"Dark" Tea


Fully oxidized tea leaves for a robust cup.

Re: "Dark" Tea

Postby Chasm » Mar 28th, '11, 18:05

I heard Bill Waddington (of Teasource) describe the trip firsthand on which he first heard about the teas labeled as "dark" teas in his catalog.

He took it for a type of pu erh, but the growers and sellers he talked to insisted it is most definitely not pu erh, because the probiotic that interacts with the leaves is different. They said that while it needs to age a certain time before being ready to drink, it does not benefit from years on end of aging the way pu erh can.

All he had with him at the time was what was in his suitcase on the way home, because this was between his return and the arrival of the shipment of what he had bought on that trip. I was very startled by the two samples I tasted, because they had tastes in them I had never encountered in any type of tea before. I wangled one of the suitcase cakes to take home with me (it's not offered in the catalog), and tried to figure out what I could from the wrapper. From what I could make out with the help of a friend, it gave both plain brewing instructions and instructions for making the "milk tea" drink of the far northwest of China, and it was primarily intended for that market.

That all fits with what IPT posted above. Bill had to stick some kind of English label on it, and that's what he went with at the time. His mission is not to be the ultimate scholarly tea authority, but to get Americans good tea without denting their wallets much. So his response to a kind of tea that was new to him was to cup some insane number of samples and bargain until he got a few he thought good at a very low prices for his introductory offerings. He said that the way he builds relationships with growers and sellers takes many years, and so it would be quite some time before he attempted to offer more expensive versions of this class of tea.
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Re: "Dark" Tea

Postby TofuAutomaton » Apr 3rd, '11, 23:30

I'm quite interested in this tea as I love Puer. My local tea shop didn't have any of the tea. I'm using the words 黑茶(black tea) and 茯砖(fu bricks) and I'm not having any luck. Does it go by any other names?
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Re: "Dark" Tea

Postby Chasm » Apr 5th, '11, 06:48

Erm, I can try to photograph the wrappers I have and see what people can make of them.
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Re: "Dark" Tea

Postby Chasm » Apr 5th, '11, 11:37

TofuAutomaton wrote:I'm quite interested in this tea as I love Puer. My local tea shop didn't have any of the tea. I'm using the words 黑茶(black tea) and 茯砖(fu bricks) and I'm not having any luck. Does it go by any other names?


I posted an offer to trade samples under the TeaSwap section. I'd be happy to send you some.
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Re: "Dark" Tea

Postby gingkoseto » Apr 9th, '11, 14:57

Here is a discussion from teadrunk about whether Hei Cha and Puerh should be put in one category, and if yes, whether Heicha is a puerh, or puerh is a Heicha. I personally think it's simple and clear to put them in two separate tea categories. :mrgreen:
http://teadrunk.org/viewtopic.php?id=26

Anyone who wants to try Fuzhuan should be aware that there is significant fungal growth (which is believed to be healthy). Drink it only if you don't mind. Here is a teachat discussion about golden flowers. Many people don't like to see fungal growth in their tea. I did a same survey on a Chinese tea forum, and the result is very similar.
http://www.teachat.com/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=14692

Fu zhuan is one of my favorite teas. But I drink it in liters and in a different way from how I drink other teas. It's like my coca cola :mrgreen: Here is a blog review I did on a CNNP Anhua Fuzhuan.
http://gingkobay.blogspot.com/2011/02/cnnp-hua-factory-hand-constructed-fu.html

But the above reviewed Fuzhuan has finer leaves catering to modern day tea drinkers. The traditional Fuzhuan doesn't look pretty at all, and even looks a bit scary (looks like mixture of tree leaves and grass stems). But it tastes much better than it looks. Here is a steepster review I did on a traditional Fuzhuan. Traditional is not bad. But I like the CNNP Anhua factory one much better.
http://steepster.com/teas/hunan-yiyang-tea-factory/16800-fu-zhuan
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Re: "Dark" Tea

Postby Chasm » Apr 10th, '11, 07:09

Thank you for all the information, gingkoseto.

Teasource's Dark Rose tea has no blooms in any of it that I've ever seen. It seems to be very popular by the rate they go through it, and I've liked it when I've had it.

The Teasource Dark Tea, Large Cake, or at least the one I have, has a fair bit of blooms. The Teasource Dark Tea, Small Cake that I have has a few blooms but not many. The Teasource Hei Cha bricks also have a few, but not many.

I haven't had any problems drinking these even with my hypersensitive digestion, but that poses no guarantee for anyone else, or even batch to batch.
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Re: "Dark" Tea

Postby honza » May 2nd, '11, 06:22

gingkoseto wrote:Here is a discussion from teadrunk about whether Hei Cha and Puerh should be put in one category, and if yes, whether Heicha is a puerh, or puerh is a Heicha. I personally think it's simple and clear to put them in two separate tea categories. :mrgreen:
http://teadrunk.org/viewtopic.php?id=26

Anyone who wants to try Fuzhuan should be aware that there is significant fungal growth (which is believed to be healthy). Drink it only if you don't mind. Here is a teachat discussion about golden flowers. Many people don't like to see fungal growth in their tea. I did a same survey on a Chinese tea forum, and the result is very similar.
http://www.teachat.com/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=14692

Fu zhuan is one of my favorite teas. But I drink it in liters and in a different way from how I drink other teas. It's like my coca cola :mrgreen: Here is a blog review I did on a CNNP Anhua Fuzhuan.
http://gingkobay.blogspot.com/2011/02/cnnp-hua-factory-hand-constructed-fu.html

But the above reviewed Fuzhuan has finer leaves catering to modern day tea drinkers. The traditional Fuzhuan doesn't look pretty at all, and even looks a bit scary (looks like mixture of tree leaves and grass stems). But it tastes much better than it looks. Here is a steepster review I did on a traditional Fuzhuan. Traditional is not bad. But I like the CNNP Anhua factory one much better.
http://steepster.com/teas/hunan-yiyang-tea-factory/16800-fu-zhuan


CNNP Anhua (Shouzhu) Fuzhuan(2007) is for me really favorite! It´s not coz we sell this tea, but i really looking in market the same quality or better with normal price, i think not have. New CNNP Fuzhuan is really so young and more expensive now. Some products from Jin-rich are good, but really no cheap:((( They sell very nice hight grade san-cha with golden flower(800rmb/500gr)!
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