Da Hong Pao is the most famous of the celebrated varieties of yan cha. Da Hong Pao oolong was an imperial favorite during the Qing dynasty (1644-1911) and today it is still renowned throughout China for its deep, rich flavor. Four ancient Da Hong Pao tea bushes still grow in an outcropping that is located alongside a steep cliff wall in the Wu Yi Shan. But leaf from these bushes is not plucked for commercial sale – Da Hong Pao for sale today is plucked from tea bushes that are the cultivated offspring of other auspicious and reputable old tea bush lines.
Our Da Hong Pao 9-Year-Aged oolong is unique because of the time it has spent maturing in perfect storage conditions. Certain oolongs benefit from ‘resting ‘ or ‘maturing’ (provided the conditions are conducive to improving the taste of the tea). Putting certain oolongs away to rest and age is not a concept that is talked about much in the West – in fact, the idea of aging tea is virtually unknown here. But Asian tea enthusiasts will often select an aged tea – when possible – for the complex and rewarding taste that it will offer.
This, our newest Da Hong Pao, is extremely straight-forward on the one hand, and yet complex on the other. It has a dryness and clarity that an aged tea shows so well, and each infusion brings a new dimension of flavor to the fore. The floral nature of this tea is barely noticeable; in fact, the stony backbone of this tea tempers its sweetness perfectly. Tea Trekker’s Da Hong Pao 9-Year-Aged oolong is full and rich and without astringency. It is drinking very well now and will continue to do so for many years.
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