Processing the Da Hong Pao mother trees

We’ve just arrived back in Yunnan from a week in Wuyishan. We had a great trip and spent most of our days in the studio and the mountains with Master Huang and his sons. I think this year more than any other we started to understand the importance of location for the trees in the park – how the effect of shady locations and locations in full sunshine, the effect of having cliffs close to the trees and of course the age of the trees. All these factors and many more have a huge effect on the taste and aroma of the finished teas.

We decided this year to concentrate on higher end teas – older trees and better locations and to provide more detail on the location of each tea so that everyone can taste and compare for themselves.

On the last day of our trip Master Huang mentioned that they had been asked to pick and process leaves from two of the Da Hong Pao mother trees for a government researcher. Of course we didn’t get to try some, but felt very fortunate to have the opportunity to see, smell and touch these famous leaves. I thought I’d share a few photos…

Da Hong Pao Mother trees

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Picking the Da Hong Pao mother trees



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Since the water content was quite high, the leaves needed to rest for over 12 hours before they were ready for the kill green stage. We had a flight to catch the next day, so didn’t manage to stay awake until 5am when Master Huang fried the leaves, but got some pictures of the semi-finished tea the next morning.

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Half finished tea – ready to have the stems and larger leaves picked then given a further roast



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  • Ken

    Hi! I have a container of da hong pao bought in late 80s from the wuyishan research centre. I am trying to establish if the leaves could be from the original bushes. How can i verify?