A total of 98 compounds including 20 aldehydes, eight arenes, six acids, 17 alcohols, 13 ketones, nine esters, nine methoxyphenolics, three alkenes, seven alkanes, and six other components were tentatively identified in six Chinese dark teas (CDTs) using gas chromatography–mass spectrometry. Multivariate statistical analysis revealed that dark teas from Yunnan and Guangxi provinces could be classified into one group, and other CDTs belonged to the other cluster. The diagnostic volatile compounds being responsible for CDTs' discrimination were observed as (E,E)-2,4-decadienal, methoxyphenolics, geraniol, α-terpineol, 2,4-heptadienal, cis-jasmone, linalool oxides, and 2-nonenal. Furthermore, mature tea leaves were separately fermented using Eurotium cristatum and Aspergillus niger. The results showed that E. cristatum increased the contents of cis-jasmone, α-terpineol, ß-ionone, nonanal, and 2-pentylfuran, whereas A. niger advanced the levels of geraniol, linalool oxides, 9,12-octadecadienoic acid, and ß-ionone after short-term fermentation. Fungus species may contribute to forming the flavor of Chinese dark teas by affecting the volatile compounds during postfermentation. © 2017

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