Big Red Robe Tea–
Its other names are Da Hong Pao tea and Wuyi Rock Tea or Wuyi Cliff Tea. It’s the best variety of oolong tea that is produced from the leaves of rock tea plants (Tea plants grown in the Wuyi Rock Mountains) which are grown in Wuyi Mountain range of Fujian Province, China.
This oolong tea is heavily oxidized and a superior dark oolong tea variety.
The Story of Big Red Robe Tea
As per an old Chinese tale, the mother of one Ming Dynasty Emperor was cured from prolonged illness by using the tea made from the leaves of one special tea plant variety grown in the Wuyi Rock Mountains.
So the Emperor clothed that special tea trees with Red Robes in order to make it identifiable and to protect these trees from general public use.
Another Chinese tale says- The emperor gifted one great red robe to that farmer who produced this miraculous tea as a token of gratitude. And the farmer named that tea plant Big Red Robe as a respect to the emperor.
Six such tea plants are still alive and highly guarded by the state in that area of Wuyi Mountain, Fujian Province, China.
The Most Expensive Big Red Robe Tea
As per Chinese traditional belief, this Da Hong Pao tea has some miraculous health benefits. The main specialty of this tea is its quality, taste, flavor and aroma profile improve along with age.
Like the finest wine of the world which is really costly, the original Da Hong Pao tea made from such special rock tea plants is also most expensive and hard to find out for buying.
In 1998, one kilogram of Da Hong Pao tea made from one such original plant was sold at US $1,025,000/-. Awesome! Nah…
That means, sometimes tea is more costly than Gold. Isn’t it!
Nowadays, Big Red Robe teas are made from the leaves of genetically identical plants which are grown commercially at Wuyi Rock Mountains by Big Tea Farms.
Though the quality of the present Da Hong Pao tea brands are not at per the famous old ones, yet these oolong tea brands are superior than other oolong tea varieties.
Taste, Flavor and Aroma of Big Red Robe Tea
Big Red Robe is a long leaf Wulong tea which offers unique earthy and woodsy flavor with a hint of muscatel fruit like tones and a sweet aroma. The taste of the liquor is really robust but you never find any bitterness there. It’s really the most unique tea of the world.
3 best Big Red Robe Tea Brands of the world
1. Da Hong Pao, Chinese Oolong Tea First Flush By Valley of Tea
This Big Red Robe tea brand contains all the characteristics of Wuyi Rock Tea- Long leaf, dark, robust taste with complex flavor of floral under notes and a hint of roasted woodsy aroma.
It is made from the leaves of genetically identical tea plants of the original Wuyi rock tea plants. These genetically identical tea plants are grown in the commercial tea plantations located in Wuyi Mountain, Fujian Province, China.
This best Big Red Robe tea brand is 100% original i.e., made in Wuyi Mountain and specially packed and shipped to the US from Wuyi Mountain plantation. So, it’s a garden fresh tea brand.
Though I am recommending this brand but it is not that expensive original Da Hong Pao tea which was made 50 years back. This brand is not aged Da Hong Pao, it’s a fresh tea brand produced from Cloned plants of the Original Wuyi rock tea plants.
After all, it’s the best tea brand in that genre as per my individual real-time tasting experience.
2. Wuyi Da Hong Pao Tea By Chinese Tea Culture
This is 2nd best Big Red Robe tea brand as per my individual tasting. It also contains all the characteristics of typical Chinese Da Hong Pao tea. It is produced from the Wuyi rock tea plantations located in Wuyi Mountain, Fujian Province, China.
This rich and complex oolong tea from Wuyi mountain plantations offers great and robust taste with muscatel flavor and hint of grape like aroma. It has natural sweetness and produces lingering aftertaste in the mouth.
This 8 oz tea packet is ideal for serving 168 cups.
3. Wuyi Rock Oolong Tea By Teavivre
This is 3rd best Big Red Robe oolong tea as per my individual tasting and own taste preferences. It is also produced from the Cloned tea bushes of original Wuyi rock tea plants.
Teavivre sources this great tea brand directly from the Da Hong Pao tea plantations located in Wuyi Mountains, Nanping City of Fujian Province, China.
It offers almost same taste, flavor and aroma profile like the above mentioned two brands. And there is no bitterness at all.
Its natural roasted like woodsy and robust taste with floral flavor will definitely make you the true Da Hong Pao tea lover and a good cup of this tea in the morning will kick start one great day ahead.
All these 3 Big Red Robe tea brands are the best oolong teas of the world as per my own taste preferences.
Steeping Notes of Big Red Robe Tea
Now, the big question is-
How to prepare the great cup of Big Red Robe tea?
If you really love Wulong tea then I think you’ll not find any problem in preparing this tea. Here, I’m going to tell you my own steeping style.
Water Temperature– Anything in between 90ºC to 95ºC
Water Quality– Properly filtered water or mineral water
Tea Maker Type
If you are not comfortable in using stovetop kettle then you can use electric tea kettle with variable temperature facility.
This is the great tea of the world and really we need great electric tea kettle to prepare the finest cup of this tea.
I love to use Breville BTM800XL One-Touch Tea Maker which is one of the revolutionary electric tea kettles that will take the art out of the tea making.
You just need to fill the pitcher with water and the basket with the tea. Then set the brewing time and strength and let the tea maker work for you.
If you don’t have electric tea maker and also you don’t want to poses one then it’s OK.
You can also use Stovetop tea kettle to prepare your cup of great Da Hong Pao Tea. Willow & Everett’s classic whistle kettle is high quality stovetop tea kettle which will really fulfill your desires.
Why I’m telling these?
Without getting properly boiled water at required temperature you cannot make your desired cup of oolong tea.
Kettles made of a reactive metal like aluminum must be avoided as it adversely affects the quality of the tea.
The kettle made of reactive metal can chemically react with water and cause contamination of tea. Some of the best suitable non-reactive materials for kettle are ceramic, enamel, stainless steel, glass, and marble.
Don’t think only for one great rejuvenating and energizing cup of tea, also think about your health too.
Final steeping notes–
Get properly boiled water at 90ºC to 95ºC.
Then pour the boiled water into one 8-ounce cup or alternatively get 236ml properly boiled water at the said temperature in a cup.
Add 2 teaspoons of Big Red Robe Oolong tea and cover the cup.
Steep it for 1-3 minutes. If you need light taste then 1 minute is sufficient and if you need really one strong cup then go for 2/3 minutes.
Don’t need to add sweeteners as this oolong tea has no bitterness.
Usually I use Chinese Ceramic Teapot for infusing various types of teas. This teapot is made of non reactive metal so I don’t have to worry regarding chemical contaminated cup of tea.
As you know that taste preferences vary individual to individual. You may not like the tea brands which I like.
Buying oolong tea decision is yours and I have compiled this list only to make you familiar about the taste, flavor and aroma profile of these great oolong teas.
Just taste Big Red Robe Tea once, feel the differences and let me know your taste preferences and your feelings about these 3 brands.