Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tea Talk Tuesday - Da Hong Pao

Hello, Happy Tuesday! Another week to explore and develop! Today I am going to be very specific and talk about Da Hong Pao (Big Red Robe) oolong tea unique to Wu Yi Shan China and perhaps it's most celebrated and expensive Yancha (rock Tea). Clinging to Jiulongke Cliff in the Tianxinyan area of the Wuyi Mountains, the original three or four Da Hong Pao tea bushes still survive, with leaves slightly thicker than others' and slightly pinkish buds. In a canyon called Nine Dragons' Nest the sun shines directly only a few hours per day and a small stream from a nearby spring seeps through a slit in the rock into the sandy soil, creating an ideal place for tea growing. The ancient plants are centuries old and their offspring grow here and there in the canyon, though almost nowhere else. Commercial production of Da Hong Pao cultivars only began in the 1960s. What made this tea famous and inspired its name was a Ming Dynasty mandarin who attributed his recovery of illness to its curative powers and in thanks, draped his official's scarlet robe of high office over the bushes and repectfully kowtowed before them.

So, what a story! What a tea! I am talking about it specifically because I have received 11 ounces of it from a colleague and I would like to offer it to our customers. It is a very rare oolong and I will sell it by the ounce for $15.00/ounce. An ounce will start at least 14 -20 cups, the re-steeping times are up to you. Let me know, just phone the store 206 448-4054 if you would like some.

Thanks to the Tea Dictionary by James Norwood Pratt for the information about this fine tea.
Published by Tea Society Press, San Francisco, CA 2010, printed in India.

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