Black Brick Anhua Dark Tea (2017)

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Black Brick or Hei Zhuan in Chinese, is named after the tea appearance which is compressed into a brick shape with black colour. This is a type of Dark Tea or Hei Cha which has undergone microbial fermentation from several days to many years. 

Dark Tea started producing in Anhua county, Hunan Province around 1524, when merchants spotted the big profit margin in trading Yaan Dark Tea (also known as Tibetan Dark Tea) to Tibet.  In order to cop the shortage of Yaan Dark Tea production, in1595,theMingEmperorgrantedtherightto produce and sell DarkteasfromAnhuadirectlytoNorth-westofChina, Mongolia and other parts of Central Asia.

Dark Tea in Anhua is made of matures leaves, which are essentially the leaves left on the tree to grow. The qualities of any tea are as much in the terroir, the soil, climate and type fo tree as the processing. Our Black Brick Dark Tea is made from the traditional local bushes, which are medium-leaf varietals (something between small-leaf bush ( C. sinensis var. sinensis) and the large-leaf varieties of Yunnan (C. s. var. assamica)for making Puer Teas.The tea garden is located in a natural forest environment with minimum management on Gao Ma Er Xi Mountain. Gao Ma Mountain is one of the most famous areas in Anhua to produce Dark Tea.  The climate is warm in winter and cool in summer, surrounded by clouds and mist, is especially suitable for the growth of tea.  The slate weathered and rotten rock soils are widely distributed in the area and the rich beneficial microbial mineral elements in this mountain have made the unique characters of tea. This effects the chemistry of the tea as well as subtler, energetic properties. You would notice that the tea has a very balance flavour with light earth and wood characters.

This brick has been aged since 2017, but you will still notice a very light aroma of smokiness, that is because of the processing which is one of the oldest methods of dark teas by drying the fermented tea leaves over a specially build stove called "seven-star stove" which contains seven holes inside the stove allowing the heat to travel evenly. Pine woods were used to fire in the stove to give the tea's unique character of gently smokiness and pine wood.  

The brick is compressed into chocolate bar shape so it is easy to break by hand. We are selling bricks and broken. The bags will have 8 pieces and the exact weight will vary but each piece will be about 5-7g.  They were originally 250-gram brick and there are two bricks in one box. Like all compressed and aged tea, there is always attrition, meaning that they will range between 470 and 500 grams.

How to brew

Water temperate: 100°C 
Leaf to water ratio & Brewing time: 1 piece (6g) for 250ml; 1st brew for 3 mins or until leaves are loosing up;  2nd - 4th brew for about 40 seconds to 1 min.  5th brew for 1 min or longer. 

Recommended Water: please use natural mineral water with PH7 and the dry residue under 150°C
Tips: adjust the leaf to water ratio if you prefer to shorten the infusion time or for lighter and stronger taste.  

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