Thursday, May 11, 2006

Da Hong Pao

As the most famous one of all WuYi Rock Teas, Da Hong Pao is a no stranger to Oolong lovers. Many people have heard of the fantasy of the original Da Hong Pao tea trees growing on the Jiu Long (Nine Dragon) Cave. However, barely anybody have the opportunity to taste Da Hong Pao made of leaves from the original Da Hong Pao trees. So what are those available on the market now?

Mr. Chen Dehua is a name that associates with Da Hong Pao teas available on today’s market. Mr. Chen successfully cultivated modern Da Hong Pao trees from five cuttings from the original Da Hong Pao trees in 80s. He then went ahead test produced Da Hong Pao tea using leaves from cultivated Da Hong Pao trees. When he gave his new tea to famous tea expert, Mr. Zhang Tianfu, to taste, Mr. Zhang thought highly of this new product. WuYi Mountain Tea Research Institute hence produced their first Da Hong Pao tea under the supervision of Mr. Chen, who was head of the institute at that time.

Sales went through the roof and productions of those newly cultivated modern Da Hong Pao trees could not meet high demands for Da Hong Pao tea. Mr. Chen boldly drummed up another idea - why not create a Da Hong Pao alike tea by mixing up Da Hong Pao, and other WuYi Rock teas, such as Rou Gui, Shui Xian, etc.? - That becomes what is widely available as Da Hong Pao now.



Unknown said...

This tea is traditionally red (black in western terminology), not oolong...

TeaHub said...

Hi Laura,

Da Hong Pao has always been Wu Long 乌龙 (or Oolong). It is quite different from Hong Cha 红茶(Red/Black) in term of process or taste.