Zheng Yan Da Hong Pao Rock Wulong 2013

Zheng Yan Da Hong Pao Rock Wulong 2013


Zheng Yan or “Rock’s center” refers to the center of the Wuyi Mountains, the birthplace of Wulong tea. Wuyi Mountain is located in northeast Fujian province. Its elevation is not especially high, averaging only 650 meters. However, tea produced in the center of Wuyi Mountain is considered superior, owing to the area’s pristine environment, rich volcanic rock soil, and biodiversity. Wuyi Mountain tea masters still practice traditional manufacturing techniques, most famously, the charcoal drying of tea leaves at a low temperatures, a process that requires months to complete.

We sourced this tea from a local farmer-producers, Ms. Huang and Mr. Xie. Tea has been their family’s main crop for generations. Their garden is in the center of Wuyi Mountain, its bushes literally growing on cliff tops.

The tea making techniques used to craft this tea are ones handed down through the family line. Their process begins by picking the tea at the end of April. After a morning picking, the leaves are withered throughout the afternoon until they are soft. The softened leaf is then oxidized indoors for over ten hours before it finally begins its drying process.  The leaf first goes through a quick oven drying before being loaded onto bamboo trays where it is slowly dried over charcoal for over seven hours. The tea is then left to rest for a full month before a second round of roasting. The second roasting is hotter and twice as fast than the first at just five hours.  Afterwards, the tea is again allowed to rest for one more month (or sometimes shorter, depending on how damp the weather is). The tea is then sorted and gently roasted in one final pass through a drying machine to remove any moisture gained in sorting. The goal of this special drying process that uses both traditional and modern roasting techniques is to make a tea with a developed flavor but without a heavy dark toasted smell. This is the main difference between this tea and our other Da Hong Pao. Without the heavy roasting we can more easily sense the natural richness of the flavor and aroma of tea leaves from the center of Wuyi Mountain.

Location: Fujian Province
Tea Master: Huang Shi Ying
Tea Bush: No. 204 "Xiao Hong Pao"
Harvest Time: April-May
Brewing vessel: 12 oz glass, porcelain, or yixing pot
Brewing Guidelines: 1.5 Tbs (5g) of tea leaves. 212 F filtered water. 1st infusion at least 2 minutes.
Infusions: The leaves are good for 7 infusions.

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