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This last May I visited several carefully networked pu-erh sources on a pu-erh specific sourcing mission. I wasn't looking for Heicha but I really liked this one and grabbed it up. I've been delighted to drink this tea for a couple of months now and decided it will be a great addition to our line-up.
What is Heicha (黑茶）? Literally "Black Tea" it is made from fully oxidized leaves and wet piled like Shou Pu-erh. It is pleasantly sweeter than most teas not withstanding its less-than-elegant appearance. This batch comes from Anhua county in Hunan and is Taiwan Stored.
A distinguishing characteristic of this tea is the presence of Jinhua jun* (金花菌) or "Golden Flower Spores" - I know... sounds gross, but it's not! - a natural probiotic fungal bacteria considered good for your health in traditional China (I make no claims here!). A lot of Heicha I've seen in collections does not contain Golden Flower Spores but if you find it, it's more expensive if the tea material is good ;)
If you like Pu-erh, you should try this tea!
Notes: fruit, citrus, sweet, smooth and pleasant oily texture
BREWING: I'm told that the traditional way is to just boil it in a pot like you would a Chinese medicine. You can put in around 5gr. into a pot of 16oz boiling water until it darkens up. Alternately you can gaiwan it no problem. I prefer to let this tea cool down a bit before I drink it and enjoy the flavor more.