I have a book called Oolong tea, and the first tea introduced in the book is Da Hong Pao. This is because Da Hong Pao is known as the king of the oolong teas.
There are a lot of legends about this tea. Still, today there are only 6 bushes from the mother plants of Dahongpao remains at the steep cliffs of Wuyi Mountain. They have been giving tiny yields, and in 2006 the local government banned picking leaves from the mother plants to protect their lifespan.
Another trivia for you. Da Hong Pao endures repeated infusions more than other Wuyi Oolongs. This was established in 1988 at the first Wuyi Famous Bushes Evaluation Conference.
However, what makes this tea exception is its taste. It is robust with orchid, toasty and rocky flavour. The toasty notes are due to gradual drying in an increasingly cooler temperature. Actually, Da Hong Pao was more thoroughly oxidized in the past. Less oxidation causes more floral notes to today’s Da Hong Pao, which, in my opinion, makes them richer.
I don’t have to tell you it was an exceptional tea. I steeped it five times, and I am sure I could carry on for another 5. It was very strong, full of character.
Source: Joseph Wesley Uhl. “The Art and Craft of Tea”.
Type: Oolong Origin: Wuyi, North Fujian
Harvest time: Spring 2019
Leaf colour: Tones of dark brown with some reddish edges
Liquor colour: Bright yellow Tea Aroma: Toasty and floral Tea taste: Full bodied with slight sweetness and rich toasty, floral and mineral notes Steeping: Place 5 g of tea leaves in a gaiwan/teapot. Add 100 ml water at about 90°C. Steep for 5 seconds and rinse the liquid out. Steep for 15 seconds. To each consecutive infusion add 5 seconds. You can infuse up to 9 times or until the taste is lost.
Shelf life: Two to three years