Here in China, Dark Tea or Hei Tea includes Pu-erh and the famous Fu Tea produced by Hunan Tea. It is predominantly in bricks but now also in teabags and in an instant form. Yesterday, we visited the processing facility, about two hours' drive from our Hotel in Changsha. Three main observations of the facility - massive, automated and scrupulously clean. We learned about the entire flow chain from leaf to final product and saw a Tea Museum which held samples of Tea Bricks from as early as 1958. Commemoration pieces were also on display including a detailed history of this tea's cultural origin and its popularity along the ancient Silk Road depicted on a well-detailed map.
The massive Teapot and Cups sculpture was astounding and the joke was that it was pouring Tea, not water! We followed our tour with a tasting of Hei Tea, pleasantly mellow, and discovered that there is proven research that this lowers weight, blood pressure and cholesterol. We immediately began discussing how we could launch this in the U.S. Chinese people, we were told, are much more concerned and pre-occupied with their health compared to us in the U.S. Finally, we ended the morning with another sumptuous lunch that went into 15 courses, much toasting and warm exchanges by everyone. And then we were off to Huangshan.