Anhua dark tea (Hei Cha) is a famous traditional Chinese dark tea. It is produced in Anhua County in Yiyang City of Hunan Province. Sometimes Anhua dark tea is called Hunan dart tea.
Anhua dark tea is a national geographical indication product of China and its processing technology was listed in the national intangible cultural heritage protection list in 2008.
The longer the Anhua dark tea is stored, the more expensive the price of it is. It is like aged wine. The price of Anhua dark tea can’t be generalized, ranging from tens of dollars to thousands of dollars per 500g.
1. History of Anhua dark tea
The earliest historical record of tea production in Anhua County is in the Tang Dynasty (618-907).
Some historical experts infer that the tea production history in Anhua is more than 2,000 years ago in the Han Dynasty (202 BC-220 AD), because the tea they found in the ancient tombs of the Han Dynasty in Changsha City, the capital of Hunan Province, came from Anhua County.
According to historical records, Anhua began to produce dark tea in large quantities before 1524.
In 1595, the emperor approved Anhua dark tea as official tea, which was gradually sold to Northwest China, because people in the northwest of China were lack of fruits and vegetables, and needed to use dark tea to supplement the nutrition needed by the human body.
In the Qing Dynasty (1636-1912), Anhua dark tea began to be exported to Russia and Europe.
In modern times, Anhua dark tea is protected by national geographical indication products, and its production technology is listed in intangible cultural heritage.
2. Types of Anhua dark tea
The many types of Anhua dark tea are Dark Brick tea, Fu Brick tea, Hua Brick tea, Qian Liang tea, and San Jian tea.
Dark Brick tea
In 1939, Peng Xianze, the father of China’s dark tea theory, succeeded in trail production of Dark Brick tea in Anhua, which gave birth to the first Dark Brick tea in China.
Each Dark Brick tea weighs 2kg and is in the shape of rectangle brick. The aroma of it is pure; the color of tea soup is yellowish-brown; the taste is mellow. In order to meet the needs of the market, there is also small-sized Dark Brick tea invented.
Fu Brick tea
Fu Brick tea originated from Jingyang County of Shaanxi Province. Later, in 1953, Anhua created the first piece of Fu Brick tea.
Fu Brick tea is a special tea that contains a kind of beneficial bacteria called Eurotium cristatum in biology. Eurotium cristatum looks golden, so it is called “golden flower” in Fu Brick tea. The beneficial bacteria has some health benefits and can promote the quality and taste of the tea.
Hua Brick tea
Hua Brick tea was previously called Hua Juan tea. Juan means “roll”. Its shape was changed from roll shape to Brick shape.
Hua Brick tea was first created in 1958. The four sides of Hua Brick tea have patterns to show the difference from other Brick teas, so it is called “Hua Brick”. Hua means “flower” and here means “patterns”.
The producing technology of Hua Brick tea is basically the same as that of Dark Brick tea, only the raw material of them is different.
Qian Liang tea
Qian Liang tea appeared during 1821-1850. It is a traditional famous tea of Anhua dark tea.
The finished Qian Liang tea is wrapped in a bamboo tube. Each tube of tea is about 1.5-1.65 meters long and about 0.2 meters in diameter. When brewing, cut it into cakes.
The color of Qian Liang tea is red-brown; the tea soup of it is as bright as amber and tastes mellow and soft.
San Jian tea
Tian Jian tea is a kind of loose tea. According to different grades of raw materials, San Jian tea can be divided into Tian Jian tea, Gong Jian tea, and Sheng Jian tea, so it is called “San Jian”. San means “three”.
Tian Jian tea is the best-quality tea among them. In the Qing Dynasty (1636-1912), Tian Jian tea and Gong Jian tea were regarded as tribute tea, which is enjoyed by the emperor.
3. Health benefits of Anhua dark tea
Anhua dark tea contains many amino acids, vitamins, trace elements, proteins, tea pigments, flavonoids, and other nutrients, which have good pharmacological effects.
Here are the main health benefits of Anhua dark tea
- Weight loss
- Promoting digestion
- Removing greasiness
- Protecting intestines and stomach
- Anti-inflammatory and sterilization
- Lowering cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure.
In addition, the Fu Brick tea of Anhua dark tea contains beneficial bacteria, which has good effects on anti-tumor, weight loss, and treating diarrhea.