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The Qinling Mountain Tea Series - Part 10: Qinling Fu Tea

自古岭北不产茶,唯有泾阳出名茶Tea has never been grown in the north of the Qinling mountains, except in Jingyang.
自古岭北不产茶
唯有泾阳出名茶
Tea has never been grown in the north of the Qinling Mountains
Except in Jingyang

Fucha(Fuzhuan Tea/ Fu Brick Tea), belonging to the category of black tea among the six major types of tea, is a post-fermented tea innovated by the people of Jingyang泾阳(20km north of Xi'an), Shaanxi陕西, around the year 1368 AD. The name "Fucha" has several proposed origins, and we'll explore some widely accepted explanations:

  1. Fucha was first pioneered by the people of Jingyang in Shaanxi, and it is known as "Jingyang Fucha" or "Jingyang Brick."
  2. Processed during the hottest days and known for the beneficial effects of earth Poria cocos(伏天, Fu Tian), it is called "Fu Tea," "Fucha," or "Fu Brick."
  3. In ancient times, Fucha was a strategic commodity manufactured under official supervision and sold to the government, earning it the name "Official Tea" or "Government Tea."官茶

Fucha was a strategic commodity manufactured under official supervision and sold to the government, earning it the names "Official Tea" or "Government Tea."官茶

Historical Roots of Fucha

With a history spanning over 600 years, Fucha has been an essential part of the daily life of minority ethnic groups in the western and northern regions. It is often said, "Better to go without food for three days than a day without tea," where tea specifically refers to Fucha. In the ancient Silk Road trade, Fucha was a crucial commodity and a financial pillar for military and political expenditures in the western and northern border regions. During that era, Fucha was considered as valuable as gold.

Regional Characteristics of Fucha

Jingyang Fucha is believed to "absorb the spiritual essence of heaven and earth and incorporate the essence of the universe during fermentation and drying." The golden-yellow mold layer formed on the tea cake, locally known as "golden flower" (学名: "Cordyceps sinensis"), is a unique probiotic specific to Fucha. It is the only probiotic listed as a second-level confidential protection strain in the national tea industry.

golden flower in fu tea

The "Three Inabilities" in Fucha Production:

In 1943, the China Tea Corporation's Hunan Brick Tea Factory attempted to produce Fucha bricks but faced challenges. The three inabilities were summarized as follows: it cannot be made without the water from the Jing River, the Guanzhong region's climate, and the technical expertise of people from Shaanxi. This underscores the significance of Xianyang's water quality and climate as optimal natural resources for processing Fucha bricks.

The Efficacy of Fucha

Fuchsia can invigorate the stomach, dispel greasiness, and boost alertness, making it suitable for consumption in cold regions and areas with high-fat diets. As modern lifestyle diseases quietly infiltrate our lives, Fucha is hailed as the nemesis of affluence-related ailments. Long-term consumption of Fucha tea aids digestion, regulates metabolism, and plays a role in health maintenance and disease prevention. Fucha is suitable for various groups, including those dealing with obesity, digestive issues, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, individuals engaged in social activities, prolonged computer users, and the elderly.

 

  • Frontal Taste: Aromatic, Rich, Complex
  • Aftertaste: Woody, Deep, Earthy
  • Tea Shape: Solid and compact, with a smooth surface, the golden flower fungus is evenly distributed throughout the interior of the tea brick
  • Tea Soup: Brilliant Deep Red Color, Clear and Transparent, Emitting a Rich Aroma
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