Rock tea from Fujian has a history spanning thousands of years. As early as the Yuan dynasty, this rock tea from Fujian was designated as an exclusive tea for the royal family, meant only for the emperor and his kin. Although royal courts are long gone today, the glory of rock tea endures. In modern China's top ten tea rankings, rock tea consistently secures its place. From my perspective, this level of recognition surpasses that of many other teas. And among rock teas, the most renowned is Da Hong Pao, the epitome of this category. Da Hong Pao, a Wuyi rock tea, stands as the pinnacle, deserving the title of a national treasure. Widely acknowledged as the "King of Teas," why has Da Hong Pao gained such prestige?
1.Rare Thousand-Year-Old Trees
Da Hong Pao originates from Wuyi in Fujian, an area dense with forests, abundant rainfall, and an ideal climate. These unique advantages create the perfect natural conditions for Da Hong Pao's growth. Unlike other common tea trees, the mother tree of Da Hong Pao is a millennia-old relic, one of the rarest in the world. This exceptional rarity is a significant reason for its "King of Teas" moniker.
2.Unique Geographical Advantage
However, the rarity of the tea and its tree isn't the only reason for its acclaim. Da Hong Pao truly captivates with its pure and delightful taste and texture. It grows in unique environments, rooted on cliffs, nourished year-round by mountain springs and natural rain. Over time, the tea tree absorbs countless trace elements and nutrients, adding an exclusive flavor profile to Da Hong Pao.
3.A Regal Taste Among Teas
Da Hong Pao is a type of oolong tea, meaning it's semi-fermented. It offers a rich and robust flavor. Its dark greenish-black leaves curl gracefully, and when brewed, they release an aroma reminiscent of fine aged wine. The golden-hued tea exudes a majestic, refined aura, like royalty amongst teas. Even those unfamiliar with tea would, after their first sip of Da Hong Pao, undoubtedly proclaim, "This is truly a worldly delight." I still remember my first encounter with this tea. As I took my first sip, the delicate mist emanating from the tea tantalizingly teased my taste buds, making my mouth water in anticipation.
If you are already a drinker of many loose leaf teas, you will still be convinced by Dahongpao.
It is different from the light flavor of Tieguanyin, the mellow and refreshing fenghuang dancong, and the richness of loose leaf black tea. The taste of Dahongpao will easily stand out from these teas. The unique rocky flavor will make you feel the different charm of the tea!
4.The Legendary Tale of Da Hong Pao
The earliest records of Da Hong Pao date back to 1385. A scholar named Ding Xian was traveling to take his imperial exams when he fell ill. Fortunately, he was treated with tea by a monk from the Tianxin Yongle Temple. Grateful after his recovery and subsequent success in the exams, Ding Xian draped his red robe over the tea bushes, coining the name "Da Hong Pao" which means "Big Red Robe."
5.A Delicacy for Emperors and Recognized Cultural Heritage
Throughout history, Wuyi tea was the choice of emperors. It has repeatedly won gold medals at national and international tea exhibitions. The State Council and the Ministry of Culture have recognized the production technique of Wuyi rock tea (Da Hong Pao) as an intangible cultural heritage. Its unique craftsmanship stands out, solidifying Da Hong Pao's reputation as the true "King of Teas" and a "National Gem."
6.A Historical and Esteemed Brand
The reputation of Da Hong Pao is a culmination of its historical significance, rich cultural heritage, and unparalleled quality. Coupled with Wuyi Mountain's fame as a tourist destination, the legendary mother tree of Da Hong Pao has become a must-visit site, spreading its legendary tales far and wide.
7.A Health-Boosting Tea
Wuyi rock tea has always been revered for its health and wellness benefits. Legends say that the ancient Emperor Shen Nong used it as an antidote for 72 poisons. Scientific studies have confirmed that Wuyi rock tea contains beneficial trace elements like potassium, zinc, and selenium.
8.The Most Expensive Tea
During the 7th Da Hong Pao Cultural Festival held at the World Heritage site of Wuyi Mountain, a mere 20 grams of Da Hong Pao tea was auctioned off for an astounding price of 208,000 yuan.
In conclusion, Da Hong Pao's reputation is indeed well-deserved. With a multitude of advantages and a lofty status, it's no wonder it's celebrated as the "King of Teas!"