Da Hong Pao - best tea, value?

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Re: Da Hong Pao - best tea, value?

by wyardley » Jul 24th 12 7:57 pm

"Dahongpao" also gets used as a generic term for rock tea, and, as others have alluded to, is more or less the "brand" of all Wuyishan teas. I think there are (nominally) some rules about what can be sold as dahongpao, but there's quite a bit of debate about what should qualify, and I've heard quite a bit of suggestion that much of what's sold as dahongpao is a) blended, and b) grown outside the scenic area.

In any event, forgetting about what's "genuine" or "authentic", there is a wide variety of tea sold as "dahongpao", and I think it's safe to say that some are quite good, some are quite bad, and many are in the middle somewhere.

I do think it's fair to say that there's quite a bit of tea sold as "dahongpao" which is mediocre to poor. Personally, I tend to gravitate towards yancha which are a little less famous, simply because it seems to me that the chance of getting what you're told you're getting is slightly higher in this case, plus you're not paying a premium for being the most famous of the si da mingcong.

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Re: Da Hong Pao - best tea, value?

by Tead Off » Jul 25th 12 6:46 am

wyardley wrote:"Dahongpao" also gets used as a generic term for rock tea, and, as others have alluded to, is more or less the "brand" of all Wuyishan teas. I think there are (nominally) some rules about what can be sold as dahongpao, but there's quite a bit of debate about what should qualify, and I've heard quite a bit of suggestion that much of what's sold as dahongpao is a) blended, and b) grown outside the scenic area.

In any event, forgetting about what's "genuine" or "authentic", there is a wide variety of tea sold as "dahongpao", and I think it's safe to say that some are quite good, some are quite bad, and many are in the middle somewhere.

I do think it's fair to say that there's quite a bit of tea sold as "dahongpao" which is mediocre to poor. Personally, I tend to gravitate towards yancha which are a little less famous, simply because it seems to me that the chance of getting what you're told you're getting is slightly higher in this case, plus you're not paying a premium for being the most famous of the si da mingcong.
One of the problems with these teas are the methods used to roast them. Few experts, many mass producers. So much of it is burnt.

No question that most are blended teas and you really don't know what you're getting. I will only buy what I can taste beforehand. No more blind mail ordering for me.

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Re: Da Hong Pao - best tea, value?

by spinmail » Jul 27th 12 4:47 pm

After trying several other DHPs, I have to concur with the comments here. But to detail my experiences:

1. DHP is a broad classification for "rock teas," and there's no guarantee that the tea you're getting will have a "rock" taste. The only tea that clearly fits that category in taste, at least for me, is Dragon Tea's Nonpareil DHP.
2. Gaiwan preparation may not be the ideal way to drink DHP. I like the control this provides, but gongfu steeping or even cup/mug infusion gives you a consistently richer flavor. Cup/mug infusion is easier, by far.
3. DHP improves by pairing it with some kind of edible. I'd love to know what DHP drinkers prefer with their tea.
4. For me, the ideal leaf to water ratio is 3.5 grams dry tea to 1.5 cups hot water.

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Re: Da Hong Pao - best tea, value?

by sriracha » Jul 28th 12 6:33 am

spinmail wrote: 3. DHP improves by pairing it with some kind of edible. I'd love to know what DHP drinkers prefer with their tea.
What do you yourself prefer? =)

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Re: Da Hong Pao - best tea, value?

by spinmail » Jul 28th 12 10:32 pm

sriracha wrote:
spinmail wrote: 3. DHP improves by pairing it with some kind of edible. I'd love to know what DHP drinkers prefer with their tea.
What do you yourself prefer? =)
DHP isn't a tea that's best by itself. A simple, mildly sweet biscuit complements the tea well - the kind of thing that will be sold in most stores (or vended at tea shops). :)

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Re: Da Hong Pao - best tea, value?

by sriracha » Jul 29th 12 8:54 am

spinmail wrote:
sriracha wrote:
spinmail wrote: 3. DHP improves by pairing it with some kind of edible. I'd love to know what DHP drinkers prefer with their tea.
What do you yourself prefer? =)
DHP isn't a tea that's best by itself. A simple, mildly sweet biscuit complements the tea well - the kind of thing that will be sold in most stores (or vended at tea shops). :)

Ah. :) I like Walkers Scottish shortbreads with a lot of teas.

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Re: Da Hong Pao - best tea, value?

by Tead Off » Jul 29th 12 4:46 pm

sriracha wrote:
spinmail wrote:
sriracha wrote:
spinmail wrote: 3. DHP improves by pairing it with some kind of edible. I'd love to know what DHP drinkers prefer with their tea.
What do you yourself prefer? =)
DHP isn't a tea that's best by itself. A simple, mildly sweet biscuit complements the tea well - the kind of thing that will be sold in most stores (or vended at tea shops). :)

Ah. :) I like Walkers Scottish shortbreads with a lot of teas.
Funny, just ate the last of these but not with DHP. Chose a Fujian red tea.

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Re: Da Hong Pao - best tea, value?

by spinmail » Jul 29th 12 6:51 pm

I'm going to get a package of the Scottish shortbread biscuits, on the recommendation of sriracha.

