Why Chinese call black tea as Red Tea (Hong Cha)? The answer is quick simple:
- Because the color of tea is more rich redish Amber to Brownish red instead of nearly black dark brown color.
- Because there is a separate tea category as Black tea (Hei Cha) in Chinese. Since the name of black tea has already been used for Red Tea (Hong Cha) in English, so the Chinese Hei Cha can also be named and known as Dark Tea.
Many people know Puerh tea from Yunnan as Dark Tea, but actually there are also other well known post-fermented Dark teas from other provinces, for example
- Liu Bao from from Wuzhou, Guanxi
- Fu Cha from Anhua, Hunan
- Ya An Hei Cha from Sichuan
Why dark tea is known as black tea in Chinese? It’s simple, as you can see that the color of dried leaves is almost like black. It does not nice look shape or fine aroma like what we can notice from green tea, oolong or black tea (red tea); but you will be amazed by its flavour and taste.
All Black Tea (Dark tea) share a same unique process, that’s post-fermentation, tea can be stored for almost forever (the taste and value increased by its natural aging process) and the flavour and taste can be transformed amazingly, fine and gentle. The biggest difference of these traditional Dark Tea (Hei Cha) from Puerh is, in Puerh it is further divided in Raw and Ripped, but in other Hei Cha, there is only one, the full and post-fermented quality; some are compressed into cake or brick, and some not. For example Liu Bao is in loose package.
- Vision : very dried dark almost black color. The tea color is kind of mixture of organe with copper brown; clarity and rich.
- Flavour: no much aroma from dried leaves, but once it’s being warmed up in pot, then there is a notion of fungus with the mixture of woody and dried plum flavour
- Taste: Mild, smooth with a notion of sweetness, easy to drink. Due to the post fermentation, so there is no very strong after taste punch up in the mouth except the taste of sweetness and smoothness.
- 1g vs. 50ml water
- water temperature: 95-99 Celsius
- matching teaware: nakked ceramic teapot or porcelain gaiwan
- Steeping: 1min. (subject to the preference of your taste)
- Drinking : Don’t hurry up to drink the tea from your cup especially with the dark tea (black tea), the flavour is getting even more finer when the temperature drops to about 80-85 Celsius.
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