Rare Teas from China – Review

Dahongpao

There are countless precious teas in China; however, both tea experts and fans crown this as the king of Chinese tea not only because of its rareness, but also because of its medical purposes.

According to a-hospital.com, the production of Dahongpao dates back to the Tang Dynasty. Tea officials discovered a type of Oolong tea near Wuyi Mountain and served it to the loyal family. Since then, Dahongpao became an annual tribute to the government. It’s said that in the Ming Dynasty, a monk cured an emperor with tea that he made. After recovery, the emperor honored the tea trees by covering them with red robes. Therefore, the tea is called Dahongpao, which means red robe.

Dahongpao tea trees grow near a cliff at Jiulong Cave. The unique natural conditions contribute to the best flavor of Dahongpao. Bathed in moist air and abundant sunshine, tea leaves are big and juicy, which store more beneficial chemicals.

Lushan Yunwu Tea

Lushan Yunwu is a type of green tea, which was invented in the Han Dynasty, and became the tribute tea in the Song Dynasty.

Yunwu means cloudly mist in Chinese. Lushan Yunwu tea grows around the mist all year round. Most waterfalls in Lushan originate from the deep forests, which are rich in mineral substances. Therefore, Yunwu tea has a higher level of mineral substances than other green teas.

Bathed in heavy mist all year round, the tea trees are short, the leaves being fleshy and juicy. When it comes to the Tomb-Sweeping Festival every year, the tea farmers will enter the deep mountains, where the tea farms are located. Leaves are carefully plucked and sent to the workshop in an extremely timely fashion. Yunwu can be workshop-made and factory-made. The former one is softer and preserves a better aroma. The latter one has a better color and shape. More importantly, the price of the latter is much lower than the workshop-made one.

Qimen Black Tea

If you ask, “what’s the best black tea ever?” the Qimen Black Tea would no doubt be the answer; so much so that it won the love of the British royal family.

Qimen is a small town, whose tea history goes back to the Tang Dynasty. In 1975, by creatively using the experience he learned from other provinces, Yuanlong Hu, a local tea merchant, invented the Qimen Black Tea. He achieved huge success in the market and established a black tea factory. By 1876, Qimen black tea became nationally famous and exports to Japan and Britain attest to this.

Qimen is plucked in the early spring. Only the healthiest leaves are chosen. Then they are spread in a sheltered room for withering, which normally lasts for a day. After rough rolling, the leaves are spread out again for deep fermentation. Their color turns into a dark purple or black. The entire process must be done below 30 degrees Celsius to avoid over fermenting. At last, the leaves will be categorized according to the size, shape and color. Only the best fermented leaves will be packed.

Mengding Tea

Mengding tea is from Meng Shan – a mountain range that crosses two counties. Because of the special climate Mengding tea grows in, its quality stands out among other green teas. Meng Shan is famous for its unique views. The top of the mountains are always wreathed in mist, and the network of spectacular waterfalls makes it even more impressive and memorable. Many poets are lavish in their praises of Meng Shan.

Mengding tea is a type of green tea known for its fresh aroma. Because the tops of Meng Shan are surrounded by mist all year long, it’s also called “the Tea from Heaven.” Mengding tea was once a main tribute for the use of royal family only.

The processing of Mengding tea is similar to other green teas. According to historical records, it was sacred as religious ceremonies. Every spring, a religious celebration would be held before the plucking. The local governors would dress up and host the entire activity. They would first worship the “tea fairy” and the governor would monitor the whole picking process. Only six hundred leaves would be plucked. These leaves would then be processed in a temple surrounded by chanting monks. In the end, the tea would be sealed in delicate silver containers and which was then escorted by the army to the royal palace.

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