What is Dark Tea? Top 5 Benefits and 56 Types

What is Dark Tea? Top 5 Benefits and 56 Types - ABoxTik 一盒精品 1

What is dark tea? Is Pu-erh tea a type of dark tea? How much do you know about dark tea? In fact, the type of dark tea that most people can name is Pu-erh tea. As dark tea is rare and precious, we are less able to study it deeper. In view of this, let ABoxTik share an article with you that I believe will provide insight to better understand dark tea, including the various types, and facts on the teas you may have already drunk!

What is Dark Tea? Top 5 Benefits and 56 Types - ABoxTik 一盒精品 3

What is Dark Tea?

What is Dark Tea? What Kind of Tea is it?

Dark tea, belonging to the category of post-fermented teas, derives its name from the dark color of its leaves. It is one of the six major types of tea. Dark tea is commonly produced in regions such as Shaanxi, Anhui, Hubei, Hunan, Sichuan, Yunnan, and Guangxi. The raw material used for dark tea, known as “black hairy tea,” is relatively mature, using fully mature leaves. The production process involves withering, rolling, wet piling, loosening, and drying over an open flame. Due to the coarse and mature nature of the raw material, dark tea requires a longer fermentation time, resulting in dark brown leaves, which gives rise to its name. Dark tea is known for its pure aroma, rich red color, full-bodied taste, aged fragrance, and has been cherished by tea enthusiasts for a long time.

As one of the six major types of tea, dark tea contains a wealth of antioxidants, such as theaflavins, flavonoids, catechins, vitamins C, E, D, and various elements including zinc, copper, manganese. It also contains theaflavins, tea amino acids, and tea polysaccharides, which play a crucial role in eliminating free radicals, providing antioxidant benefits, and slowing down cellular aging.

Benefits of Dark Tea

Dark tea is rich in elements such as catechins, theaflavins, flavonoids, vitamins C, E, D-carotene, and other antioxidants. Research suggests that long-term consumption of dark tea can significantly contribute to health. Let’s explore the various benefits of consuming dark tea!

1. Improved Digestion – Dark Tea Benefits

The caffeine content in dark tea has been scientifically proven to stimulate gastric juice production. Proper gastric juice production improves digestion, enhances appetite, and promotes food metabolism. However, excessive consumption may stimulate the gastrointestinal tract, so it is advisable not to drink dark tea excessively. Dark tea, rich in caffeine, vitamins, amino acids, and lecithin, supports the growth of intestinal bacteria, playing a key role in improving digestive system health. Drinking dark tea during meals can aid in digestion, relieve greasiness, and keep the intestines clear, promoting fat metabolism.

2. Weight Management – Dark Tea Benefits

Scientific studies have shown that after consuming dark tea for a period, the body’s fat content decreases. This indicates that dark tea has a certain inhibitory effect on fat. Additionally, most dark tea is consumed without adding extra sugar, making it a very low-calorie beverage and a recommended drink for those managing their weight.

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3. Antioxidant and Anti-Cancer Properties – Dark Tea Benefits

Similar to many other teas, dark tea contains polyphenols such as catechins, flavonoids, and theaflavins. These compounds act as powerful antioxidants, actively combating free radicals, potentially slowing down aging, and improving skin health. Research conducted by Hunan Agricultural University, using tumor cells (SGC7901) as a model, has demonstrated the significant inhibitory effect of dark tea on tumor cells.

4. Lowering Blood Pressure and Cholesterol – Dark Tea Benefits

Excessive fat and lipid content in the blood can lead to fatal cardiovascular diseases. Dark tea contains the amino acid theanine, which helps regulate blood pressure. Theanine activates dopamine nerve cells, inhibiting blood pressure increase, and effectively lowers blood lipid levels, softening blood vessels, preventing cardiovascular diseases. The catechins and caffeine in tea can relax the blood vessel walls, increase the effective diameter of blood vessels, and lower blood pressure.

5. Nutritional Supplementation, Antioxidation – Dark Tea Benefits

Dark tea contains abundant nutritional components, primarily vitamins and minerals, as well as proteins, amino acids, and carbohydrates. The theaflavins, tea polyphenols, tea amino acids, and tea polysaccharides, rich in dark tea, have antioxidant, free radical-clearing, and anti-aging effects.

“Sir, I did not count your glasses of wine, why should you number up my cups of tea?” – Samuel Johnson, The Life of Samuel Johnson

What is Dark Tea? Top 5 Benefits and 56 Types - ABoxTik 一盒精品 5

Tea Classroom – Dark Tea

What are the types of dark tea?

The tea-making process of dark tea includes fixating, rolling, piling, and drying. The types of dark tea are distributed by region, mainly Yunnan dark tea (Pu’er ripe tea), Guangxi Liubao tea and Shaanxi dark tea (Fu tea), Hubei Qingzhuan tea, Sichuan Tibetan tea (side tea), Anhui Guyi dark tea (An tea) Hunan dark tea (Fu tea, Anhua dark tea, Qianliang tea, black brick tea, Sanjian, etc.).

56 varieties of dark tea

Pu’er Tea, Hubei Laoqing Tea, Laohuang Pian Tea, Cooked Brick Tea, Raw Brick Tea, Cooked Tuo Tea, Raw Tuo Tea, Imperial Pu’er Tea, Liubao Tea, Fu Brick Tea, Qianliang Tea, Lao Paka Tea, Heimao Tea, Anhua Black Tea, Qizi Cake Tea, Pu’er Loose Tea, Chongqing Tuocha, Chrysanthemum Pu’er Tea, Pu’er Tea brick, Sichuan Tibetan Tea (side tea).

