Despite their wide variety, the best-known rock teas are basically Da Hong Pao (“Big Red Robe”), Shui Xian ("Narcissus"), and Rou Gui (“Cinnamon Scent”).
- Da Hong Pao has a unique orchid fragrance and a long-lasting sweet aftertaste. Dry Da Hong Pao has a shape 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. Da Hong Pao can retain its flavor for nine steepings.
- Narcissus, having the longest history among all the rock teas, is known for its elegant, orchid-like aroma. Also interestingly, the scent of narcissus will become more mellow with the growing of its tree. The older the tea tree is, the higher the quality of narcissus will be.
- Rou Gui has a distinctive sweet aroma that can be brought out up to 7 steepings. This tea may be traditionally processed producing a dark dry leaf and a rich smell or processed according to new consumer standards, giving it a leaf of mixed color and a fruitier aroma.
Tea blending is the blending of different teas together to produce a final product, which often occurs with Da Hong Pao. The aim of blending is to create a well-balanced flavor using different origins and characters. The one golden rule of blending is this: Every blend must taste the same as the previous one, so a consumer will not be able to detect a difference in flavor from one purchase to the next.
There are three main reasons for tea blending:
1. Commercial tea blending is a way of ensuring consistency of batch on a mass scale.
2. Blending tea leaves with herbs and spices for the purpose of holistic health has a rich history in both Chinese and Indian cultures.
3. Blending, scenting or flavoring teas is a popular way of adding interesting and more complex flavor notes.
How to Brew Da Hong Pao/ Yancha
A recommended way to brew Da Hong Pao is by using a white lidded porcelain tea
cup and 100 °C water. We strongly advise not to use a Purple Clay Teapot as it would
absorb the scent of Da Hong Pao. Purified water is considered by some the best
choice to brew Da Hong Pao. After boiling, the water should be immediately used.
Boiling the water for a long time or storing it for a long time after boiling will
influence the taste of the Da Hong Pao. The third and fourth steeping are considered
by some to have the best taste.
Health Benefits of Da Hong Pao
Da Hong Pao is a semi-oxidized tea containing caffeine, theophylline, tea
polyphenols, and flavonoids. For these reasons and others, a number of health benefits are claimed for the tea. Compared to green tea which is often oxidized to 15% or less, Da Hong Pao is milder in its property, and drinking Da Hong Pao could mitigate weariness and help blood circulation. It could also treat edema and water retention.
Moreover, it helps to decrease the bad effects of drinking and smoking. The elementscontained in Da Hong Pao could reduce the alcohol and nicotine. Furthermore, it has cosmetic effects. Drinking Da Hong Pao regularly is good for the skin and helps loseweight. Lastly, it helps relieving cough and reducing phlegm.