Of all the tools I ever thought I would use in making tea, one I never thought I would use, or be so eager to use given the situation as a corkscrew. A little bit of background, I have already talked about this tea, but it was frustrating to get at it at that time, and when I picked it up again, it frustrated me even further. The Tea I am referring to is none other than a Balhyocha Uricha.
As pictured this tea comes with a bunch of tiny twisted leaves grouped together into a ball. Its the shape that makes this interesting, as I do not have a tuo pick (which may be ideal). and only a letter opener that I use as my Puerh knife as the only "picking tool" for undoing compressed tea. This ball has no edges like Tuo chas which you can use to dig the knife into to remove the proper amount. If I were to use my puerh knife for this, I would basically be splitting the ball in two, leading me to completely break the tea into pieces.
Bring in the cork screw, when frustrated with this tea, I was looking at items I had on hand, and I realized the leaves are not that tightly compressed but still enough to not be able to wiggle them loose, and the small point on the cork screw combined with the lever like aspect of twisting the cork screw works wonderfully for digging into the Uricha in small clusters, without mangling the leaves, and without completely dismantling the ball of Uricha.
I wish I had a tuo cha to test this on too. Although I am slightly worried that the extra tight compression of a tuo cha, with the leaves not as thin and wiry might cause the leaves to break apart so much more than what happens with the Uricha.