Da Hong Pao tea (大红袍, Dà Hóng Páo) literally called Big Red Robe is a kind of Chinese oolong tea and native to the Wuyi Mountain, Fujian Province. Da means “big”, Hong means “red”, and Pao means “robe”.
Da Hong Pao tea belongs to Wuyi rock tea (Wuyi Yancha) and it is the most famous Wuyi Rock tea. Da Hong Pao tea has a laudatory title of “The King of Wuyi Rock Tea” because of its high quality and unique characteristics. It is also a national geographical indication product of China.
Table of Contents
- History of Da Hong Pao Tea
- Mother Trees of Da Hong Pao Tea
- Characteristics of Da Hong Pao Tea
- Benefits of Da Hong Pao Tea
- Meanings of Da Hong Pao Tea
History of Da Hong Pao Tea
In 1385, a people went to Beijing to take the exam. When passing by Wuyi Mountain, he suddenly fell ill with unbearable abdominal pain. Later, He met a monk from a famous temple called Tianxin Yongle Zen Temple located in Wuyi Mountain. The monk made a cup of tea for him, then soon after he recovered from his illness.
After the people won the Number One Scholar in the exam, he came to Wuyi Mountain and thanked the monk. The monk told him about the tea and the tea tree. In order to thank the tea tree, the people took off his big red robe and put it on the tea tree. Since then, this tea tree is called Big Red Robe (Da Hong Pao in Chinese pinyin).
Not long after that, when the queen was ill and many doctors failed to treat her, the people took out the Da Hong Pao tea and offered it to the queen. After drinking it, the queen became better and better.
The emperor was very happy and gave him a red robe, sending him to go to the Wuyi Mountain and put the robe on the tea tree. At the same time, the emperor also sent some people to take care of the tea tree.
Since then, Da Hong Pao tea became a tribute tea for the royal family to enjoy, and the reputation of Da Hong Pao tea had also been spread around the country. It is said that every year the officials sent by the emperor were dressed in red robes and hung them on the tea tree.
Mother Trees of Da Hong Pao Tea
In the whole of China, there are only six Da Hong Pao mother trees growing in the Wuyi Mountain and they have a history of hundreds of years.
In the 1930s, the government sent troops to guard the Da Hong Pao mother trees. After the founding of New China, the government still employs some tea farmers to take care of it.
In 1998, a rich businessman bought 20 grams of Da Hong Pao tea of the mother trees at an auction at a high price of 158,800 yuan.
In 2000, according to the <Word Natural and Cultural Heritage List of Wuyi Mountain> approved by the United Nations, the mother tree of Da Hong Pao tea was listed as an ancient and famous tree in the World Natural and Cultural Heritage.
On May 3, 2005, the last picking of 20g of tea leaves of the mother trees was presented to the National Museum of China by the local government.
From 2006, the local government decided to take special care of the mother trees: stop picking the mother trees to ensure their good growth, implement scientific management of the mother trees by tea professionals and technicians, establish detailed files, and strictly protect the ecological environment around the mother trees.
Nowadays, the Da Hong Pao tea currently on the market is made from tea trees that are reproduced asexually by the mother trees.
Characteristics of Da Hong Pao Tea
Da Hong Pao tea is tidy and slightly twisty in shape and grayish-brown in color. After brewing, the tea liquid is clear, bright, and orange-yellow. It tastes sweet, smooth, no bitter, and has an aftertaste.
The biggest characteristic of Da Hong Pao tea is that it has a fragrance of orchid, which is strong and long-lasting. Besides, It is very resistant to brewing, and it still has fragrance after seven or eight times of brewing.
According to its color, shape, and fragrance, Da Hong Pao tea can be classified into three grades. The higher the grade, the stronger and tidier the shape, the stronger the fragrance, and the brighter and clearer the tea liquid.
Besides, according to the classification of it in the tea market, Da Hong Pao tea can be classified into the following three types:
- Beidou Da Hong Pao: a variety cultivated by cutting the branches of the Da Hong Pao mother tree is growing in the Beidou Mountain.
- Qidan Da Hong Pao: a variety cultivated by a tea expert. He named it “Qidan”.
- Mixed Da Hong Pao: mixed Da Hong Pao with other Wuyi rock tea.
Benefits of Da Hong Pao Tea
Da Hong Pao tea has three main beneficial ingredients: tea polyphenols, tea polysaccharides, and theanine.
The tea polyphenols in Da Hong Pao tea are especially abundant, among which the most EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate) has an anti-cancer function.
The polysaccharide content of Da Hong Pao tea is 3.1 times that of black tea and 1.7 times that of green tea, which can boost the immune system and lower blood lipids.
The content of theanine, a special amino acid in tea, is 1.1%, which can improve blood circulation and lower blood lipids.
In addition, Da Hong Pao tea is also rich in amino acids, vitamins, and trace elements.
Benefits of Da Hong Pao tea:
- Weight loss
- Help digestion
- Increase appetite
- Lower blood lipids
- Lower cholesterol
- Boost immune system
Meanings of Da Hong Pao Tea
- Da Hong Pao is a variety of tea trees.
- Da Hong Pao is a commercial tea.
- Da Hong Pao is a commercial brand of Wuyi rock tea.
- Da Hong Pao is the representative of Wuyi rock tea.