Da Hong Pao (Hunan Hongda Tea Co.)

Da Hong Pao has an interesting story behind it. It's one of the great five WuYi mountain oolong teas from China and it's one of the most praised as well. I picked up this tea directly from a grower-producer at the 2010 World Tea Expo.

Quick Info
FAB* Rating 4/3/3
Company Hunan Hongda Tea
Blend Name Da Hong Pao
Blend Base Oolong
Country of Origin China
Package Type Bag
Price per Package $?.??
Quantity ~ 1.0 oz
*Flavor, Aroma, Boldness

Because this tea is direct from a grower, I don't have a link for you to find or buy it online. Instead, this tea is likely imported by a company who either resells the tea (to consumers) or wholesales the tea (to businesses).

For an oolong this tea's leaves are very dark. Much more reminiscent of a black tea than an oolong. The leaves are large, roughly an inch in length on average and twisted not balled. The aroma is lightly fired and every so slightly floral.

A wonderful amber liquor results from steeping the leaves. The infused aroma remains light and roasty and reminds me a bit of a Hojicha.

On the tongue fired notes emerge accompanied by some astringency and the slightest lip pucker. The tail is very light and lingers only a little while but causes the palate to yearn for more.

The story goes that a regent of the Emperor of China was passing through town and fell ill. While ill he was nursed back to health by tea grown by his host. When the regent was recovered and left the town he left behind his Big Red Robe (Da Hong Pao) to signify his appreciation.

I recommend this wonderful oolong to all oolong fans. Though you cannot purchase this tea directly, you should seek similar traits in any Da Hong Pao tea you encounter.

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