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Re: Da Hong Pao - best tea, value?

by theredbaron » Aug 5th 12 11:51 am

"Real" Da Hong Pao (real not in the sense of the famous few bushes whose tea is unobtainable) is pure tea heaven, but incredibly rare and expensive. All good quality Yancha is really expensive and very very difficult to get. I have given up buying Yancha over the internet as i have found at best only mediocre Yancha, which in my opinion is a waste of money.
95% - 99 % of Yancha in the commercial market is over roasted to cover the not very good leaf quality, and many people mistake that roasted taste for the elusive rock taste. Proper Yancha has to be hand processed all the way, comes from mostly very small gardens with yearly harvests of only a few kilos each.
If you drink it - the tea goes straight up - fills all your nasal cavities, sinuses and wherever, almost vaporizes in an explosion. At the same time electricity goes up and down your spine. For me good Yancha is the pinnacle of tea, nothing compares to it.

The problem though is that when you once got used to good Yancha, you cannot drink anymore what is usually offered in the market - the difference is enormous. I dip maybe once or twice a month into my small dwindling stock, and in between drink my home aged Pu Erh.

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Re: Da Hong Pao - best tea, value?

by Oni » Aug 13th 12 9:22 am

I bought the highest quality DHP from jingteashop, and some other teas, and I am sad to say that their quality was really bad, the DHP is undrinkable, I am greatly dissapointed with this vendor, I cannot imagine that they sell such bad tea as high quality, it is way overbaked and smoked and bitter, real DHP is not "se" bitter, I think it is a fake.
I urge any tea drinker to avoid Jingteashops DHP.

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Re: Da Hong Pao - best tea, value?

by brandon » Aug 13th 12 12:01 pm

The Jing DHP isn't my favorite thing, but I think they have been fairly clear that drinking new crop Yancha is not everyone's cup of tea. This sort of thing typically needs 1-2 years rest. Some vendors will take on that expense on your behalf and charge you more. Jing is playing pretty straight here, IMO.

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Re: Da Hong Pao - best tea, value?

by chrl42 » Aug 23rd 12 2:08 am

bagua7 wrote:More valuable info, thanks sir! But...I thought you were only a pot expert? ;)
I dunno much about DHP in fact..

My favorite thingy of all, however, pairing old-style Yancha with Lao Zhuni..going back to 200-yrs ago as it was done in Chaozhou called Gongfu..

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Re: Da Hong Pao - best tea, value?

by ImmortaliTEA » Nov 6th 12 8:27 pm

Oni wrote:I bought the highest quality DHP from jingteashop, and some other teas, and I am sad to say that their quality was really bad, the DHP is undrinkable, I am greatly dissapointed with this vendor, I cannot imagine that they sell such bad tea as high quality, it is way overbaked and smoked and bitter, real DHP is not "se" bitter, I think it is a fake.
I urge any tea drinker to avoid Jingteashops DHP.
I agree that Jing's Da Hong Pao AAA isn't the greatest Yan Cha one could find, however, I've found few medium-high roasted Yan Cha through online vendors that's much better. If you don't mind I'd love to hear which online vendors' Yan Cha's you find superior to Jing's (cost doesn't matter) because if I could find something decent I would be so happy even if it was very expensive. I personally like when the Yan Cha's have a darker soup color as opposed to the very light yellowish amber type (unless light roasted).

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Re: Da Hong Pao - best tea, value?

by MIKE_B » Nov 7th 12 2:23 am

ImmortaliTEA wrote:
I agree that Jing's Da Hong Pao AAA isn't the greatest Yan Cha one could find, however, I've found few medium-high roasted Yan Cha through online vendors that's much better. If you don't mind I'd love to hear which online vendors' Yan Cha's you find superior to Jing's (cost doesn't matter) because if I could find something decent I would be so happy even if it was very expensive. I personally like when the Yan Cha's have a darker soup color as opposed to the very light yellowish amber type (unless light roasted).

http://www.themandarinstearoom.com/wuyi_c_12.html

http://www.bestteaonline.com/store/cata ... p?cPath=25

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Re: Da Hong Pao - best tea, value?

by theredbaron » Nov 7th 12 2:56 am

ImmortaliTEA wrote:
Oni wrote:I bought the highest quality DHP from jingteashop, and some other teas, and I am sad to say that their quality was really bad, the DHP is undrinkable, I am greatly dissapointed with this vendor, I cannot imagine that they sell such bad tea as high quality, it is way overbaked and smoked and bitter, real DHP is not "se" bitter, I think it is a fake.
I urge any tea drinker to avoid Jingteashops DHP.
I agree that Jing's Da Hong Pao AAA isn't the greatest Yan Cha one could find, however, I've found few medium-high roasted Yan Cha through online vendors that's much better. If you don't mind I'd love to hear which online vendors' Yan Cha's you find superior to Jing's (cost doesn't matter) because if I could find something decent I would be so happy even if it was very expensive. I personally like when the Yan Cha's have a darker soup color as opposed to the very light yellowish amber type (unless light roasted).

Purple Cane from Malaysia has some very decent Yanchas. It's been several years though since i have bought any from them (never online, only in their KL Chinatown shop) as i have a better source, but from memory their Yanchas were very good. I may buy from them again, now as they are online, as i have to do quite a bit of traveling to get to my source.
But go for the more expensive ones.

http://www.purplecane.my/en/6-wuyi-yan-tea