Anhua dark tea (安化黑茶, Ān Huà Hēi Chá) is a famous Chinese dark tea. It is native to the Anhua County in the Yiyang City of Hunan Province. Anhua dark tea is also called Hunan dark tea.
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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 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 processing technology is listed in intangible cultural heritage.
Types of Anhua Dark Tea
The main types of Anhua dark tea are Hei Zhuan tea, Fu Zhuan tea, Hua Zhuan tea, Qian Liang tea, and San Jian tea.
Hei Zhuan Tea
In 1939, Peng Xianze, the father of China’s dark tea theory, succeeded in the trial production of Hei Zhuan tea in Anhua, which gave birth to the first Hei Zhuan tea in China. Hei means “black” and Zhuan means “brick”.
Each Hei Zhuan tea weighs 2kg and is in the shape of a rectangle brick. The color of its tea liquid is yellow-brown. The taste is mellow. In order to meet the needs of the market, small Hei Zhuan tea was also invented.
Fu Zhuan Tea
Fu Zhuan tea is native to the Jingyang County of Shaanxi Province. In 1953, the Anhua people created the first piece of Fu Zhuan tea.
Fu Zhuan 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”. The beneficial bacteria have some health benefits and can also promote the quality and taste of the tea.
Hua Zhuan Tea
Hua Zhuan tea was previously called Hua Juan tea. Juan means “roll”. Its shape was changed from roll-shaped to brick-shaped.
Hua Zhuan tea was first created in 1958. The four sides of Hua Zhuan tea have patterns to show the difference from other brick-shaped teas, so it is called “Hua Zhuan”. Hua means “flower” and here it means “pattern”.
The processing technology of Hua Zhuan tea is basically the same as that of Hei Zhuan tea, only the raw material is different.
Qian Liang Tea
Qian Liang tea appeared during 1821-1850. It is a traditional famous tea of Anhua dark tea.
The Qian Liang tea is wrapped in a bamboo tube. Each tube is about 1.5-1.65 meters long and about 0.2 meters in diameter. When brewing, should cut it into cakes.
The color of Qian Liang tea is red-brown. Its tea soup is as bright as amber and it tastes mellow.
San Jian Tea
San Jian tea is a kind of loose tea. According to different grades of raw materials, San Jian tea can be classified 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.
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.
Benefits of Anhua dark tea: