Hunan Fu Zhuan Cha Dark Tea
Hunan Fu Zhuan Cha Dark Tea

Hunan Fu Zhuan Cha Dark Tea

Tea Soul

The Hunan Fu Zhuan Cha Dark Tea is a product made from pressed and fermented camellia leaves. Because of its appearance, this tea is sometimes associated with Puer Shu (or some aged Puer Sheng) but, although fermentations are always involved, the two products differ in several respects.

First of all, teas defined as "dark" somewhat encapsulate all those post-fermented products not from Yunnan and, therefore, from camellia sinensis varieties rather than assamica. Fu Zhuan Cha, in particular, is native to the Hunan region of inland China.

Another important factor that characterizes and distinguishes dark teas is their fermented hint. These teas, in fact, ferment in a different way than Puer Shu resulting in a milder cup than Yunnan products.

The difference here lies in the conditions under which the leaf is allowed to ferment. For Puer Shu the crop is piled in large stacks and left for about two months on the floor being moistened from time to time. Dark teas, on the other hand, are heaped for one or a few days, moistened and then immediately pressed making sure that fermentation takes place slowly and with little contact with air.

Thanks to this processing, teas such as Fu Zhuan often develop complex herbal flavors with balsamic and mineral traits.

Hunan Fu Zhuan Cha Dark Tea also lends itself to maturing its flavor profile over time and forming small yellow dots between the leaves. In China, these dots are called golden blossoms and are a symptom of proper fermentation of the product.

To directly understand the differences in fermentation between dark and Puer Shu teas, we invite you to compare this product with the 2019 Menghai Chen Xiang Puer Shu (cooked) Tea.

Tasting - Sight and Smell

The pressed leaves of Hunan Fu Zhuan Cha dark tea are tightly compressed together and various shades of brown, with colors ranging from deep brown to coppery brown. Once infused, they release aromas reminiscent of the forest: damp earth, burnt wood, moss, bark and a very faint, almost imperceptible note of leather. In the cup, the liquor is dark orange in color, with a tint almost reminiscent of cognac and beautiful red highlights.

Tasting Notes


The first infusion of Hunan Fu Zhuan Cha dark tea brings with it the sweetness and delicacy of this type of fermented tea: there are notes of underbrush and damp earth, along with a fresher, herbaceous note reminiscent of straw. All these scents are supported by an underlying sweetness similar to that of forest honeydew. With the second brew, there is a slight hint of camphor as the tea leaves a sugary sensation at the back of the throat with each sip. Mushroom notes also appear, albeit very lightly. With the third infusion, a hint of licorice and balsamic notes then emerge; while the body of the tea becomes denser and more enveloping with each infusion, notes of earth and damp wood remain ever present, lingering on the finish along with a surprising coffee note.


At a first sip of Hunan Fu Zhuan Cha dark tea, notes of damp earth, camphor and licorice wood come to the palate, with a basic sweetness that does not disappear until after swallowing. Empyreumatic hints of burnt wood and hints of sweet tobacco are also discernible, which then evolve into stronger notes of coffee, high cocoa bitter chocolate and finally peaty whiskey. The body is sustained, round and velvety on the palate: no astringency is perceived and the persistence, with notes of wood and coffee, is enveloping and long-lasting.

Location of origin

Yiyang, Hunan - China


After harvesting, the leaves of Hunan Fu Zhuan Cha Dark Tea are quickly brought to cook in large heated metal woks. At this stage, as is the case with green teas, the enzymes responsible for oxidizing the product are deactivated through heat.

At this point the leaves are folded and piled up so that, thanks to the residual moisture in the plant membranes, a fermentation process similar to that which occurs in puer shu can begin. After about twenty-four hours, the leaves are again folded and lightly dried before being pressed into the traditional tile-like shape.

The tea will finally enter the market after some resting time (varying according to the manufacturer but at least more than a year) during which the characteristic flavors due to fermentation will develop.

Hunan Fu Zhuan Cha Dark Tea Infusion Method

We strongly recommend infusing Hunan Fu Zhuan Cha dark tea in the traditional Chinese method (Gong Fu Cha) with a gaiwan with a capacity of about 150 ml. By following this preparation, multiple infusions can be made with 5 grams of leaves that are useful for best capturing all the flavor nuances of the tea.

Heat the water to a temperature of 95°C: proceed to briefly rinse the leaves and then to an initial 15-second infusion. Keeping the water at the same temperature, you can then continue to exploit the same leaves by adding more water and increasing the infusion time by 5 seconds each time (15 - 20 - 25...).

This tea has a longevity of about 8 infusions.

For a more classic preparation according to the Western style we recommend 3 grams of leaves in a 200 ml cup with water at 95°C for an infusion time of 3 minutes.

For a better tasting experience we suggest that you strain the tea as soon as the infusion time is over. The infusion timings we suggest can be slightly modified to your liking to achieve a more or less intense taste.

We recommend storing in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

Benefits of Dark Tea

The Dark Tea category is able to provide a valuable supply of minerals and vitamins so much so that, even today, it is used as a primary source of these elements by several people in northern China.

This product is also able to give that range of benefits associated with fermented products but without having too intense a taste and, therefore, being more accessible to anyone.

Somewhat like Puer Shu Teas, infusing a dark tea can also have beneficial effects on digestion and, with constant consumption, improve intestinal flora.

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