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Da Hong Pao

Da Hong Pao
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Other names:Large Red Robe (and synonyms), Ta Hong Pao, 大红袍
Origin:Mount Wuyi, Fujian Province, China

Quick description:Most famous of the Wuyi Rock Teas


Dà Hóng Páo (Chinese: 大红袍; pinyin: dàhóng páo; literally: "Big Red Robe") is a prestigious Wuyi oolong tea. It is a premium variety of the Wu Yi Yan Cha (武夷岩茶, Wuyi Rock Tea) group of oolong. According to legend, the mother of a Ming Dynasty emperor was cured of an illness by a certain tea, and that emperor sent great red robes to clothe the four bushes from which that tea originated. Three of these original bushes, growing on a rock on Mount Wuyi and reportedly dating back to the Song Dynasty, still survive today and are highly venerated. Famously expensive,[1][2] Da Hong Pao can sell for up to US$1,025,000 per kilogram or US $35,436 per ounce (20g of Da Hong Pao tea from one of the mother plants was sold for ¥156,800 in 1998).[3]

In recent years, a number of companies have invested in preserving the interest in this tea and other so-called "artisan" teas, which typically are of very high quality and have rich histories as is true with Da Hong Pao. These have an initially high cost of production (and typically are only considered authentic when grown in their place of origin), but, as they have quickly become popular in Western countries, prized selections of the tea are available each year, with quality being consistent due to the increased popularity of tea.

Cuttings taken from the original plants have been used to produce similar grades of tea from genetically identical plants. Taste variations produced by processing, differences in the soil, and location of these later generation plants is used to grade the quality of various Da Hong Pao teas.

Due to its high quality, Da Hong Pao tea is usually reserved for honored guests in China.


  1. Sarah Rose (2009). For all the tea in China: how England stole the world's favorite drink and changed history. Penguin Books. ISBN 0-670-02152-0. The first and second flush of the Da Hong Pao, the most powerful and sweetest crops, sell on the private market as the most expensive tea per pound in the world. At several thousands of dollars per ounce, Da Hong Pao is many times more valuable than gold. 
  2. "Most Expensive Tea - The World's Most Expensive". MSN. Archived from the original on 23 July 2014. 
  3. "大红袍是什么茶?". Retrieved 2012-04-15. 

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