Wuyi Rock Tea, Dahongpao (武夷岩茶，大红袍）
Recently a friend of mine read the story of Dahongpao tea (大红袍茶) on this site and sent me a package of Dahongpao tea (大红袍茶) as a gift.
Dahongpao tea (大红袍茶) is the best type of Wuyi rock tea (武夷岩茶), belongs to the Oolong tea (乌龙茶) family. The original bushes of the Dahongpao tea (大红袍茶) live on the rock cliff of Wuyi mountain (武夷山) where daylight is short and the temperature difference between day and night is big. The tea bushes are shone by reflected sun light and fed by drops and mist of springs water from the rock roof, which are supplied by small streams that run through the rocks all year long. It is such a special environment that creates the unique quality of the Dahongpao tea (大红袍茶).
Originally there were nine bushes of Dahongpao tea (大红袍茶) in Wuyi Kowloon Nest (武夷九龙巢) canyon. Only three of them survived today. They are hundreds of years old and protected as Chinese national treasure.
According to legend the nine Dahongpao trees were gift from heaven. Chinese people believes that there are gods in heaven managing everything on earth. Long time ago in ancient China, the god in charge of tea was told that there were a lot of good teas produced in the area of Wuyi mountain (武夷山). He decided to check it out by himself. Before leaving he took nine seeds of camellia tree from heaven as a gift to the Wuyi (武夷) people. He rode on a piece of cloud and flew over the sky. When he approached the area of Wuyi Kowloon Nest (武夷九龙巢) canyon, the misty, beautiful scenery and the unique environment captured his attention. “What a wonderful place!” he murmured, “This is a place for hidden dragons and crouching tigers…”. He took out the seeds of the camellia tree and sprinkled them on the hillside. Soon the seeds sprouted and developed into nine huge tea bushes.
One day an old monk of a nearby temple saw these exotic trees when he took a walk on the hillside. He gathered other monks of the temple to pick the leaves. They brought it back to the temple and processed it there. The monk brewed a pot of the tea, then tasted it. He felt that his mind suddenly cleared with refreshing thoughts. His spirit was lifted and his body became lighter and youthful. The monks were overjoyed about the magic tea. They offered the tea to sick people and discovered the unique healing power of the tea. Actually the tea got its name, Dahongpao tea (大红袍茶), because it saved a scholar’s life, read the story.
For conservation purpose, no leaf picking has been allowed for the original three Dahongpao (大红袍) trees since 2006. The commercial Dahongpao tea (大红袍茶) is produced from the local tea gardens, which has been developed with the asexual reproduction technique. It has the same characteristic features of the original Dahongpao tea (大红袍茶).
Dahongpao tea (大红袍茶) has a reputation of “rock charm”. What it refers to is its unique taste that is sweet and smooth, thick and mellow, and yet, refreshing and long lasting. While testing the tea, the fragrance dances in your mouth with a durable nice aftertaste.
Thanks, my dear friend, for the wonderful gift. I’ll share the poem of Lu Tong (卢仝, Chinese poet, ～ 795－835) with you to show my appreciation:
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