The first thing to kick-start your day is with a cup of tea. But, will you pay a million buck for it? Certainly yes, if you are a tea connoisseur steeped in money. Da-hong Pao is one of the world’s costliest tea which is more expensive than gold. For a gram of Da-Hong Pao, you will have to shell out $1400.
Let’s know what, exactly, is this brew, and why is it so expensive?
Da Hong Pao leaves are exceedingly rare. This tea grows on Jiulong Ke rocky cliff in the Wuyi mountain in only six mother trees, that are more than 340 years old. Eventually, these trees will never bear new growth and soon extinct. The last harvest was done in the year 2005. Moreover, from 2007, Wuyi governments decided to stop picking tea leaves from the mother tree to ensure their good growth.
The legend of Da Hong Pao tea:
Da-hong Pa means “Big Red Robe”. So, there are stories according to the legends that follow the popularity of this expensive brew.
The monk who was healed.
In 1935, during the Ming Dynasty, a scholar name Ju Zi Ding on his way to the Imperial Exam fell ill. This exam was vital for his career as an official. When he arrived at Wuyishan, he could not continue his journey further. Fortunately, a monk from the temple ‘Tian Xin Yong Le’ saw him and served the special tea with healing effects. This tea certainly, healed the Ju Zi Dingyour Dayand he could attend the exam. He even passed the exam with the highest score, and an imperial scarlet red robe was awarded to him. The scholar finally made through the exam and he was appointed as a senior official of the Ming Dynasty.
In order to, show his gratitude the humble scholar wrapped his red scarlet in 3 circles around the tea bush. Then he took the tea leaves back to the palace. Since then, it got its name Da Hong Pao.
Another, tale that follows Da Hong Pao is once the Emperor’s mother was ill. Hundreds of doctors failed to revive her. Finally, a scholar revealed his jar of a miracle that had oolong tea. After she drank the tea, she gradually recovered from her illness. Later, the emperor was profoundly grateful, and he ordered his subjects to extract the tea bushes. Henceforth, the emperor made those bushes exclusive for processing tribute tea for the Imperial family. It later became a tradition as per the instruction from the emperor the servants took hand red robes on the tea bushes
What makes it so special?
The rain pours down the limestone gorges and karst pinnacles. The downpour cascade down the rocks with rich minerals that impart flavour.
The sweet aroma, a slightly smoky tinge to the flavour, and a long, mellow finish also add a feather to this special brew. It is a dark, charcoal-fired strain of oolong tea.
Travel to Mount Wuyi a UNESCO World Heritage site
You must know that the place where Da Hong Pao grows is One of the most beautiful places in China, Wuyishan. It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1999. The natural reserve is located in Fujian province in southeast China.
The unbelievably shaped mountains, romantic rivers and mysterious monasteries hidden in between make it a worthy place to visit.
Inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage list in 1999, Wuyishan features the country’s largest intact forest.
A ride on a bamboo raft is one of the best experience to have on Wuyishan.
The nine bends of the pristine stream — hence the name — run through some of the most iconic spots in the park.
If you want to try once in a lifetime:
Getting a chance to sip Da Hong Pao would be like sipping the history. Affording an authentic Da Hong Pao is a distant dream, but you can purchase (relatively) cheaper versions of Da Hong Pao for around $100 per kilogram. Nowadays they clone the leaves from the ancient mother trees and cultivate in Wuyishan’s tea gardens.