Da Hong Pao

Big Red Robe
Special Aged Vintage
Charcoal-fired, medium roasting

Da Hong Pao oolong tea
Da Hong Pao oolong teaDa Hong Pao oolong tea detail
$0.00
SKU: TOO-CH-DHP
Price: $0.00
  • Oolong tea
  • Wu Yi Shan yan cha
  • Fujian Province, China
  • 40-45% oxidation
  • Charcoal-fired, medium roasting in the traditional manner
  • Open twist leaf style: long leaves
  • Matte grey/black dried leaf tinged with green
  • Lingering, persistent floral taste
  • Pervasive aroma of sweet osmanthus flowers & stone-fruit, esp peaches and plums
  • Rich red/amber color liquor

Western-style steeping:
(Medium to large sized teapot: 20-32 oz)
Use 1.25 Tablespoons (2-3 grams) of tea per each 6oz water
Rinse the tea in your teapot with a quick application of hot water
Immediately discard this liquid
Add additional hot water to start the 1st steeping
Re-steep 2-3 infusions at 2-3 minutes each.
Water temperature should be 195° - 205° F

Asian-style steeping:
(small teapots under 10 oz or a gaiwan)
Use 2.5 Tablespoons (5-6 grams) of tea per each 6oz water
Rinse the tea in your teapot with a quick application of hot water
Immediately discard this liquid
Add additional hot water to start the 1st steeping
Re-steep 6-8 infusions (or more!) at 10 seconds to 1 minute each
Water temperature should be 195° - 205° F

Da Hong Pao oolong tea
Da Hong Pao oolong tea
Da Hong Pao oolong tea detail

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 reputable old tea bushes.

Our vintage Da Hong Pao is unique because of the time it has spent maturing in perfect storage conditions. Similar to the benefits of long term aging that sheng Pu-erh tea enjoys, certain oolongs benefit from ‘resting ‘ or ‘maturing’ (provided the conditions are conducive to improving the taste of the tea). Putting certain teas 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.

Our supply of this Da Hong Pao is a little larger than the batch from 2008 that we recently finished. This lot is also extremely complex and each infusion brings a new dimension of flavor to the fore. The floral nature of this tea is not cloying; in fact, the stony backbone of this tea tempers its sweetness perfectly. This Da Hong Pao is full and rich and without astringency. It is drinking very well now and will continue to do so for several years.

NOTE:

  • Oolongs are traditionally ‘rinsed’ before being steeped.
  • This is done with a quick application of hot water that is poured over the tea in the gaiwan or teapot and then immediately discarded.
  • The rinse water is not drunk - its purpose is to help the leaves begin to open during steeping.
  • Use  additional appropriately-heated water for the 1st steeping and subsequent re-steepings.

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