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Good Teas from Great Mountains-Wuyi Rock Tea

Updated: Nov 24, 2019

Mt. WuYi stands in the territory of wuyishan City of FuJian Province. With beautiful landscape, it is a famous tourist resort. The well-known WuYi JiuQu stream flows through the mountain. In fact, the WuYi Rock Tea has played an important role in putting Mt.WuYi on the map.

Mt.WuYi has precipitous cliffs, deep pits, and huge valleys. The ancient people planted tea trees in the rock pits, crevices, and cracks by building embankment with rocks. Year in year out, Mt.Wuyi has ended up with rocks in every corner and tea trees amidst all rocks. People call the oolong tea produced in Mt.Wuyi the WuYi Rock Tea. According to the place of origin,variey of the tea tree, the WuYi Rock Tea can be divided into four kinds: QiZhong (rare strain), DanCong QiZhong(single-clump rare strain), MingCong QiZhong (Famous Clump Rare Strain), and MingZhong(Famous Strain). QiZhong is none but the Vegetable Tea as called by the locals, because it is as plain as the ordinary vegetable. DanCong QiZhong is developed from the Vegetable Tea and then given various names. Mingcong QiZhong is the best of Dancong QiZhong. There are top four famous MingCongs: DaHongPao (Big Red Robe),ShuiJinGui (Water Golden Turtle), BaiJiGuan (White Comb), and TieLuoHan (Iron Arhat).The WuYi Rock Tea is well-known at home and abroad, which has much to do with large number of MingCongs, the kinds of rock tea. Among the top 4 MingCongs, DaHongPao is the best and it is called the king of kings of the WuYi Rock Teas.

wuyi Mountain

There are only 6 dahongpao tea trees. They grow on the rock wall of JiuLongKe (Nine-dragon Den), TianXin (Sky Heart) Rock, Mt.WuYi. The site enjoys little sunshine and is subject to large temperature difference each day. A small spring flows through the rock wall all the year round and provides water to the tea trees, offering rich nutrition to them. Such ideal natural conditions contribute to the high quality of the dahongpao tea. Dahongpao has been made for 300 years. It was so highly valued in the ancient times that only the master tea makers were chosen to pick and make the tea. In the process, the master tea makers burnt incense, set up an altar to offer sacrifice and chant classics, and only used the utensils dedicated to the making of the DahongPao Tea.

DaHongPao has a unique quality. The finished tea is seen as tight and greenish brown strips. The orange tea soup sends forth strong aroma, like the lasting fragrance of sweet-scented osmanthus. Such taste is speculiar to DaHongpao. The oolong tea can last 3 to 4 rounds of brewing. The MingCong can lost 5 to 6 rounds. The high-quality one still has aroma even after 7 rounds of brewing. DaHongPao, however, can last 8 to 9 rounds of brewing and still keep its frangrance. It is indeed the King of Teas.

Tea craftsman reveals the secret of making Wuyi rock tea

Liu Zheng is a tea craftsman that runs the Yongle Tea Factory in the region of the Wuyi Mountains. His father Liu Feng is the inheritor of intangible cultural heritage of Wuyi tea, and the winner of many awards in tea making. Liu Zheng began to make tea 13 years ago. At first, both he and his father thought that the young boy was nowhere close to inheriting the family business.

Emperor Qianlong

"Wuyi Tea is the best. Its flavor is delicate and vigorous at the same time."

Lu You, Poet in Song Dynasty

"Tribute tea from the Jian River is the best in the world. Its fragrance will not fully arise until the light snowfall. Don´t worry about your tea. It can only taste better in heavy snow."

Imperial officer Sun Qiao called Wuyi tea "Wanganhou"

"Fifteen marquis of lingering sweetness were sent to Zhaige Pavilion. Pick tea leave when thunder struck, and mix the leaves in water. Tea trees grow on sunny mountain slopes near water and shrunded in mist."

Lian Heng, scholar from Taiwan

"Wuyi tea, Meng Chen´s pot, and Ruo Chen´s cup, are three necessities for appreciating tea. Without them the drinker does not feel proud, and the host does not feel polite enough to entertain guests."

Preserving tea-making traditions

CGTN reporter Han Bin explores how keeping these old traditions alive can be a challenging feat.

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