Better known as Heicha (黑茶) or literally “dark tea”, Hunan Dark is a tea that undergoes fermentation after being rolled and dried. Having rarely encountered this specific tea process, I’m not feeling 100% confident about reviewing it. Nevertheless, Hunan Dark is a beautifully crafted tea that expounds fermented dry notes. Although it’s quite clear to me that this tea is of Chinese origin, ironically it was actually produced in Yunnan, rather than Hunan province (kind of a let down, since I’ve never had one produced in Hunan). I am pleased to confirm Hunan Dark contains the advertised “grape” notes, which blend quite well with its overall not-quite pu-erh body and scent. All around a very lovely discovery.
Hunan Dark is the first time I’m brewing from this sample packet sent to me courtesy of Steepster.com‘ s Tea of The Month-ish club. I do feel somewhat of two minds in subscribing to a tea club from any one vendor. However, Steepster is one of the very few tea forums/communities that exist and one large enough to get their hands on some really interesting blends. I’ll probably try it for a month or two to get a sense of what their teas are like before canceling. But hey, the first month was free. ;P