Big Red Robe | Oolong Tea
Description: A hybrid of North and South Fujian teas, this roasted oolong is a blend of 5 cultivars. The sweet sesame oil and charred chocolate flavor sharpens into a charcoal-like, mineral mouthfeel.
This tea was made by Mr. Tang Shuang Jiang and is a blend of teas from Jian Ou County (Jian Ou is next to Wuyi, a traditional rock oolong area) and Anxi County. Mr. Tang has a classmate in Jin Ou who makes Shui Xian, Mei Zan, Qi Lan, and Rou Gui teas. He took all four of these finished teas back to Anxi to blend with Ti Kwan Yin. He then roasted the leaves to create this traditional Big Red Robe flavor profile.
Big Red Robe or “Da Hong Pao” is the signature tea of the Wuyi mountains in the Fujian province of China. This tea is also known as “Rock Tea” or “Rock Oolong” and it’s defining features are long, dark, twisted leaves that have been oxidized and baked at moderate levels. The flavors range widely from toasty and spicy to citrus and sweet. Big Red Robe can be made from a variety of cultivars that grow in Fujian and is most often a blend of these plants, as determined by the tea maker to achieve their desired price and quality.
Though Big Red Robe is the source of many fantastical stories, written records of its production don’t appear until 1943. The tea is said to have originated as two plants (believed to be Qi Dan cultivar) in the Tian Xin temple, cared for in meticulous detail by the monks who made this tea. In 1949, the government took ownership of these plants with strict protection over it. And though these plants do not exist in the temple anymore, it is said to be the same plant that is growing out the side of a rock face (for tourists to visit) that is considered the official mother bush “Da Hong Pao” plant. Starting in the reform era of the 1980’s, it became common for Big Red Robe to be made with other cultivars. Now the tea is simply synonymous with the “Wuyi Rock Tea” style.
Suggested Steeping Instructions:
3 grams | 8 oz water | 195°F | Steep 3 min.
Traditional Steeping Instructions:
Number of Cups:
2 oz makes 19 cups, 4 oz makes 38 cups, 1 lb makes 151 cups