How to brew The Big Red

How to brew the perfect cup of The Big Red (da hong pao) Chinese tea.

Our Big Red (da hong pao) tea releases a warm, rich and smokey body, and the first brittle leaves slowly soften and unfurl. The liquid should be a deep orange-red colour, and the leaves will be red with a tinge of green in the centre.

It starts with an empty cup - click to see more »

Take a big pinch of your tea, and throw it in the cup

Pour in boiling water to fill the glass - take care when around hot water!

The tea leaves will float to the top of the glass, slowly soaking up the water.

After a minute, the tea leaves will start to sink and release their flavour.

More and more leaves will sink, and the water will change to a rich brown colour

After a couple of minutes, the tea leaves will have totally sunk to the bottom.

Strain out the tea leaves, and there's your Big Red tea, ready to drink!

The tea leaves are now soft and pliable, and have a gorgeous green and red texture to them.

Amount to use

Our favourite rule of thumb is to take two big pinches of tea for an average mug of tea. If you're using a big teapot, use enough tea to cover the base of the pot.


You'll need to brew the Big Red tea for about 1-2 minutes - try not to brew it for too long, or it may become bitter and dry (tannic).


Use boiling water, around 100 degrees celsius. Red teas such as this don't respond well to cooler or 'off-the-boil' water, and may need to be brewed for a longer period if you use cool water.

Re-use the leaves!

Remember that you can reuse the tea leaves at least 3-5 times. Chinese tea leaves slowly release their flavour, and so often the 2nd or 3rd infusion is the best.

Want to buy some Da Hong Pao tea? Click for more info »