Wuyi rock tea (武夷岩茶, Wǔ Yí Yán Chá) also called Wuyi Yancha is a kind of Chinese oolong tea and is one of the top 10 famous Chinese tea. It is native to the Wuyi Mountain, Fujian Province.
Wuyi rock tea is famous for its unique Yen flavor which is a special aroma and only Wuyi rock tea has this characteristic. Wuyi rock tea is a half-fermented tea. Its processing technology is between green tea and black tea.
There are many kinds of Wuyi rock tea and the most famous Wuyi rock tea is Da Hong Pao tea.
Table of Contents
- History of Wuyi Rock Tea
- Growth Environment of Wuyi Rock Tea
- Types of Wuyi Rock Tea
- Benefits of Wuyi Rock Tea
History of Wuyi Rock Tea
The historical record of Wuyi tea first appeared in the Tang Dynasty (618-907), when Wuyi tea was called “Wan Gan Hou”.
In the Song Dynasty (960-1279), tea-making technology entered a reform period, and tea drinking became popular throughout the country. Tea has become an indispensable part of people’s daily life.
At that time, there were about 100 kinds of tea in the country, and dozens of them were regarded as a tribute tea. Wuyi tea is one of the tribute teas.
In 1302, the emperor of the Yuan Dynasty liked tea very much and had a rich experience in tasting tea. Wuyi tea became his first choice. He set up a garden called “Royal Tea Garden” beside the Wuyi Mountain. The tea garden lasted for 255 years, which expanded the influence of Wuyi tea.
In the late Ming and early Qing dynasties, people continued to explore and innovate in the tea processing, and Wuyi oolong tea came into being.
The Qing Dynasty (1636-1912) is a period of development of Wuyi rock tea. Many kinds of Wuyi rock tea were invented.
In the 17th century, Wuyi rock tea began to be exported. In 1607, the Dutch East India Company purchased Wuyi rock tea for the first time and sold it all over Europe.
In the early days of the founding of New China, land reform was implemented, and the tea hills were distributed to local farmers, thus the production of Wuyi rock tea increasing further.
Growth Environment of Wuyi Rock Tea
Wuyi Mountain is a 5A scenic spot with a very rich ecosystem. It is the world’s natural and cultural heritage.
Wuyi Mountain has a mild climate, warm in winter, cool in summer, abundant annual rainfall of about 2,000mm.
Wuyi Mountain is a typical danxia landform with many cliffs. The rocks in Wuyi Mountain are mainly quartzite, conglomerate, red sandstone, shale, tuff, and so on.
The soil is formed by the weathered acidic rocks and its surface is acid red soil with rich humus, this is why the Wuyi rock tea has a unique flavor.
Besides the surface soil, latitude, longitude, altitude, and climate are also important factors. The average altitude of Wuyi Mountain is more than 600 meters, and the highest peak is 729 meters. It belongs to the middle altitude area. Generally speaking, China’s famous tea, especially oolong tea, is almost growing at this altitude.
Types of Wuyi Rock Tea
The oolong tea produced in the Wuyi Mountain is called Wuyi rock tea, so there are many kinds of Wuyi rock tea. There are more than 1,000 kinds of rock tea on record. If you drink one kind of rock tea every day, it will take at least three years to drink all the rock tea.
Wuyi rock tea is generally named after its growing area, shape, color, aroma, myths, and legends. With the development and evolution of the tea trees, some varieties have gradually faded out. The common famous Wuyi rock teas are as follows:
Da Hong Pao Tea
Da Hong Pao tea literally called Big Red Robe is the most famous Wuyi rock tea. Da Hong Pao tea is named after a legend. According to the classification in the market, Da Hong Pao can be classified into three types: Beidou Da Hong Pao, Qidan Da Hong Pao, and Mixed Da Hong Pao.
Rougui tea has a history of more than 100 years. Its biggest characteristic is its strong and long-lasting fragrance.
Wuyi Shui Xian tea
Shui Xian tea is also called Shui Hsien tea. Its characteristic is mellow taste. The older its tea tree, the more mellow the tea tastes.
Tie Luo Han
Tie Luo Han is literally called Iron Arhat. It has a history of 200 years.
Bai Ji Guan
Bai Ji Guan is literally called White Cockscomb. The fresh tea leaves of Bai Ji Guan are white-yellow and white-green and looks like the comb of the white cock.
Shui Jin Gui
Shui Jin Gui is literally called Golden Water Turtle. The fragrance of Shui Jin Gui is like that of wintersweet.
Da Hong Pao, Tie Luo Han, Bai Ji Guan, and Shui Jin Gui are known as Wuyi Si Da Ming Cong.
Wuyi Wild Tea
There are some wild teas that have no name growing in Wuyi Mountain. Some of them also have high quality.
Besides, according to the growth area of the tea trees, Wuyi rock tea can be classified into three types:
- Zhengyan: the tea trees grow in the Wuyi Mountain Scenic Spot. It has the best quality.
- Banyan: the tea trees grow in the surrounding of the Wuyi Mountain Scenic Spot.
- Zhoucha: the tea trees grow in the villages and towns near the Wuyi Mountain Scenic spot.
According to the variety and different processing technology, there are six common types of fragrance of Wuyi rock tea:
- Flower fragrance such as orchid, osmanthus, lilac, rose, gardenia, and so on.
- Fruit fragrance.
- Milk fragrance.
- Wood fragrance.
- Caramel fragrance.
- Reed leaves fragrance.
Benefits of Wuyi Rock Tea
- Weight loss
- Help digestion
- Lower cholesterol
- Lower blood lipids
- Boost immune system