Happy New Year! We hope you are enjoying your time with friends and family. We start off this year with a legend about Da Hong Pao Oolong. It is one of our favorites! It said in 1385, during the Ming Dynasty, a scholar name Ju Zi Ding was on the way to attend the Imperial exam. This exam was at that time the major path to a career as an official. Unfortunately, on the way to the exams he became ill when he arrived in Wuyishan and wasn't able to continue his journey.
Luckily, a monk from temple name 'Tian Xin Yong Le' passed by and served him a special tea with healing effects. Ju Zi Ding was healed and made it to the exams on time. He eventually passed the exam with the highest score and was awarded an imperial scarlet red robe. Scholars with the highest scores are called 'Zhuan Yuan' and have a promising career advising the emperor and taking high officials' positions.
The humble scholar was so grateful that he travelled back to visit the Monk to thank him and ask where he got the tea from that healed him. Once arrived at the tea bushes, Ju Zi Ding took of his red robe and wrapped it 3 circles around the tea bush out of gratitude and carried some Da Hong Pao tea in a jar back to the palace. Since then, the tea is named Da Hong Pao, meaning Big Red Robe in English.
Like a vintage pu-erh – the tea varietal mainly produced in Yunnan province – Da Hong Pao doesn’t expire with age, but only improves (pu-erh is a full fermented tea, if you don't know already). It can be sold and resold numerous times over the decades, gaining in value with each transaction.
Da Hong Pao still grows in traditional, small-scale tea gardens, and each spring the farmers still climb the hills to implore the tea god to bring new shoots. It’s the combination of rock and water that gives Da Hong Pao its rich flavor. The rain that pours off the sheer rock walls, flowing down narrow streams and pretty waterfalls, becomes imbued with minerals, which then impart their goodness to the tea. A legends has sprung up around the original Da Hong Pao trees, which still perch precariously on a cliff face not far from the monastery.
What Da Hong Pao taste like? This is a medium charcoal roasting oolong. It gives a flavor of red dates and purple plums and slightly roasted with light floral / fruity aroma. It is clean finished and clear, medium-amber colored liquor.
Disclaimer: We are not associated with any local or oversea tea organization.
Staff at Great Tea Road Co