"Dark" Tea


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"Dark" Tea

Postby geeber1 » Dec 28th, '10, 18:53

I was leafing through the TeaSource catalog and came upon the category of "Dark" Tea. It is described this way: "Hunan Province, Dark Tea. This sub-category of China tea is shrouded in mystery and almost never seen in the west. Dark teas steep up medium-bodied, very smooth, and usually with a natural sweet note, as opposed to the dark earthiness of puerhs. Like puerh it ages well and is a probiotic tea."

I'm wondering if this is just a type of puerh that's from Hunan province instead of Yunnan, or something I might like to try. Has anyone out there had any experience with this type of tea?
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Re: "Dark" Tea

Postby TwoPynts » Dec 29th, '10, 11:30

Never heard of this but would be interested to hear from someone with more experience about this type of tea.
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Re: "Dark" Tea

Postby geeber1 » Dec 29th, '10, 11:58

It's pretty cheap. I might order some just to see if it's good. : )
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Re: "Dark" Tea

Postby mbanu » Dec 29th, '10, 18:16

Short answer, yes, it's a "pu'er" from Hunan.

Long answer:

From my limited understanding, dark tea is to pu'er as oolong is to tiekuanyin. :) Basically, there are a bunch of varieties of brick teas that go through actual fermentation, even though pu'er has the most visibility. Although many people say "pu'er" to refer to all fermented brick teas, it technically refers only to dark tea from Yunnan that uses leaves from the large-leafed Chinese tea variety. So a dark tea from Hunan isn't officially a pu'er, although it shares many similarities.

You might have more luck asking in the pu'er forum, as they seem to know a lot more about this sort of thing. :)

Here's a poorly-worded English history of Hunan brick tea, basically suggesting that early Chinese exporters thought that Hunan brick tea tasted better with clotted cream (öröm), so it might be a better choice for export to the Mongolians, who had a habit of drinking it that way. :)
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Re: "Dark" Tea

Postby geeber1 » Dec 29th, '10, 19:39

Thanks for the link, mbanu.

I thought of posting to the puerh thread but since it was listed as a black tea in my catalog, I put it under black. I might re-post it in puerh, though!
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Re: "Dark" Tea

Postby Sirwill » Jan 12th, '11, 22:42

I have tasted 3 different kinds of "Dark" tea. It is also labeled as Sichuan fu brick tea, or something along those lines.
mbanu is right about the description. It is a sort of branch off of pu'erh.
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Re: "Dark" Tea

Postby IPT » Jan 13th, '11, 11:46

"Dark" Tea confuses a lot of people. In Chinese Dark Tea is called Hei Cha. The Chinese word "Hei" can mean either black, or dark, so many people mis-translate it as black tea, which then gets confused with the English teas, which in China are called "Hong Cha" which translates as "Red Tea".

Dark Teas are fermented teas and are one of the six categories of Chinese tea; Green Tea, Red Tea, Yellow Tea, White Tea, Wulong Tea, and Dark Tea. Puer is listed under the Dark Tea category.

The Hunan Dark Tea is generally called Fuzhuan Tea and was shipped all over along the Ancient Tea Horse Trail. It was shipped as far as Moscow and is traditionally what the Tibetans and Mongolians use to make their yak butter tea. It ages really beautifully and has a lovely flavor with a hint of sweetness when aged.

Two other famous Dark Teas are LiuAn and LiuBao. LiuAn is made in Anhui Province and LiuBao is from Guangxi Province. They both age as well.

The ability to age is what Dark Tea is known for.
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Re: "Dark" Tea

Postby geeber1 » Jan 13th, '11, 12:01

Is the difference that it's from Hunan province rather than Yunnan? I would like to try some, especially if it's not as "earthy" as Puerh. (Please correct my spelling of Puerh - I see it spelled so many ways!)

I'm sure TeaSource isn't the ultimate place to get some - can you suggest a reliable source to order from?
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Re: "Dark" Tea

Postby IPT » Jan 13th, '11, 12:13

There are a lot of factors that make it taste different. The trees location, processing techniques, climate, and etc all effect the outcome.
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Re: "Dark" Tea

Postby honza » Jan 31st, '11, 19:31

Heicha (dark teas) is very interesing and big family of chinese tea. I think the taste is so far way from Pu ! But in Guangzhou some crazy tea bussines make in past fake Liuan (Anhui) from Yunnan ripe material, keep in wet place and sell it like "very aged liuan"...But the nei piao is different original Sun Yi Shun Liuan or not have nei piao. So good aged heicha is not "earthy". Maybe only Liubao - this tea is very near ripe puerh and Guangzhou is more wet than GZ ... But take young Liubao and keep it is good way i think.

geeber1 wrote:Is the difference that it's from Hunan province rather than Yunnan? I would like to try some, especially if it's not as "earthy" as Puerh. (Please correct my spelling of Puerh - I see it spelled so many ways!)

I'm sure TeaSource isn't the ultimate place to get some - can you suggest a reliable source to order from?
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Re: "Dark" Tea

Postby honza » Feb 5th, '11, 08:38

IPT wrote:"Dark" Tea confuses a lot of people. In Chinese Dark Tea is called Hei Cha. The Chinese word "Hei" can mean either black, or dark, so many people mis-translate it as black tea, which then gets confused with the English teas, which in China are called "Hong Cha" which translates as "Red Tea".

Dark Teas are fermented teas and are one of the six categories of Chinese tea; Green Tea, Red Tea, Yellow Tea, White Tea, Wulong Tea, and Dark Tea. Puer is listed under the Dark Tea category.

The Hunan Dark Tea is generally called Fuzhuan Tea and was shipped all over along the Ancient Tea Horse Trail. It was shipped as far as Moscow and is traditionally what the Tibetans and Mongolians use to make their yak butter tea. It ages really beautifully and has a lovely flavor with a hint of sweetness when aged.

Two other famous Dark Teas are LiuAn and LiuBao. LiuAn is made in Anhui Province and LiuBao is from Guangxi Province. They both age as well.

The ability to age is what Dark Tea is known for.


Hola! Have some one informations about how is made Liuan (Anhui) ? some tea-seller wrote is wodui procesing there, but for me is more green tea with post-fermentation in bamboo basket.
thanks!
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Re: "Dark" Tea

Postby tea-awed » Feb 5th, '11, 15:12

HoJo has Fuzhuan cha in 200gm bricks. I saw it just yesterday and became
interested. Somehow I couldn't find prices on their site though :?
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Re: "Dark" Tea

Postby Chip » Feb 5th, '11, 19:01

tea-awed wrote:HoJo has Fuzhuan cha in 200gm bricks. I saw it just yesterday and became
interested. Somehow I couldn't find prices on their site though :?

You have to look on the available now page for prices.
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Re: "Dark" Tea

Postby tea-awed » Feb 6th, '11, 02:55

Okay. Thanks :)
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Re: "Dark" Tea

Postby teafarm » Mar 28th, '11, 14:58

I was in Changsha, Hunan back in 2010 when the high speed train first opened from Guangzhou to Wuhan, Hubei. I went to a shopping center and noticed that they sold Dark Tea (黑茶). There were A LOT of them stocked, so I presume it's a regional tea there. I didn't really see any when I was in Guangdong or Shanghai.
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