Top 10 Famous Chinese Tea (7) Da Hong Pao (Large Red Robe 大红袍)

Type: Oolong Tea
Origin: Mount Wuyi, Fujian Province
Description: The most famous oolong tea of Wuyi teas.

Da Hong Pao or Large Red Robe is the most famous tea in Mount Wuyi. It is a kind of oolong tea in which less than 1 kg of tea was harvested each year.

There is a legend of Da Hong Pao that a Ming Dynasty King’s mother was cured of an illness by a certain tea. The King sent great red robes to drape on the four tea bushes to show his thanks. Now there are 3 original bushes still growing on the rock of Mount Wuyi which is said that can be dated back to the Song Dynasty. This tea is picked from these bushes. The tea was very rare and so it is expensive.

Da Hong Pao (Big Red Robe) is a Wuyi rock tea grown in the Wuyi Mountains. It is a heavily oxidized, dark oolong tea. According to legend, the mother of a Ming dynasty emperor was cured of an illness by a certain tea, and that emperor sent great red robes to clothe the four bushes from which that tea originated. Six of these original bushes,[not in citation given] growing on a rock in the Wuyi Mountains and reportedly dating back to the Song dynasty, still survive today and are highly venerated. Famously expensive, Da Hong Pao can sell for up to US$1,025,000 per kilogram or US $35,436 per ounce (20g tea from one of the mother plants was sold for ¥156,800 in 1998).

Samples of Da Hong Pao

In recent years, a number of companies have invested in preserving the interest in this tea and other so-called “artisan” teas, which typically are of very high quality and have rich histories as is true with Da Hong Pao. These have an initially high cost of production (and typically are only considered authentic when grown in their place of origin), but, as they have quickly become popular in Western countries, prized selections of the tea are available each year, with quality being consistent because of the increased popularity of the tea.

Cuttings taken from the original plants have been used to produce similar grades of tea from genetically identical plants. Taste variations produced by processing, differences in the soil, and the location of these later-generation plants are used to grade the quality of various teas.

Due to its high quality, Da Hong Pao tea is usually reserved for honored guests in China.

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Uncover the fascinating world of Chinese tea with our Top 10 Famous Chinese Tea introduction and immerse yourself in the rich traditions and diverse tastes.

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