Darker in colour and deeper in flavour than our other Tieguanyin Oolongs, with notes of nutty chocolate, and a rounded, earthy, yet sweet aroma.
Da Hong Pao
This is an extremely rare and special tea, perhaps the finest oolong in China.
Grown from a unique and ancient cultivar in the Wuyishan reserve, a UNESCO world heritage site in the Wuyi Mountains. The terroir is extremely special, and this Da Hong Pao is also known as a "rock tea", because of the high mountain rock below the soil that enriches the leaves.
The legend of Da Hong Pao
Legends are all that survive as to why it is called the Big Red Robe...
It is said that the tea was so beloved by an Emperor - after it cured his mother of a life threatening illness - that he draped the base of the bushes in luxurious red robes to protect the soil in which they grew in the rocky ground.
It is still incredibly beloved across China (and now the world) and worthy of our most tender treatment.
Hand roasted over charcoal
The leaves are roasted over charcoal, allowing a deeper oxidisation and toastier flavour than Tie Guan Yin.
It is of such a high quality, that in even in China, this Da Hong Pao is extremely hard to find. Just a few kilos are handcrafted each year and it is necessary to visit the Wuyishan to purchase it. Thankfully Henrietta, the Tea Lady, has done that for us.
The tea can be infused several times to reveal incredible subtleties of flavour. We recommend infusing the leaf in small amounts of hot water with a high leaf to water ratio, and infusing many times rather than making one large pot. In this way you will uncover countless flavours.
Use an inch of hot water at 100 degrees to rapidly “wash” the leaf for a few seconds. You can discard this first brew. This opens out the rolled leaf and allows the water to penetrate.
Subsequent infusions are best made at high temperature but rapidly - just 20 - 30 seconds. You don’t need to reheat the water as you go – the softened leaf will require lower temperatures. In all we recommend at least six steps to allow the leaf to completely open out and reveal all its beauty.
You can also enjoy one teaspoon of leaves all day- coming back to the same pot and re-infusing it – but in this instance re-heat the water to 90°C (194°F).