Dark Potion (烏汤剂茯磚, Wū Tāng Jì Fú Zhuān, "Dark Potion Fu Brick") - At nearly a quarter of a century old, this potent brick from Anhua, Hunan demonstrates some of the boldest expression of the grade of Heicha known as Fu Zhuan. A lightly compressed brick from coarse, late-spring leaf material, Fu Zhuan is colonized and fermented by a unique microbe known as Eurotium cristatum, referred to in Chinese as Jin Hua 金花 "Golden Flower" because it appears as tiny golden flecks on the interior of the tea brick.
As Fu tea ages the fleck get deeper in color and less distinct, while the liquor produced gets darker and earthier as the leaf material is broken down by the microbes. The mild, almond notes of fresher Fu Zhuan deepen into an assertive mineral and lumber profile that forms the foundation for a complex and robust bouquet of woody, floral, and burnt sugar fragrances. Fans of darker heicha like Shu Pu'er and Liu Bao will appreciate how intense this well-aged Fu Zhuan has become. Producing a dark, rich infusion for more than 20 steepings, this tea can also be boiled to great effect. A strong and deeply satisfying tea.