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365 Teas Challenge > Day 351 - Qianliang Hei Cha 2012

Updated: Jan 18

I discovered this tea not long ago and reviewed already one qianliang from 2017. This one has been aged more than eight years, and in comparison, I found it more enjoyable with a richer tasting profile.

As for the 2017 tea, I only had a small sample. This tea came in a big log (cut form its 50kg mother piece by an electric cutter) of 750 g. It is really a gigantic piece of tea cake.

This tea was gifted to me by a generous friend who also received this tea as a present but probably thought I’d enjoy it more. It came in a lovely gift box, but it is somehow shocking to face a big chunk of tea when you open the box. You wonder how to carve it – the compression is hard-. So, I can see how overwhelming one might feel. It is a great gift but maybe not everyone’s cup of tea.

I immensely enjoyed this dark tea which offered some special floral and burnt hay notes. It had a medium body to it and a slightly sweet fruity taste which got more intense as I kept steeping it. Other tasting notes included pine and camphor. Its finish was punchy, somewhat acidic and very similar to what I experienced with 2017 tea.

I should note that this tea comes from Bai Sha Xi Tea Factory in Anhua County and apparently is the earliest producer of hei cha (dark tea) in Hunan province. It was the first factory to produce the famous Fu Brick in 1940. I can see that some international retailers stocked different varieties of hei cha from the same factory.

Tea Profile:

Type: Dark

Origin: Anhua, Hunan

Harvest time: Spring 2012

Leaf colour: Tones of dark brown/woody look

Liquor colour: Dark amber/brown

Tea Aroma: Floral, burnt hay, pine, camphor

Tea Taste: Medium-bodied, slightly sweet, fruity with an acidic finish

Steeping: Place 6g in 100ml of water at 100ºC and rinse after 20 seconds. Steep for 20 seconds during the first infusion,and add 10 seconds to the subsequent infusions. You can re-steep this tea multiple times.

Shelf life: Can be aged

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