I am now used to drink fuzhuan tea from in the form of bricks which generally have a tightly compressed texture. As this was a sample, I found the leaves loose and thought maybe it was like maocha. I found out that it was compressed into cakes which tend to be not as tight as bricks. Not sure if this has an impact on the taste.
Actually, fuzhuan teas did surprise me. They are very different from pu-erhs (which is a more popular form of dark tea). Anhua dark teas taste more like fortified black tea to me, which a lot of endurance. Just a couple of days ago I wrote about the lack of 'endurance' (or multi-steeping ability) of black teas. But with dark teas, you don't have that problem. This tea was a little astringent to my liking. Still, it had a vibrant mouthful taste full fruity notes (red fruits) and a pleasant floral undernote.
I've read with interest that traditional dark teas from Anhua County have been granted 39 Chinese invention patents. This means that they all passed the three qualification criteria of novelty, creativity, and practicability. They are now protected under copyright law in China. I do not know what this means in practice, but this tells me something. Chinese tea makers from ANhua takes this very seriously, and they are many different production techniques and processes; hence, a lot more to discover.
Origin: Anhua, Hunan
Harvest time: 2017
Leaf colour: Dark brown and green with lighter edges and a few golder flower spots
Liquor colour: Orange amber
Tea aroma: Fruity and woody
Tea taste: Slightly sweet and brisk with fruity notes and a faint floral flavour
Steeping/brewing: Add 8 g of tea in a gaiwan or teapot. Rinse with 95°C water and repeat if the leaves do not get loose. To the first steeping, add 100 ml water and wait for 20 sec. To each consecutive steeping, add 10 sec.
Shelf life: Can be aged.