Discovering the Heart of Rock Oolong: A Journey to Wuyishan

In the lush, steep landscapes of Wuyishan, a region renowned for its profound history and unique terroir, our team embarked on an unforgettable journey in search of the finest rock oolong teas, including the revered Da Hong Pao. This trip was not just a quest for tea; it was an exploration into the deep cultural roots and intricate craft that define Wuyishan Yancha (rock tea).


First Stop: Yanziwo (Swallow's Nest)

Our adventure began at Yanziwo, aptly named 'Swallow's Nest', which lies on the edge of the Wuyishan Natural Park. Although classified as Ban Yan (half core production origin), Yanziwo stands out as a prime example of ecological tea farming. The natural integration of pea trees among the tea plants is a brilliant strategy to deter pests without pesticides, showcasing the symbiotic relationship between nature and cultivation. Amidst the humid air and the arduous climb, the large leaves of the Shuixian (Narcissus) cultivar greeted us, thriving in their native habitat.


The Quest for Pure Water

Understanding that the essence of great tea lies not just in the leaves but also in the water used, we followed local tea aficionados to a hidden creek. Here, we collected the crystal-clear water known only to those who dwell within these mountains. This sweet creek water, we learned, is essential to unveiling the full character of rock oolongs, enhancing their intrinsic rocky charm and floral notes.


Tribute to the Mother Trees of Da Hong Pao

An early morning hike led us to the historic site of the original six Da Hong Pao tea trees within the newly designated Jiulongke (Nine Dragon's Nest). These centuries-old trees, each over 350 years old, are the progenitors of the authentic Da Hong Pao tea, now crafted from a blend of four to five descendant cultivars. Brewing tea in the shadow of these legendary trees was a moment of reverence, a tribute to the enduring legacy of Wuyishan's tea culture.


Visits and Discoveries

Our journey also included visits to our long-time tea supplier, Mr. Li, and an introduction to a new tea farmer who recently inherited land in the prestigious Zheng Yan area near Shizifeng. Although it was off-season for production, the opportunity to taste various teas and learn firsthand from the producers enriched our understanding and appreciation.


Treasured Returns

We returned with three exceptional teas: the traditional Da Hong Pao from Shi Zi Feng, known for its complex blend of cultivars; the elegant Shuixian from Manting Feng; and the robust Rougui from Ma Tou Yan, affectionately known as Ma Rou (horse meat). Each tea not only embodies the unique geological nuances of their origins but also carries the spirit of Wuyishan.

This expedition was more than a tea sourcing trip; it was a pilgrimage to the heart of Chinese tea culture. Each sip of these teas offers a taste of Wuyishan's rocky peaks, mist-covered mornings, and the dedicated hands that craft each leaf into a cup of liquid history.

For those enchanted by the storied past and vibrant flavors of oolong, our curated selections from Wuyishan await. Dive into the legacy of rock oolong with us at Cha Moods, where every leaf tells a story of nature, nurture, and artistry.

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