Black dates, or hei zao in Chinese, are fresh Chinese dates that are smoked. Instead of the dried, red color these have a distinctive black color. They are usually larger than red dates because they are steamed, dried, and then smoked, providing its unique smokey fragrance and flavor compared to their red counterpart. Black dates are believed to help nourish the body and reinforce blood. A common tea women drink is black dates with Angelica Root (dang gui), which helps to improve blood supply and circulation.