completely covers all the mesh with some to spare) and pour the tea through that, or you could also use a paper coffee filter if you have those available.

There is also something called a tea sock which is basically a tube of thin fine-mesh fabric (sometimes silk, sometimes nylon or polyester) closed at one end. If you use this, you put the tea dust in the "sock" and steep the tea using the tea-sock the way you might use commercial tea bags.

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