Big Red Robe – Da Hong Pao
Just sticking your nose in a bag of dahongpao will make your day nicer. Pour some hot water, and you’ll get a uniquely delicious brew with an incredibly rich flavor that ranges from dried fruit to dark chocolate with a bit of pleasant smokiness in the background. The taste of dahongpao is so special that simply watching the faces of people trying it for the first time can be a lot of fun.
Why we like it?
The legend has it that a cup of tea from the Wuyi mountains cured the mother of a Ming dynasty emperor. The monarch was so happy that he decided to cover the trees that produced that tea with exquisite red cloth to protect them from winter cold. Three of those trees have survived, and the hype surrounding them is unbelievable. Dahongpao became so famous that cuttings from the remaining trees were grafted in many tea-growing regions of China, which boosted its consumption far beyond royalty and foreign dignitaries.
Roman’s personal score: 90/100
Miha’s personal score: 94/100
The scores above represent how the Daoli co-founders Miha and Roman feel about each particular tea. The ratings are given on 0 to 100 scale and are absolutely subjective. We simply translate into numbers our first impression about this tea.
General steeping suggestions
Tea can be steeped in a tea pot, gaiwan, or a strainer placed right in your cup. Feel free to experiment with time, temperature, and quantity. If tea feels a bit strong or bitter, just use less leaves or steep it for a shorter period of time.
The purpose of the first brew is to rinse the leaves, so it shouldn’t last more than five seconds and should be discarded. Pour the hot water again. This time, steep it for longer periods. Avoid leaving the leaves soaking in water between brews, because it makes tea taste bitter and steals a lot of its flavor. If used properly, about six grams of tea leaves can yield several middle-size cups of excellent tea.
Chinese people enjoy the original taste of tea, so they never use milk, sugar, or lemon.
Gongfu steeping suggestions for dahongpao
Start with this, then experiment:
- one serving: 6 grams (0.2oz – about 1 tsp)
- water: ~ 85 °C, 100-250 ml (~ 175°F, 3-9oz)
- time: 20-40+ seconds
- number of infusions: 8-10
Start with 20 seconds then increase infusion time gradually. Watch for water temperature and never go over 90 °C as near-boiling water will destroy pleasant fruity notes.
Have you tried this tea? Do you have any comments? Please use the space below to share your thoughts and ask us questions.