What is Da Hong Pao, or Big Red Robe Rock Oolong? While many will associate the varietal with the original five motherbushes, their creation story, and the sub-cultivars that have been propagated from their lineage, Da Hong Pao has reached a level of fame that has blurred the definition as producers and sellers invent ways to capitalize on the name. In the minds of many Chinese tea drinkers, modern Da Hong Pao has become conflated with Rock Oolong or 岩茶 Yánchá as a whole, as well as the famous mountains it originates from, Wuyishan. Da Hong Pao teas are now often a blend of varietals like Shui Xian and Rougui, a blend simply intended to connote the charm of the Wuyi mountains; to exemplify the genre of Yancha.
And while there are plenty of remarkable blended versions of these kinds of Da Hong Pao out there, we strive to showcase and experience Da Hong Pao in a more truer form. Enter the Yue family's 奇丹 Qídān Da Hong Pao, a variety propagated from one of the original motherbushes, also referred to as 纯种大红袍 — Chún zhǒng, or "purebreed" — Da Hong Pao.
The Qidan propagation was disseminated in the Wuyi Mountains in the 1980s and it was Yue Jun's mother who obtained and established Qidan shrubs on the steeper climes further up the mountain from their family tea gardens at approximately 480 meters located just outside of the 森林公园 武夷山 Wuyishan Forest Park. Now grown up into trees in this non-famous, lush ecological environment, this tea offers a classy and authentic experience of a more true Da Hong Pao, without the hefty price tag found on those grown within the core of the famous scenic park — precisely what we love about the Yue family's offerings.
No pretentious tasting notes here, just an invitation to sit with your own experience with these honest leaves.