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Dark Tea

Wikipedia: Fermented_tea 
Last Updated: Jul. 19, 2017 

About Dark Tea

Brick of compressed tea, dark brown in color, on a beige background with Chinese charactersDark tea is often compressed into bricks or other shapes. Photo © Ignat Gorazd, CC BY-SA 2.0.
Dark tea, also called post-fermented tea, is tea that has undergone microbial fermentation. In Chinese, dark tea is referred to as hēichá (黑茶), literally meaning "black tea", which is distinct from what is referred to as black tea in English, which is called hongcha or "red tea" in Chinese.

Although there are many types of Dark tea originating in China, the most well-known type, Pu-erh, makes up the overwhelming majority of the production. Dark teas other than Pu-erh remain esoteric and not widely available in the West.

Outside of Pu-erh, which is produced in Yunnan province, dark tea is produced in Hunan and Guangxi provinces. You can use our search and browse features to locate and list Hunan dark teas or Guangxi dark teas in our database.

Dark tea and health

Dark teas are sometimes touted for probiotic effects, because they contain active bacterial and mold cultures. Extensive research has been carried out on Pu-erh tea specifically. There is little research studying dark tea as a broader category and seeing whether or not the research on Pu-erh generalizes to other dark teas or whether there are any differences in their health effects.

Recent Dark Tea Reviews — RSS rss icon

80 / 100
Picture of 2008 Menghai Ripened Pu-erh Tea Tuocha

The smell reminds me of a more "pure" version of the hazelberry pu erh tea from Adagio, and is very "woodsy" But with a more mineral of rocky taste, it is a very good value too, especially for a tea from almost 10 years ago.

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69 / 100
Picture of Pu-erh Classic

Pu-erh Classic from Rishi Tea

Style: Ripened (Shou) Pu-erh – Region: Yunnan, China
May. 17th, 2018

This is my first unflavored puerh, so I don't have anything to compare it to. Mine was aged for 3 years so it might be slightly different from the normal version, but probably not that much. I had to air it out for a week to get rid of the smell of fish. Once that went away, the aroma of the dry leaves became earthy in...

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70 / 100
Picture of Liu Bao Tea Cake 100g

Temperature: 100ºC
Amount of tea: 8g
Amount of water: 110ml
Brewing times: 5-10s rinse, 15s, 15s...

My first experience with this tea wasn't good. The taste was off and the effect it had on me was bad. I notified the seller I bought it from and got a replacement. While the experience with the replacement was bet...

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95 / 100
Picture of Zhu Xiang Ji brand Yu Lei dark tea

Zhu Xiang Ji brand Yu Lei dark tea from ESGREEN

Style: Dark Tea – Region: Hunan, China
Feb. 15th, 2018

If you could brew the experience of sitting in a lush pine forest after a light rain, with a distant, vague scent of wood fire smoke on the air, this would be it. This tea has a clean, dark, wet earth note that underlies a pine note with an almost menthol-like quality to it, and a touch of smoke that comes in at times....

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78 / 100
Picture of 1953 Fucha Anhua Dark Tea Royal Fu Tea Brick

Okay, third time's a charm... Finally, I got something more drinkable out of this one! In the end, it actually reminded me quite a bit of TeaVivre's organic gunpowder green tea, with its smoky, almost pepper-like flavor. Here are the measurements that worked for me:

Temperature: 100ºC
Water: 110ml
Instrument: gai...

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Review 5 teas to get on this list!

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Most-Rated Dark Tea

Picture of Emperor's Puerh - Black Tea

Emperor's Puerh - Black Tea

Brand:Numi Organic Tea
Style:Pu-erh Tea
Region:Yunnan, China
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Teabag
52
7 Ratings
No image of this tea

2006 Fengqing Raw Pu-erh Tea Tuocha

Brand:TeaVivre
Style:Raw (Sheng) Pu-erh
Region:Fengqing, Yunnan, China
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Compressed
98
3 Ratings
Picture of Fengqing Zhuan Cha Raw Puerh Brick Tea 2005

Fengqing Zhuan Cha Raw Puerh Brick Tea 2005

Brand:TeaVivre
Style:Raw (Sheng) Pu-erh
Region:Fengqing, Yunnan, China
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Compressed
79
3 Ratings
Picture of 2005 Jing Mai Autumnal

2005 Jing Mai Autumnal

Brand:The Tao of Tea
Style:Ripened (Shou) Pu-erh
Region:Lancang, Yunnan, China
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Compressed
11
3 Ratings
Picture of Premium Pu-erh Tea - Black

Premium Pu-erh Tea - Black

Brand:My Zen Tea
Style:Ripened (Shou) Pu-erh
Region:Yunnan, China
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
2 Ratings

Top-Rated Dark Tea

No image of this tea

2006 Fengqing Raw Pu-erh Tea Tuocha

Brand:TeaVivre
Style:Raw (Sheng) Pu-erh
Region:Fengqing, Yunnan, China
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Compressed
98
3 Ratings
Picture of Fengqing Zhuan Cha Raw Puerh Brick Tea 2005

Fengqing Zhuan Cha Raw Puerh Brick Tea 2005

Brand:TeaVivre
Style:Raw (Sheng) Pu-erh
Region:Fengqing, Yunnan, China
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Compressed
79
3 Ratings
Picture of Emperor's Puerh - Black Tea

Emperor's Puerh - Black Tea

Brand:Numi Organic Tea
Style:Pu-erh Tea
Region:Yunnan, China
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Teabag
52
7 Ratings
Picture of 2005 Jing Mai Autumnal

2005 Jing Mai Autumnal

Brand:The Tao of Tea
Style:Ripened (Shou) Pu-erh
Region:Lancang, Yunnan, China
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Compressed
11
3 Ratings

Varieties, Kinds, or Types of Dark Tea

Browse All Dark Tea (139)Brands of Dark Tea

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