Da Hong Pao
(Big Red Robe)
this is one of the most famous of Chinese wuyi oolongs. the original bushes are no longer harvest from but once fetched $28K for 20 grams. the plant naturally grows on cliffs, so is referred to a “yancha” or rock tea. the mineralty is distinctly bright and produces a clean woodsy flavor and a sweet aroma from the very precise process and charcoal roasting that extracts the glucose from the tea leaves. the high iron content makes for a rich cloak of red brew. the name comes from the legend of a Ming-era scholar who was made well from it circling the bushes with his red robes.
METHOD: i snagged one that is a 100 year old Qi Dan cultivar that is direct descendent of the original bushes. i used a teapot made of jianshui clay because it seems the minerals of the clay match the tea since the bushes grow in soil of the same minerals, contributing to the “di wei” or earth taste or terroir. use 3g of tea per 100ml. first round steep the leaves for 1min with water that is 95C. Additional pours can be done, adding 30 seconds to each steep time.