“Rock teas like rare wines are appreciated by sophisticated tea drinkers around the globe” says Kerstin Wingert, President and Founder of Souvia Tea. Souvia Tea is expanding its line of premium teas to include rare teas.? “While we carry teas that cost as little at $3 for 25 cups, this tea sells for over $300 for a half pound and many of our customers look at rare teas like a fine Pinot Noir, something to celebrate a special occasion.”? Da Hang Pao (“Big Red Robe Tea”) is a legendary and much revered oolong which is grown in the Fujian province of China. Wingert continues, “What makes this tea so exceptional is the way it grows – on rocks in the Wu Yi Mountains where water trickling down the crevices nourishes the tea plants throughout the year.” ? ? Souvia will carry this and other rare teas on a limited time basis.? For those seeking a taste of a Da Hong Pao tea and pot of it can be had in the store for a mere $15.
? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? Records of this teas’ existence date back as far the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD), where legend has it, that the tea leaves cured the illness of the emperor’s mother. To show his gratitude, the emperor sent red robes to clothe the tea plants from which the leaves had been picked.
? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? From the four original tea plants that survived, only a few pounds of leaves are typically harvested each year and thousands of dollars are paid for just a few grams of this exquisite tea. In 2006, the government decided to place the original tea plants under protection and to stop the harvest altogether.
? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? Since cuttings had been taken from the parent plant and cultivated in the region, a limited amount of this treasured oolong is still on the market. Taste variations, produced by processing, differences in the soil and location of these later generation plants are now used to grade the quality of this “King of Tea”
? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? But how does it taste? Wingert describes it this way, “Da Hong Pao has a warm and toasty flavor and a lingering floral fragrance, reminiscent of sweet-scented osmanthus flowers. Superb, even after multiple infusions.….”?