Collection: Fermented teas

Fermented tea originates from China, where it is commonly called hei cha (黑茶) or black tea. Hei cha is produced in many regions of China, mainly in the warmer southern provinces. It is commonly pressed into bricks or cakes for aging.

The best-known and most important production areas and varieties are located in the regions of:

  • Anhui: Liu an lan cha (安徽六安籃茶, Anhui Lu'an Tea basket)
  • Guangxi: Liu bao cha or Tea of ​​the 6 castles. (廣西六堡茶, Guangxi Liubao tea, often sold as 松黑茶, Loose leaf black tea)
  • Hubei: Qing zhuan cha (湖北青砖茶, Hubei green brick tea)
  • Hunan: Fu zhuan cha (湖南茯磚茶 (黑茶), the famous fu zhuan 茯磚茶 “brick tea”)
  • Jingyang, Shaanxi: Fu zhuan cha (陕西泾阳茯茶 (黑茶), the famous fu zhuan 茯磚茶 “brick tea”)
  • Sichuan: Lu bian cha (四川路边茶, Sichuan border tea)
  • Tibet: Zang cha (藏茶, Tibetan tea, often called Tibetan brick tea)
  • Yunnan: Pu'er cha (雲南普洱茶, either sheng pu'er "raw" 生普洱, or shu pu'er "ripened" 熟普洱)

Shapes include:

  • Bamboo leaf logs
  • Cakes, or bing cha (餅茶)
  • Bricks, or zhuan cha (磚茶)
  • In bulk, in baskets
  • Bird's nests, or tuo cha (沱茶), usually pu'er tea
  • Squares, or fang cha (方茶)You can get 2 types of tea: raw pue'rh or ripe pue'rh, which differ in the way they are processed.

Once farmers have harvested, withered, cooked, rolled and dried the raw pue'rh, they press it into tea cakes and place them in a temperature and humidity controlled environment to age for up to decades . The fermentation process will cause the tea leaves to react biologically, resulting in a dark brown color and the texture of black tea.

This makes raw dark tea or raw Pu-erh.

Raw pue'rh can have a range of floral, vegetal, rocky or animal flavors depending on how far along the aging process is.

Young raw pue'rh have energizing properties which diminish over the years during aging.

Unlike its counterpart, ripe dark tea, which after being asparagus and undergoes double fermentation, will contain little to no amount of caffeine.

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