Da Hong Pao, or “Big Red Robe” in English, is the most famous of all of the Wuyi Yancha (Wuyi rock tea). An imperial favorite during the Qing dynasty (1644-1911) Da Hong Pao oolong is still renowned throughout China for its deep, rich flavor. At the height of production the six ancient Da Hong Pao mother tea trees produced only 2000 grams of tea leaves each year. Famously expensive, in 2002 20-grams of tea from the original mother trees sold for a record price of 180,000 Yuan (US$28,783.42) at the Guangdong Trade Fair. In 2006 the six original mother trees were insured for 1,800,000 Yuan and in an effort to protect them the local government decided to ban the harvest from these particular tea trees. The last 20 grams of tea produced from these tea trees was donated to the China National Museum. The six ancient Da Hong Pao mother bushes still grow in an outcropping that is located alongside a steep cliff wall in the Wuyi Shan, however, all Da Hong Pao for sale today is plucked from tea bushes that are the cultivated offspring of the reputable old tea bushes. Wuyi Rock Oolong is some of the purest tea available on world markets. This rare oolong hails from Mount Wuyi in Nanping Prefecture, Fujian up along the border of Jiangxi Province. In 1999, UNESCO listed the mountain as a World Heritage Site in part owing to its outstanding biodiversity. According to the UN, Mount Wuyi Is one of the World’s finest, intact, subtropical forests. Further complimenting the region’s reputation, Mount Wuyi is registered with the Chinese Government as a biodiversity conservation zone. The climate of the region is relatively humid due to the fact that the Mountain prevents cool air from entering the valley, and the presence of the 9 Bend River meandering through its valleys. Living within this subtropical paradise is an almost uncountable number of species of flora and fauna. Many of the plant species living on the Mountain are considered relics of a bygone age, no longer found anywhere else on the planet. The wildlife is equally as spectacular. An estimated 5000 reptile, amphibian and insect species call the protected area home. Like the plant life, many of these creatures are found nowhere else on earth. To say the region is breathtakingly pristine is an understatement.
In amongst this jewel of biodiversity grows the world famous organic rock tea.