Though this tea is in the pu-erh section, it isn't one, really. Hei Cha, or literally "dark tea", refers to fermented teas made all over China. Pu-erhs are fermented teas as well, but the term is reserved for fermented teas originating in Yunnan.
This tea is made from wild arbor tea trees of the Ye Sheng varietal, grown in forested mountains near the town of Guilin in Guanxi Province. After being harvested and minimally processed, the tea was pressed into large bamboo baskets, 30kg in each, and allowed to further ferment and age naturally. Not smoked like other liu bao teas, it was steamed according to traditional processing techniques by Yao minority people in relatively small batches. It is considered a raw tea, like many pu-erh teas are, and shares some similarities in flavor as some pu-erhs.
This liu bao tea brews up a deep reddish-brown color, and gives off an earthy aroma reminiscent of leather and tobacco. A potent, energetic brew that retains its color and flavor after many steeps, this is a remarkable and rare tea that appeals to fans of fermented tea who want to try something different.
Only limited quantities are available at this time.