Some interesting discussion in this thread, especially Robert's comments in the middle:http://teadrunk.org/topic/26/hei-cha/
I understand not wanting to confuse with our idea of "black tea", but do you think "black tea" is a better translation than "dark tea"?
Oh I almost forgot I participated in this discussion a few years ago!
Is Robert LCG?
I don't think black sounds all bad culturally. For example, there is the old Chinese saying that "if you want to look prettier than you are, then get dressed in black." Some Hunan hei cha company now makes a hei cha product called "black rose", which is supposed to sound sexy (possibly western influence on this)
I think "black tea" is the most exact literal translation for hei cha, because after all, dark is not the same as black. But it's not practical to call it "black tea", as the term is already taken. I guess hei cha would be an ok name as there is nothing hard to pronounce in it, at least no nasty letters like q and x
But eventually the name used by the most people (or by the largest seller) will become the "official" name when more and more people use it.
Also I feel I don't have thorough understanding of English words. It sounds to me that black means the color black, while dark indicates an environment in which you have limited vision (like darkness), or a color that's not as intense as black (like dark skin). Is that what these words are supposed to indicate or just my mental reflections?