classic big red robe
Wuyi Rock Oolong Tea | Da Hong Pao
da hong pao cultivar – Wuyi Mountain Nature Preserve, China
Da Hong Pao is one of China’s most celebrated teas, and translates as “Big Red Robe”. It is the penultimate version of a famous style of Chinese oolong manufacture known as Wuyi Yan Cha, or Wuyi Rock teas. True Da Hong Pao (which is the type that we offer), is made with heritage varietal tea bushes from a special preserve area in the Wuyi Mountain range, in Northern Fujian. Wuyi is famous for being the original home of all oolong (or “wulong”) teas.
The story behind Da Hong Pao is that a Ming Dynasty Emperor’s mother was cured of an illness by drinking this tea, and the Emperor sent majestic red robes to clothe, and honour the bushes from which the tea was made – hence the name, “Big Red Robe”. It is believed that three of these original tea bushes which date back to the Sung Dynasty and grow from a rock on Mt. Wuyi are still in existence, and these bushes are protected and venerated.
In order to be authentic, Da Hong Pao must be grown in Wu Yi Shan – the original place of origin, and now a nature preserve, and UNESCO World Heritage site. It is protected because of its unique biological diversity as well as its importance as an ancient cultural site. There is a great deal of “knock-off” Da Hong Pao that is sold, but grown elsewhere. Our Da Hong Pao is certified as a true one, grown in Wu Yi Shan.
Tea producers in Wu Yi Shan developed the methods for making Wulong tea around 1650. Tea connoisseurs still consider these techniques to be among the best production methods for oolong teas.
Da Hong Pao is one of Chinese most highly prized and expensive teas, and is served to honoured guests.