Many people know about Dahongpao, and they also know about Wuyi Rock Tea, but many people don't know what the relationship is between the two!
The answer is: Dahongpao is actually a variety of Wuyi Rock Tea!
Wuyi Mountain is the birthplace of oolong tea in the world. Dahongpao belongs to the most representative products of Wuyi rock tea, at the same time, due to the high popularity of Dahongpao, many people will Wuyi rock tea collectively referred to as Dahongpao, in fact, Wuyi rock tea has more than three hundred varieties.
Let's read on to learn more about the two.
What is Wuyi Rock Tea?
Wuyi Rock Tea refers to a type of Oolong tea produced exclusively within the administrative region of Wuyishan City, Fujian Province. Grown and nurtured under the unique ecological conditions of Wuyi Mountains, this tea is made from specially selected tea varieties that undergo asexual propagation. Its defining characteristics come from its distinct traditional processing techniques, resulting in a tea known for its "rock rhyme" – a blend of mineral and floral notes. Born between the late Ming and early Qing dynasties, Wuyi Rock Tea has weathered centuries and has, through generational wisdom, blossomed into an array of categories including Da Hong Pao, Rou Gui, Shui Xian, Qi Zhong, and other renowned varieties.
Due to the immense popularity of Da Hong Pao, many consumers outside the local region recognize only Da Hong Pao and not Wuyi Rock Tea as a whole. Hence, promoting Wuyi Rock Tea under the name Da Hong Pao has proven to be more effective in gaining acceptance.
What does Da Hong Pao refer to?
As a category of tea, Da Hong Pao includes pure Da Hong Pao and commercial Da Hong Pao. Pure Da Hong Pao tea is made from the leaves of the Da Hong Pao plant, while the commercial version is a blend made from various varieties. The Da Hong Pao tea plant, originating from the Wuyi Cai Tea group, was selected for its exceptional quality. Through rigorous research and development, it was successfully cultivated and, in 2012, recognized as an official tea plant variety by the Fujian Provincial Crop Variety Appraisal Committee. It has since been cultivated on a large scale. Once a tribute to the royal court, it has now become accessible to the general public. Da Hong Pao boasts a fragrance reminiscent of osmanthus flowers, combined with the subtle aroma of tea tree pollen, offering a smooth, rich taste with a lingering aftertaste.
Da Hong Pao is also a name of a tea plant variety. Originally recognized for its standout quality among tea groups, it was officially established as a provincial tea variety in May 2012.
The term "Mother Tree Da Hong Pao" specifically refers to six tea plants located on the cliff of Jiulongke. These original plants, as key components of both "primary natural landscapes" and "cultural relics and landscapes", form an integral part of the Wuyi Mountain "World Cultural and Natural Heritage." Since 2006, the government has prohibited the harvesting from these mother trees and assigned experts for their preservation and care.
What is blending?
Tea blending is a sophisticated craft. It involves tea masters using their sensory experience and technical expertise to combine different teas, each with unique characteristics, to enhance or balance flavor, aroma, color, and overall profile. Some teas might undergo additional processes like sieving, cutting, fanning, or refiring to meet blending standards, ensuring a consistent product that matches samples. Blending is a common method to improve and stabilize the quality of tea, expand its sources, increase its quantity, and achieve higher economic returns.
Recommended brands of Dahongpao
Most of what is currently circulating in the market is commercial Dahongpao. If you like to drink loose leaf oolong tea, then commercial Dahongpao is a good choice.
There are many brands that currently offer commercial Dahongpao, such as iTeaworld, Zhengshantang, etc.
If you've never had Dahongpao before, then I suggest you start with a tea sampler or a collection of oolong teas so that you can try it out with minimal cost.
iTeaworld's oolong tea sampler is a good choice. It offers four different oolong teas, including honey-orchid scented Dahongpao,tieguanyin, fenghuang dancong, and Minnan narcissus.
This oolong tea collection is good for new tea drinkers who are just trying oolong tea.
Dahongpao is one of the Wuyi rock teas. There are more than 300 varieties of Wuyi Rock Tea Friends, and Dahongpao is the most famous representative of them. If you want to drink authentic Wuyi rock tea and feel the rocky rhythm, then Dahongpao is the most recommended and preferred variety of tea.