Da Hong Pao, often referred to as the "King of Teas", is a favorite for many who believe they are tasting its genuine form. However, the real deal refers to either the Mother Tree Da Hong Pao or the purebred Da Hong Pao. What most people buy in the market is commercial-grade Da Hong Pao. So, what exactly are these different types?
1.Mother Tree Da Hong Pao
a.Overview: Mother Tree Da Hong Pao originates from six tea trees on the cliffside of the Nine Dragon Nook in Wuyi Mountain. These trees have been around for over 360 years. As per the United Nations' World Heritage List, they are globally recognized cultural and natural heritage. In 2006, the Wuyi Mountain government decided to cease harvesting from these trees, making their tea exceedingly rare. It's almost impossible to find this on the open market now.
b.Varieties: Although all six tea trees are of the same type, they each have their distinct characteristics. After scientific evaluations, it was found that trees #1 and #5 have the same genetic makeup, as do trees #2 and #6. The latter pair are named Qi Dan. Trees #3 and #4 have unique genetic compositions.
c.Growing Environment: The Nine Dragon Nook sees limited sunlight, is humid, cool, and moist. The six mother trees are cultivated in a “pot planting” style, protected from strong winds by natural barriers and grown in rich soil abundant in minerals.
d.Luxury Status: In various tea festivals, mere 20g of the Mother Tree Da Hong Pao has fetched prices upward of tens of thousands of RMB. The last known harvesting from these trees was in 2005, and those 20g were gifted to the China National Museum.
2.Purebred Da Hong Pao
a.Qi Dan: Purebred Da Hong Pao is the result of asexual propagation from the Mother Tree. In 1962, Chen Dehua successfully propagated using cuttings from the Mother Tree, naming the breed "Qi Dan."
b.Bei Dou: Between 1953 and 1955, Yao Yueming propagated a few cuttings from the Mother Tree, naming them after the Bei Dou peak. Sadly, these initial saplings were destroyed. However, continued efforts led to successful propagation. Initially believed to be purebred, genetic analysis in 2009 showed a difference in the genetic makeup from the Mother Tree.
3.Commercial Da Hong Pao
This version is a blend of different rock tea varieties. Introduced to the market in 1985, it’s the most common type found in stores. Expert blenders might use base teas like Shui Xian or Rou Gui and then mix with others like Bai Ji Guan, Tie Luo Han, or Bei Dou. A masterfully blended Da Hong Pao can taste exquisite, but many have a mixed aroma. The distinctions like true rock, half-rock, or high mountain apply to this as well. Most people end up buying this commercial grade, which, when blended well, offers a balanced aroma and flavor.
Recommended Commodities Dahongpao Tea
There are many Dahongpao teas in the market at present. If you want to choose a good tasting Dahongpao, you need to consider many aspects, such as the variety, year, picking season, tea grade, and so on.
All these will affect the taste of Dahongpao tea.
Of course, please choose loose leaf tea. Tea bags are unable to taste the mellow flavor of Dahongpao
By far, the best loose leaf tea is the mother tree Dahongpao tea. But this tea is no longer available to ordinary people.
So most people will choose to drink purebred Dahongpao tea with commercial Dahongpao tea.
Among them, the commercial Dahongpao tea is the most mainstream choice.
There are many brands that are selling commercial Dahongpao tea. For example, iTeaworld's Dahongpao is a commercial Dahongpao tea. iTeaworld's founder, Mr. Liu Yongqiang, has been selling tea in China for 15 years. He is very familiar with tea, especially Dahongpao. It is his favorite. And iTeaworld's Dahongpao is the best value-for-money tea that he has selected from a wide range of oolong teas. The taste far exceeds the price.
If you are still new to tea, then it is recommended to start with the Oolong Tea Selection. It contains 4 classic oolong teas, including Dahongpao, tieguanyin, fenghuang dancong, and minnan narcissus. This way you can experience a variety of oolong teas and appreciate the differences between these four at a low cost.
No matter what kind of Da Hong Pao you drink, it just needs to suit your palate and that's a good cup of tea. Tea is for drinking, so it's good to suit yourself; drinking tea can make us happy physically and mentally, drinking tea is a kind of lifestyle, and drinking tea is a kind of light health care mode. The tea that suits you is the most important.