Fu Zhuan tea (茯砖茶, Fú Zhuān Chá) also called Fu brick tea is a kind of Chinese dark tea. Zhuan means “brick”.
The shape of Fu Zhuan tea is like a brick. The fragrance of it is similar to that of Fuling (Poria cocos). It is produced in “Fu Tian” (Hot summer days), so it is called Fu Zhuan tea.
Famous Fu Zhuan tea:
- Jingyang Fu Zhuan tea: it is native to the Jingyang County of Shaanxi Province.
- Anhua Fu Zhuan tea: it is native to the Anhua County of Hunan Province.
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History of Fu Zhuan Tea
Fu Zhuan tea was first created around 1368. At that time, Hei Mao tea, the raw material for processing Fu Zhuan tea, produced in Hunan Province was transported to Jingyang County to be made into Fu Zhuan tea.
The Hei Mao tea produced in Hunan Province is very famous and has high quality. Jingyang County is the best place to produce Fu Zhuan tea due to its climate, water quality, and tea-processing technology. So Fu Zhuan tea is produced in two different places at that time and the Fu Zhuan tea is called Jingyang Fu Zhuan Tea.
In the early 19th century, there were as many as 86 shops selling Fu Zhuan tea in Jingyang County, and the tea had been exported to over 40 counties such as Russia, Britain, and Persia.
The climate in Jingyang County is suitable for producing Fu Zhuan tea, but not for growing tea trees.
In 1985, in order to save costs, the Central Government of China requested that factories producing Fu Zhuan tea should be transferred to the original place of the tea. It means that the Hei Mao tea produced in Hunan Province should be made into Fu Zhuan tea only in Hunan Province.
Thereafter, the production of Fu Zhuan tea in Jingyang County gradually decreased and stopped. Meanwhile, Anhua County in Hunan Province began to study the producing technology of Fu Zhuan tea and began to produce. The Fu Zhuan tea produced in Anhua County is called Anhua Fu Zhuan tea.
In the early 21st century, with the improvement of living standards, people are more interested in traditional products. Some tea merchants in Jingyang County want to revitalize their former glory. In 2007, they began to resume the production of Jingyang Fu Zhuan tea.
In 2007, the processing technology of Jingyang Fu Zhuan tea was restored to trial production successfully. Later, its production gradually increased.
In 2013, Jingyang Fu Zhuan tea became a national geographical indication protection product of China, and its processing technology was selected as the intangible cultural heritage protection project in Shaanxi Province.
Nowadays, Jingyang Fu Zhuan tea and Anhua Fu Zhuan tea all play an important role in Chinese dark tea.
Characteristics of Fu Zhuan Tea
Fu Zhuan tea has a history of more than 600 years. The processing technology of Fu Zhuan tea is very complex.
Among more than 1,000 kinds of Chinese tea, only Fu Zhuan tea and Liu Bao tea can grow a kind of beneficial bacteria called Jin Hua (golden flower bacteria), which is biologically called Eurotium cristatum.
For Liu Bao tea, not all can grow this, only aged one may grow it. But all Fu Zhuan tea can grow it. So Jin Hua is the biggest characteristic of Fu Zhuan tea. Both Jingyang Fu Zhuan tea and Anhua Fu Zhuan tea have this kind of beneficial bacteria.
The beneficial bacteria can secrete amylase and oxidase, which can catalyze the transformation of protein and starch into monosaccharides, catalyze the oxidation of polyphenol compounds, and transform them into beneficial substances to the human body, improving and optimizing the taste of tea.
The shape of Fu Zhuan tea is like a brick. Its color is black with yellow. After brewing, the color of the tea liquid is red-brown.
Benefits of Fu Zhuan Tea
Fu Zhuan tea is rich in nutrients, including vitamins, trace elements, proteins, amino acids, tea polysaccharides, and other substances.
For the residents in Northwest China who mainly eat meat and cheese, their diet lacks vegetables and fruits, long-term drinking Fu Zhuan tea can supplement nutrition, so there is the saying of “The Tea of Life”.
Polyphenols in Fu Zhuan tea can dissolve fat. Caffeine, vitamins, and amino acids in Fu Zhuan tea are helpful for digestion and metabolism. The specific amino acids and theanine in Fu Zhuan tea can inhibit the increase of blood pressure, so it has the effect of lowering blood pressure.
Benefits of Fu Zhuan tea: