Wednesday, May 31, 2006

WuYi City has stopped plucking Da Hong Pao parent tea tree leaves

According to recent news from FuJian, WuYi city government announced that starting from this year, the city would stop plucking Da Hong Pao parent tea tree leaves in order to protect the six original tea trees.

In the past, only authorized personals were allowed to pluck very limited amount of Da Hong Pao parent tea tree leaves to produce highly sought after Parent Tree Da Hong Pao. Only less than 1kg Parent Tree Da Hong Pao was produced each year. In last year’s 7th WuYi Mountain Da Hong Pao Culture Festival, 20g of Parenet Tree Da Hong Pao was auctioned for 208,000 RMB!

Tea Lovers at JinYuXuan Tea House

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.


How to prepare Tuo Cha for brewing?

Tuo Cha is normally tightly compressed and hard to break apart. Bai nationality people have their own way to enjoy Tuo Cha through the following steps:

Step1: Wrap a Tuo Cha with a cotton wrap then steam it using a clean bamboo steamer. Hot steam will soften the Tuo Cha in about 20 to 30 minutes.
Step2: With the cotton wrap on, slightly knead the Tuo Cha into loose shape.
Step3: Dry up the loosened Tuo Cha and store it in a ceramic container for near future consumption.

Tea Lovers at JinYuXuan Tea House

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