2018 Mojun Yihao Fu Zhuan Brick (墨君壹號茯磚, Mò Jūn Yī Hào Fú Zhuān, "Mojun Yihao Fu Brick") - Fu Zhuan, meaning "Fermented Brick" (sort of) is a class of Hei Cha known for the presence of a specific microorganism, Eurotium cristatum. Known as the "golden mold" or "golden flower", which presents as distinctive golden dots on the interior of the brick. This probiotic organism has been found to survive the high-temperature steeping process and colonize the gut(1). Recent research from the past few years suggests that E cristatum and tea fermented with it may be beneficial to the metabolism by alleviating obesity in mice (1), as well as demonstrating anti-inflammatory (2) and anti-cancer (3) properties in vitro.
While traditionally associated with Anhua, Hunan, this tea is also historically produced in Xi'an Shaanxi province, from whence it was traded along the tea horse road to steppe populations. The Fu Zhuan produced in Shaanxi has a different flavor than the Anhua Fu Zhuan, and the regional production standards for Shaanxi demand a higher concentration of this microbe than Hunan.
This 500-gram brick has a mellow flavor with notes of almond. Abundant colonies of "Golden Flower" mold can be seen on the leaves.
1. Kang et al, 2019. "Eurotium cristatum, a potential probiotic fungus from Fuzhuan brick tea, alleviated obesity in mice by modulating gut microbiota." Food and Function.
2. Zhang et al, 2019. "Anti-inflammatory prenylbenzaldehyde derivatives isolated from Eurotium cristatum." Phytochemistry.
3. Almeida et al, 2010. "The in vitro anticancer activity of the crude extract of the sponge-associated fungus Eurotium cristatum and its secondary metabolites." J Natural Pharmaceuticals