So if you saw my previous cupping of the Dark Tea Rose sample from Zen Cha this is a bit of a follow up. I thought the shape and style of the compressed heart looked familiar and as it so happens I had a sample of this tea sent to me via TeaSource a while back. I remember thinking it somewhat novel, as the heart shape and ‘rose’ scent seemed to paint it into a perfect role for a Valentines day gift – so thinking it to be a pu erh – I didn’t bother to cup it as I was waiting for a time to gift it. After recieving the kindness of I Cheng in the form of a ‘dark tea’ sample, it jogged my memory and I found the sample in my tea cubby. I decided to go ahead and cup it again and found a few more details after sending an inquiry to the parent company in China.
First: Each tea heart weighs a bit different. I found the weight shift from 3.6g – 4.2g depending on the heart – a fine metaphor, but perhaps not the most equivocal cup. They also both had the YQY stamp on the tea heart – and I think this confirms origin.
The flavor was very consistent with my other cupping so I won’t draw it out.
Second: So concerning my correspondence with Yiqingyuan Tea Industry the details are as follows -
Hunan Dark tea, if some body say Hunan dark tea, actually is meaning Anhua dark tea, Anhua is a county of Hunan, Just Anhua dark tea is the most popular in China.
About Fu Cha is pile-fermented in Hunan, actually, the Fu Cha is just a type of Hunan dark tea, original place of dark tea is Anhua county of Hunan province, Dark tea has many types, such like Fu Cha/ Fu brick tea, Hei Brick tea, Hua Brick tea, Qing Brick tea, bamboo fu cha, qiang liang tea, bai liang tea, shi liang tea, dark rose tea, and grain dark tea, etc. so you said dark tea bricks, may it is fu brick ,or Hei brick, or qing brick, or Hun prick, but just Fu brick tea can grow golden flowers(also called Eurotium Cristatum)In Yunnan, there are two major types of Pu’er, Qing Pu’er and Shou or Sheng Puer. Shou Cha is pile fermented in Yunan.
Please have a check the attached information of Dark tea and Puerh tea, thanks very much!
If you have any other questions for Chinese teas, please just let me know, thanks!
Attached was also more technical information on the difference between Pu Erh’s and Dark Teas. The overall distinction is this:
Pu Erhs come as sheng and shou styles (shou being pile fermented and more akin to ‘dark tea’) and they all come from the Yunnan region.
Dark Teas hail from the Anhui region of China and are pile fermented and pine-wood fire cured (like Lapsang souchong and Bohea)
Both have pro biotic properties due to pile fermentation and have other potential attributes to diuretic and digestive health and are consumed with that consideration.
I always find it interesting to find new frontiers of tea and I hope you find this curious and interesting.