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365 Challenge > Day 174 - Fu Zhuan Cha (2016)

Written by our guest blogger Hidde @hidde.stok

The origins of my tea journey can be traced back to my childhood, where I frequently sipped on scented and flavoured tea. I first came in contact with high quality during an internship in London, where Jing Tea provided the hotel I worked in with their signature teas. I was instantly hooked with the pure flavours and higher quality of the leaves. However, once my internship ended, I lost the interest in tea, and it was not until I took a tea flight at Jing Tea the following year that my passion for tea was created. Will Ritson (Gongculture on Instagram) managed to get me back into tea by showing the basics of tea and sharing his love for it.

I decided to purchase this tea because the purveyor, Jeff from UNYtea, praised it highly as well as the fact that I was not yet familiar with Fu Cha. Fu Zhuan Cha belongs to the fermented tea category, but it differs from Pu Erh, since it is not grown or produced in the Yunnan province. Another exciting aspect of this tea is that it contains a particular type of mold: Eurotium Cristatum or "golden flower". This mold accounts for the creamy and sweet characteristics alongside the calming effect it provides.

This is a very forgiving tea and can be brewed to one's preferences. The brick itself is tightly pressed and is covered with golden specks, which give it an interesting look. Whilst brewing the tea, it takes a while for the leaves to separate and release the sweet, thick and creamy liquor. The liquor itself has a rusty amber colour, resembling a tawny port.

The taste reminds me of cookie dough, vanilla and maraschino cherries with a hint of medicinal herbs after 5 to 6 steeps. This tea is calming, grounding and provides you with a very relaxed session. It is the type of tea that does not require your attention and just lets you enjoy the moment.

Tea Profile:

Type: Fu Zhuan Cha (Dark)

Origin: Tao Yuan county, Hunan province China

Harvest time: Spring 2016

Leave colour: Dark brown and black with specks of golden flowers

Liquor colour: Rusty amber

Tea aroma: Fragrant with floral and earthy notes

Tea taste: Cookie dough, vanilla and maraschino cherries

Steeping/brewing: 6 grams per 100 mL. This tea is not very fussy or difficult to brew. Start with 15-20 seconds and then add time according to your taste. You can add 5-10 seconds depending on how strong you like your tea and if strong is what you desire more leaf is completely acceptable.

Shelf life: Up to 30 years and possibly more

Elevation: 500m

Compression date: Spring 2018

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