According the quality, and processing technology, we can separate Chinese tea leaf to six kinds: Green Tea, Yellow Tea, Dark Tea, White Tea, Oolong tea, Black tea. The technology of dark tea has two notable characteristic in the processing of Hunan dark tea: Pile-Fermenting and Fire-Drying with pine wood during primary processing. Without these two processes, t can't be called “Dark Tea”. Black glossy, dark brown, stale and mellow, a little pine odor is the characteristic of dark tea.
The earliest record about “dark tea “appeared in Chinese history in 1524, in which the real dark tea originated in Anhua of Hunan. Hunan was the main producing area of dark tea during the Ming Dynasty, the production of tea in Anhua, Linxiang was the largest, and the quality was excel.
Hunan Dark Tea has four characteristic: First: history, Second: large quantity, Third: good quality, Forth : all kinds.
As one specification of dark tea, Poria Cocos Brick (Fu Tea) is the top grade in the ancient kind of Dark tea. Being complete ferment tea, Poria Cocos Brick Tea is the most complex and unique brown tea which has the longest production processing cycle. It products Aspergillus Cristatus, brick-like in appearance, with flourishing golden flowers all over, dark and shining, red and strong tea soup, mellow to the taste with lasting scent. “Peoria Cocos Brick Tea contains the many kinds of amino acids, the Vitamin and the trace elements which the human body needs, and its rich inclusion can effectively block the formation of carcinogenic micros group compound in human body. The contained steatolysis enzyme has the decomposition to be greasy, the digestion and reduces human body function as well as fat compound, cholesterol, three acid anhydride fat.
Qianliang tea was dried by putting in sun and opening in dark, it may be said “absorbing the elite of the nature”. The season of stamping and making the tea is very strict, or it is easy to become mildewed or burn in the heart. Qianliang tea stored for many years, has been filled with tea worms on the surface of it. Tea worms and their excrement not only can't damage the quality, but also make the pharmacologic efficacy more remarkable.
Besides compressed dark tea, the loose dark tea leaf has seven kinds: “Yajian, Baimaojian, Tianjin, Gongjian, Xiangjian, Shenjian, Kunjian”. Which made by tender dark tea leaf raw material. Yajian and Baimaojian is the top-quality dark tea loose tea leaf , they are not trade merchandise, just for the gifts from tea merchants with small quantity production output. The Tianjin and Gongjian Dark Tea, was compressed by foot in former times, with primitive bamboo package and setting forth the light sweet scent of bamboo leaves. This product is delicate in raw material, special in work, deep in color and mellow in taste, chiming in with Liubao Dark tea of Guangxi, was only possessed by the rich men in former days
“Tea-horse Exchange” appeared in the ancient Chinese history and lasted for about a thousand years from Tang Dynasty to Qing Dynasty, government exchanged the tea abounded in the central plains for the horses fed by the minorities in the Northwest, made two each get what he needs. Dark tea was one of the main kinds of tea in “Tea-horse Exchange”. It also called “Official Tea” which means that this tea was controlled by the government in order to exchange horses with the minorities at that time.
During the Tang dynasty, the road from Yunan and Sichuan to Tibet was called “the ancient tea-horse Road” in history.These merchants carried Foria Cocos brick tea from Hunan to north.
Ming Dynasty government thought that Hunan dark tea with large yield, strong and stimulating taste was more suitable for the minorities to drink with cream cheese in it, so they made the tea produced in Anhua county of Hunan as “official Tea “.It was carried to the areas of Xianyang and Jingling of Shanxi province and made into “Jingling Brick Tea”, because produce in summer, so that named “Fu brick tea”
There are many ways to drink dark tea: pure-drinking can make you taste the real quality of tea, flavored-drinking can make you not only enjoy the prefect combination of tea and milk, but also supplement the nutrients from drinking tea, medical-drinking can relieve the diseases of human body. So the people may make choice according to their own habits and health conditions.
First Step: Take around 5g Dark tea leaf
Second Step: Put the Dark tea into tea pot with around 700ml water
Third Step: Heating tea pot to boiled water, the tea liquid color may change quickly.
Fourth Step: Pour out the tea liquid from the tea pot. Please filter the tea leaf.
Fifth Step: Enjoy the Dark tea. We could add water and heat again until the tea liquid color become light.
Six Step: some people like drink cool Dark tea liquid, they believe that is much nice than hot liquid with pure natural sweet flavor.
China has the history of “curing diseases with tea”The main functional composition of dark tea is tea polysaccharides compound. This kind of compound is regarded in medical science circle that it can adjust sugar metabolism (prevent and cure diabetes) ,reduce blood fat and high blood pressure, resist thrombasis and improve immunity of human body.
Pile-fermenting of dark tea can make the big-molecular compounds in tea decompose and fission, and secrete the small-molecular compounds helpful to the quality of tea through the metabolism of itself under the participation of useful microbes, such as Candida, Aspergillus niger and bacteria, etc., and make tea taste coordinated and liquor color deep etc. Drying dark tea by smoke-baking with pine wood can further improve the quality of tea, and make tea products high in aroma, mellow in taste and deep red in liquor color.Hunan dark tea has unique quality and remarkable pharmacological effects, this is because the processing of dark tea is different from that of other kinds of tea, among which pile-fermenting is the foundation of quality formation of dark tea, and smoke-baking with pine wood further promotes the formation of color, aroma and taste of dark tea products. The process of fungus-growing of Fu brick tea is the characteristic technique distinguished from other dark tea, which can not only improve the color, aroma and taste of the tea products, but also make them produce magical medical efficacy, so Fu brick tea is generally acknowledged as “The mysterious Tea on the Ancient silk Road of China”, and widely concerned in tea and medical sciences circles all over the world.