Da Hong Pao, Dahongpao Tea Trees

Plan your Wuyishan Tour? Viewing the original six Da Hong Pao tea trees is one of your reason to visit Wuyi Mountains. Da Hong Pao, or Dahongpao in Chinese literally means “Big Red Robe”.

Here Da Hong Pao refers to the most famous oolong tea in China, a kind of rock tea in Wuyi Mountains Fujian Province in southeast China. As rock tea, Da Hong Pao tea plants grow on the rocks in the Wuyi Mountains.

There are many kinds of Wuyi Mountain Rock Tea. Da Hong Pao is the best of the Wuyi Rock tea. Now generally speaking, all the rock tea produced in Wuyi Mountains could be called “Da Hong Pao”. But under the same brand of “Da Hong Pao”, there are many sub-brands of rock tea in Mount Wuyi.

Why the Oolong Tea named Da Hong Pao (Big Red Robe)?
Why the best rock tea or oolong tea was named “Da Hong Pao”?. The legend has it that long long ago there was a student who was going to the capital to take part in the imperial examination.

On the way, he fell ill in Wuyi Mountains. Later he was found by a passing by monk who came down the mountains begging for alms. The monk cured his illness by using the magical tea leaves from the temple.

Before parting with each other, the monk offered the poor student a small pack of the tea leaves. The monk advised him to keep well the pack in case. The student was every much moved, saying “Thanks for saving my life. If I get to the top in the imperial examination, I will return here, helping repair the temple.”.

Not long after, the student passed the imperial examination and got the top place. The emperor found the young man excellent both in character and learning, he immediately took him as an emperor’s son-in-law, a consort prince.

One day, the empress was ill with much pain in the stomach. All the doctors in the capital city had been called, all kinds of the Chinese medicine used, but the empress still was unable to be recovered.

The new consort prince came to the emperor and narrated the story about how he had been saved by the monk in Wuyi Mountains. Then he presented the pack of tea leaves. After drinking the tea soup, the empress magically felt better and was slowly recovered.

The emperor was very happy and ordered the consort prince to go to Wuyi Mountains for imperial offer to the magical tea. The prince came to Wuyi Mountains. The monk took him to Jiulongke Valley where the monk pointed to the rock tea trees which grew on the rock midway in the mountains.

To thank for the rock tea trees which had saved his life, he sent the big red robe offered by the emperor to the rock tea trees, hence the name of Da Hong Pao ( Big Red Robe).

Mother of Dahongpao Tea Trees
Now Da Hong Pao Tea is a general branding of the various kinds of the oolong tea in the name of Da Hong Pao or rock tea produced in Wuyi Mountains. It no longer only refers to the rock tea leaves from the six original Da Hong Pao tea trees.
All the Da Hong Pao tea trees in Wuyi Mountains are cultivated through agamogenesis from the six original Da Hong Pao trees. Now common tea lovers can afford to drink Da Hong Pao Tea.

Years ago, the six “mother” Da Hong Pao tea trees only produced a total of 2000 grams of Da Hong Pao tea leaves each year. They were so rare in the market that a small batch of 20 grams was sold at a record high price of RMB180,000 in the year of 2002 in the Guangdong Trade Fair.

In 2006, the sixe original Da Hong Pao tea trees were covered by the insurance for the amount of RMB one hundred million, a record for the plant insurance. On the same year, to protect the six mother Da Hong Pao tees, the local government decided to stop picking the “mother” tea trees.

The last 20 grams of Da Hong Pao tea, the very last batch picked from the original tea trees was given to China National Museum. It is said that in its 50 years’ history it was the first time that China National Museum selected a food into its valuable collections.

The six original Da Hong Pao tea trees are the important part of the listing of Wuyi Mountains as World Heritage, natural and cultural.

Impression Da Hong Pao ( daily Outdoor Musical Show in Wuyi Mountains )
2010, Impression Dahongpao was successfully put on show, co-directed by Zhang Yimu, Wang Chaoge and Fan Yue, known as the Iron Triangle.

Impression Dahongpao is their fifth production of the Impression series after Impression after the Impression Liu Sanjie in Guilin, Impression Lijiang in Yunnan, Impression West Lake in Hangzhou and impression Hainan Island.

Impression Da Hong Pao has made the rock tea in Wuyi Mountains more popular, deeply impressing the world the brands of Da Hong Pao.

My Visit to Da Hong Pao Tea Trees
Viewing the six original Da Hong Pao tea tree is often coupled with the trip to Water Curtain Cave. The two attractions are both in the north of Wuyi Mountain Scenic Area. Basically there are two options to visit the two attractions as below:

1. Take the shuttle bus to the Da Hong Pao scenic area. After viewing the Da Hong Pao trees, come back to the bus terminal and then take the shuttle bus to the Water Curtain Cave. At the end of the trip, again take the shuttle bus back to the Wuyishan National Resort. 2 + 2 = 4 hours for the two attractions.

2. After visiting Water Curtain Cave, don’t return to the bus terminal for Da Hong Pao Attraction. Intead, walk along the mountain trail to Da Hong Pao.

We chose the second choice, hiking from Water Curtain Cave through the picturesque valleys and creeks, then got to the final destination – Da Hong Pao Trees. The whole hiking trip took about 4 hours.

After 4 hours’ hike, we safely reached the mountain where the original Da Hong Pao tea trees grow high on the rock. I took a stereotyped picture below the Mother Tea Trees of Da Hong Pao.


I took a stereotyped picture below the Mother Tea Trees of Da Hong Pao

Let’s have a close look at the original six Da Hong Pao tea trees with an insurance up to one hundred million yuan.


Let’s have a close look at the original six Da Hong Pao tea trees with an insurance up to one hundred million yuan.

Tip:  Hassle-free Wuyishan Guided Tours
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for Wuyishan Guided Tours:

Wuyi Mountain 3 Days Tour from US$265 p/p
Mount Wuyi 4 day Tour from US$320 p/p
Wuyishan Car Rental with Driver from US$ 45

One thought on “Da Hong Pao, Dahongpao Tea Trees

  1. Realy I am proud for picture of dahongpao with mountain. I wish travel but i dont know when
    my ability. pls. I request to scientist, researcher that live to help and revive “DAHONGPAO” Tea.

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