Chinese Red Robe Tea
In the 1960s, during President Richard Nixon’s official visit to China, Chairman Mao gifted the American president 200 grams of a precious tea that was enjoyed only by royalty. The annual production of Red Robe tea was merely 400 grams made from the leaves of select ancient tea trees. Modern versions of the tea are a valued possession and make an exceptional gift.
Da Hong Pao (Big Red Robe tea)
The tea has peaty and earthy notes with hints of stone fruit, brown sugar, and molasses. It has a woody fragrance with mild notes of tobacco and the body is velvety smooth with mild notes of sandalwood. (senchteabar.com)
Da Hong Pao (Big Red Robe) is grown in the Wuyi Mountains of Fujian, China. Da Hong Pao has unique orchid fragrance and a long-lasting sweet aftertaste. Dry Da Hong Pao looks like tightly knotted ropes or slightly twisted strips, and is green and brown in color. After brewing, the tea is orange-yellow, bright and clear. The vibrant flavor is red orange, toasty and nutty with mild creamy notes.
Da Hong Pao contains caffeine, theophylline, tea pholyphenols and flavonoids. A number of health benefits enhance the popularity of this rare tea. Drinking Da Hong Pao improves energy and helps blood circulation. It also treats edema (water retention) and decreases the bad effects of drinking and smoking. Drinking Da Hong Pao regularly improves the complexion and helps to reduce cough and phlegm.
There are famous stories about the origin of Da Hong Pao’s name. During the Ming Dynasty, there was a scholar who was very sick on his way to Beijing for an exam. A monk of Tianxin Temple found him and brewed a bowl of tea picked from Wuyi Mountain for the scholar. After drinking the tea, the scholar felt much better and energetic. Few days later, he won the first place in the exam. So he came back to the temple to thank the monk who saved him. Later, he also used this tea to cure the emperor's illness. The emperor rewarded the scholar a red robe and asked the scholar to put the red robe on the tea tree. The red robe was considered a high honor. The emperor ordered all officials passing through this place to put their red robes on those tea trees to show the emperor’s gratitude.