2019 Dancing Horse Fu Cha (舞馬天尖茯茶, Wǔ Mǎ Tiān Jiān Fú Chá, "Dancing Horse Tian Jian Fu Tea") - The first two times we ordered this unique brick we drank/sold all of it before we could get it onto the website. We finally managed to make this an official product after multiple members and staff had purchased entire bricks on arrival.
Dancing Horse is an Anhua Heicha from Hunan, and it is a composite of two different grades. The highest grade, Tian Jian ("Heaven Points"), is an early spring tea that is typically aged loose in a basket. The fourth and lowest grade leaves are harvested in late spring and are mostly fully mature leaves (as opposed to immature buds). This grade is pressed into bricks to make Fu Cha ("Fu Tea"), famous for the presence of a unique microbe Eurotium cristatum, which appears as golden dots in the interior of the brick and is known in Chinese as Jīn huā 金花 ("Golden Flower"). Tian Jian tends to be stronger in flavor and more robust, while Fu Cha is soft and has a sweet nutty taste.
This brick is unique in that it is a Fu brick pressed from Tian Jian that had already been aging as loose leaves before it was pressed. Its flavor is rich and malty, with a complex almond and pecan profile and surprisingly delicate flower sweetness on the empty cup. This tea is produced for the Tibetan market and the wrapper, (included in whole-brick purchases), is printed in Tibetan script with traditional Tibetan colors and motifs. The design features a dancing, anthropomorphic horse - horses appear frequently in Tibetan religious art.