Oolong Tea

From Leaf to Cup: The Art of Making Da Hong Pao Tea

brew da hong pao method

About Da Hong Pao

Da Hong Pao is mainly produced in Wuyi Mountain, Fujian Province. It belongs to the category of loose-leaf oolong tea and boasts excellent tea quality, making it a distinguished Chinese specialty tea. Da Hong Pao is considered one of the finest among Wuyi rock teas, and its name has been passed down since the end of the Ming Dynasty.

 oolong tea sampler with dahongpao

According to legend, during the Ming Dynasty, a scholar named Ding Xian was on his way to the imperial examination in the capital when he suddenly fell ill with severe abdominal pain while passing through Wuyi Mountain. At that critical moment, Ding Xian coincidentally encountered a monk from Tianxin Yongle Zen Temple, who brewed and offered him a cup of Da Hong Pao tea from their collection. Miraculously, the illness subsided. After achieving the top score in the examination, Ding Xian returned to express his gratitude to the monk. Curious about the origin of the tea, he learned that the monk had wrapped the tea bushes three times with a large red robe before naming it "Da Hong Pao."


The tea leaves of Da Hong Pao are robust, tightly curled, and have a lustrous green-brown color. It possesses a particularly strong fragrance, combining the refreshing aroma of green tea with the mature scent of black tea. The tea liquor has a deep orange-yellow color, a sweet and mellow taste, and a smooth texture with a hint of slight bitterness that gradually transforms into a lingering sweetness.

Find more loose leaf oolong tea with our Oolong Tea Sampler.>>>


How to Make Da Hong Pao?

Da Hong Pao is a treasure among loose leaf oolong tea, and the brewing process is crucial to bring out its exquisite flavor. Following the correct brewing steps enhances the taste, allowing you to experience the flavor of best loose leaf tea.

brew dahongpao

1.Wash Utensils

Wash the tea utensils (gaiwan, fairness cup, and tasting cups, etc.) inside and out with hot water, ensuring that the utensils reach a certain temperature.

2.Appreciate the Tea

Before brewing, both the brewer and the drinker can carefully examine the appearance and color of Da Hong Pao. Take a moment to inhale the fragrance of the loose leaf tea. Of course, at this stage, the full aroma of Da Hong Pao has not yet completely unfolded, but you can fully experience its fragrance through the following steps.

3.Add Tea

Take an appropriate amount of Da Hong Pao and place it inside the pre-warmed gaiwan. The amount of tea added should be about one-fifth of the gaiwan's capacity.

4.Wash the Tea

The appearance of Da Hong Pao is not as tightly curled as TieGuanyin, so the tea washing process can be simpler. After pouring hot water into the gaiwan, you can immediately pour out the tea-rinsing water.


For the brewing of Da Hong Pao, a high-pouring method is recommended, allowing the tea leaves to roll freely in the gaiwan. After brewing for approximately 15 seconds, pour the tea liquor into the fairness cup.


enjoy dahongpao

Pour the tea from the fairness cup into the tasting cups, and now you can share it with guests. Because Da Hong Pao is quite famous, many people may feel a bit eager when drinking it. However, it's essential to maintain a calm and appreciative demeanor. Inhale the tea aroma slowly, savor the taste gradually, and swallow gently.


For the first three infusions of Da Hong Pao, due to the rich initial content of the tea leaves, the steeping time should not be too long, around 15 seconds is sufficient. After the third infusion, with each subsequent infusion, increase the steeping time by about 10-15 seconds. A high-quality Da Hong Pao can be brewed for more than ten infusions.


How to Appreciate Da Hong Pao

During the Qing Dynasty, Liang Zhangju had already put forward the four characteristics of "alive, sweet, clear, and fragrant." Since Da Hong Pao in the Wuyi Rock Tea series emphasizes "heavy taste to achieve fragrance," it differs from Anxi tea, which focuses on "taking taste through fragrance." This is the most important principle in identification.

Fragrance can be distinguished by its purity, sharpness, length, and whether it is green or ripe, heavy or light. Taste varies in terms of richness, thickness, the degree of flavor expression, and the duration of persistence. Before purchasing Da Hong Pao, it is recommended to try tea sampler to discover the variety that suits your taste preferences.

da hong pao

Here are several points to pay attention to when appreciating Da Hong Pao:

Alive: Refers to a smooth and refreshing sensation, providing a quick and pleasant experience without any lingering astringency, with a clear and refreshing throat feel.

Sweet: Indicates a short and prompt return of sweetness, delivering a crisp and sweet sensation.

Clear: Represents a pure and unadulterated quality, offering a clear, comfortable, and bright experience (referring to the tea liquor and tea leaves).

Fragrance: Refers to the presence of a fragrant and rich aroma when holding the tea liquor in the mouth, releasing a delightful scent upon inhalation, and leaving a lingering fragrance on the palate after consumption.

Richness: Indicates a dense and thick richness, with no noticeable bitterness.

Thickness: Refers to the thickness of the tea leaves at the bottom of the cup, providing a substantial and enduring experience. It remains consistent over time, creating a sensation of "the taste lingering pleasantly on the tongue all day."

Flavorful Aftertaste (Yun): Specifically refers to the "rock essence" in the "rock bones and floral fragrance" concept.

Persistence: Refers to the lasting comfort and pleasure in the mouth, not the persistence of bitterness or unwanted flavors. A high-quality tea should be enjoyed before meals, leaving a lingering taste even after a meal.


The Efficacy and Benefits of Da Hong Pao

Da Hong Pao contains high levels of beneficial components such as tea polyphenols, tea polysaccharides, and theanine Q, providing various health benefits. These include enhancing memory, anti-cancer properties, reducing blood lipid levels, and lowering blood pressure.

Da Hong Pao tea also possesses the following positive effects: alleviating thirst and heat, promoting clear thinking, refreshing the mind, aiding in weight loss, slowing down the aging process, promoting digestion, diuretic and disinfectant effects, relieving phlegm and asthma, radiation resistance, cancer prevention, anti-aging, and reducing cholesterol.

From the lush green leaves in the tea garden to the heritage of tea-making techniques, and the exquisite art of brewing, each step embodies the profound cultural heritage of tea. Da Hong Pao is not just a type of tea; it is also a part of Chinese tea culture, a philosophy of life, and an art that harmonizes with nature. The tea liquor is clear and tranquil, seemingly carrying the sediment of time into every sip. Perhaps, in such a moment filled with the aroma of tea, we can appreciate the beauty of life and understand the essence of peaceful years.

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