Jingua Tribute Tea, Brown Raw Tea, Pu’er Xiaotuo Tea, Laobanzhangzhai Ancient Tree Tea, Bangpen Ancient Tree Tea, Tianjian Tea, Huazhuan tea, Yunnan Pu’er Tuocha, Mizhuan Tea, Shiliang Tea, Kangzhuan Tea, Mengsong Tea, Black Brick Tea, Golden Tip Tea, Juicy Pu’er Tea, Xiaguan Tuo Tea, Green Brick Tea, Chenxiang Pu’er Tea.

Nannuo Mountain Tea, Iceland Tea, Qianjiazhai Tea, Yiwu Tea, Banzhang Tea, Geden Tea, Youle Tea, Pasha Tea, Brown Tea, Xigui Tea, Mengku Daxue Mountain Tea, Mannan Tea, Mahei Tea , Huangcaoba Tea, Guafengzhai Tea, Hekai Tea, Naka Tea, Badashan Tea.

⚑ Further Reading ⚑
6 benefits of drinking white tea! Full analysis to know what white tea is.

What is Dark Tea? Top 5 Benefits and 56 Types - ABoxTik 一盒精品 7

Do you know Dark Tea?

What are the common varieties of dark tea?

1. Hunan dark tea

Hunan dark tea was originally produced in Anhua, also known as Anhua dark tea. Anhua dark tea was first produced in Baozhi Garden along the Zijiang River, and later in Yaqueping, Huangshaping, Sezhou, Jiangnan, Xiaoyan and other areas along the Zijiang River. At present, the Jiangnan region is the main area of production, and the best quality Hunan dark teas are Gaojiaxi and Majiaxi.

Although Hunan dark tea was previously concentrated in Anhua, the production area of Hunan dark tea has now expanded to Taojiang, Yuanjiang, Hanshou, Ningxiang, Yiyang and Linxiang.

Hunan dark tea is made through multiple processes such as fixating, first-stage rolling, piling, second-stage rolling, and drying. It can be divided into 4 classes. Higher-class dark tea is more delicate, while lower-class dark tea tastes rough and old.

The first class tea strips are tightly rolled, round and straight, with tender leaves black in colour. The second class tea is slightly loose but still tight, and the colour is dark brown. The third class tea is a loach strip with a tight cord, and the colour is pure bamboo green with purple oil or willow green.

The fourth class tea is old, loose, flat and wrinkled, and the colour is yellowish brown. Hunan dark tea has a mellow aroma, with no harsh astringency, and is orange-yellow, with a yellow-brown leaf bottom.

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2. Hubei Green Brick Tea

Hubei Green Brick Tea is mainly produced in the southwest of Hubei in the Yangtze River Basin, and its production has a history of more than 600 years. Hubei Green Brick Tea is made from fresh leaves of alpine tea trees at an altitude of 600-1200 metres. It has a unique fragrance, a strong and delicious tea brew, and is brown in colour.

Drinking green brick tea can promote body fluid and quench thirst, improve brain refreshment, and help fight digestive issues such as diarrhoea. Hubei green brick tea, represented by the time-honoured Chinese brand “Chuan”, played an important role in the trade more than 200 years ago and can be said to be a treasure in the tea ceremony.

3. Sichuan Tibetan tea (side tea)

Tibetan tea is the primary beverage of nearly 6 million Tibetan compatriots among ethnic minorities, so it can also be called the tea of people’s livelihood. From ancient times to the present, according to different regional customs, it can also be called dark tea, coarse tea, south roadside tea, brick tea, strip tea, pressed tea, group tea, side tea, large tea, horse tea, dark tea, etc. Wait.

The Tibetan tea timeline has been recorded since the Tang Dynasty, so it has been an ancient tea for thousands of years.

Tibetan tea is collected from high mountains exceeding 1,000 metres above sea level. It is made into post-fermented tea through a special process. It belongs to the most typical dark tea group, and is dark brown in colour.

4. Yunnan Dark Tea (Ripe Pu’er Tea)

The most common type of dark tea is Pu-erh tea, one of the oldest tea varieties in China with a history of over 2000 years. Pu-erh tea can be classified into raw tea and ripe tea based on fermentation. Yunnan ripe tea, made from Yunnan large-leaf sun-dried green tea, undergoes processes such as wet piling fermentation, resulting in a brownish-red color and a unique aroma.

The nature of Pu-erh ripe tea is mild, contributing to stomach nourishment, protection, warmth, and it is believed to have health benefits, including weight management. Similar to Champagne and Darjeeling tea, only tea produced in a specific region in Yunnan province can be called Pu-erh tea, making it a product with a geographical indication.

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The benefits of Pu-erh tea. Take you to explore the history and secret of Pu’er

5. Guangxi Liubao Tea

Guangxi Liubao tea is a specialty product of Wuzhou City and the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, and is also a Chinese geographical indication product. Guangxi Liubao tea has a very special aroma of betel nut, and the older it is, the better it is.

It is made by the processes of spreading, fixating, rolling, piling, and drying, and can be divided into six grades. Mainly produced in Liubao Town, Wuzhou, and Guangxi in China. The taste of Guangxi Liu Pao tea is sweet and delicious, with the taste of betel nut, and the colour is copper brown.

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“A cup of tea would restore my normality.” – Douglas Adams


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Dark tea has a unique and rare taste, which is why it is so popular with everyone.

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