za-hi said

Is dark tea another name for pu-erh?


my friend came back from china and surprised me with a fu brick tea (2008) from baishaxi tea industry. it’s labelled as a “dark tea,” but because it’s fermented and pressed into a brick, wouldn’t it also be a pu-erh? i haven’t even tried it yet… waiting for a yixing and a bit more info before i do anything. any info would help. thanks.

14 Replies
alice said

If it was labeled ‘dark tea’ in 2008 when it was processed I’d guess it is ripe shu. So yes it is pu-erh and my best guess is a pu-erh that has undergone accelerated ageing.

mrmopar said
za-hi said

yeah, that’s the one.

mrmopar said

It is called Hei cha I think. It is a tea that is pressed with"golden flowers" a type of beneficial mold spores. It was developed to be traded with Tibetan and Mongolian people. IT is made of a rough grade of tea. It will have stems and other things in it. It is consumed a lot and some people make “butter” tea with it. It is technically not a pu-erh, but it still has some fermentation I believe. It may also be called Fu tea if I am not mistaken.

za-hi said

the package it’s in says it’s Fu tea made in Hunan, China… dark tea made with raw materials… my friend’s chinese friend said it is called emperor’s (or imperial) tea, and only the emperor was allowed to drink it. my friend isn’t a tea person, so i wasn’t able to get a lot of info on it, and that’s what i’m trying to do. i like information and learning, so if i come off as annoying, i’m just trying to get as much info as possible, so i won’t be ignorant… if the story is incorrect, let me know. thanks for your help, man.

za-hi said

i didn’t know you’re a pu-erh enthusiast. you go where most have never gone before. that’s awesome.

mrmopar said

Never annoying, I asked a bunch of questions and still do on my quest for knowledge. The old saying “if you don’t ask you will never find out”. We are all here to help. There is a pu-erh of the day topic you can check out. We put a tasting and review on some teas.

K S said

Pu-erh is a type of dark tea but not all dark tea is pu-erh.

I agree, pu-erh is very popular and it has become the default word, but it’s either “post fermented tea” or dark tea.
There are post fermented teas outside China, for example Japan. Calling them a pu-erh is kind of inappropriate.

From what I understand, the Chinese consider our standard “black” tea, to be red tea, whereas we in North America consider “red” tea to be Rooibos.
Meanwhile, I think the Chinese look at Puer as “black” tea. Complicated…

mrmopar said

Agreed on all points.

Good to know I had it right! thx Mrmopar :)

Sammerz314 said

Dark tea and Puerh tea are not necessarily the same thing. If I am not mistaken, cooked puerhs are a subset of dark teas. Sheng puerhs are not classified as dark tea, they are green.

Here is a blog on Walker Tea Review with a discussion of hei cha/dark tea:

I participated the discussion (and sadly realize now another year has passed by!)

I have a blog post about one of my favorite hei cha:
And on steepster tea log, once I wrote about a more coarse version of the same type:

And here is a blog post about another type of hei cha in traditional Tibetan diet:

With time being, my views on teas change all the time. For example, I mentioned in Walker’s Tea Review’s discussion that I couldn’t taste much flavor from Liu Bao (and in the past a few years, I gave away a lot of CNNP Liu Bao samples sent from Chinese suppliers because I couldn’t taste much from them). But in the past year or so, I have been tasting a whole new series of Liu Bao and they are re-shaping my views on this tea.

Besides, I debated with myself about whether puerh is a type of hei cha. A few years ago, I thought puerh shouldn’t be put in hei cha category. I had some discussion in this blog post:
And in the post, there are some very thoughtful comments from other tea drinkers, and a link to another tea forum discussion on the topic.
In the past one or two years, I started to lean toward thinking maybe puerh could be counted as a type of hei cha.
But no conclusion is final and the categorization is somewhat subjective anyway.

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