In the last 1000 years, hundreds of varieties of tea bushes have been identified as growing in Wu Yi Shan. Out of these hundreds of bushes, Da Hong Pao, Tie Luo Han, Bai Ji Guan, Shui Jin Gui are considered the Four Famous Wu Yi oolongs. Of the four, Da Hong Pao is unquestionably the most famous. They will never be truly common products, at least the tea grown inside the mountain range; there are a lot of areas in the surrounding mountains that are producing large quantities of these cultivars. Certainly the most common of the rock oolongs is Rou Gui, a cultivar that some locals rank as better than the more famous teas.
Wuyi tea plant varieties is a complicated topic.
It was said that one crag (Huiwan Yan) has as many as 830 named varieties.
Imagine, there are 99 famous crags in the whole of Wuyi Mountain, how many varieties are there in total?
For a thousand or more years, hundreds and thousands of tea plants were selected from the middle of the Mountain for cultivation. These tea bushes are known as Dancong Qizhong.
The best among them are known as Mingcong Qizhong or Famous Tea Bush.
Da Hong Pao, Tie Luo Han, Bai Ji Guan, Shui Jin Gui are considered the Four Famous Wu Yi oolongs.
The most renowned of the Famous Tea Bush is the Dahongpao (Big Red Robe). What are considered to be the mother bushes of Da Hong Pao still live in the cliffs of Wu Yi Shan, and are now over 350 years old. Since Wu Yi shan has so many bush types, the famous teas are always produced in small quantities.
Next come the Famous Four:
Shui Jin Gui (Golden Turtle)
Tie Luo Han (Iron Monk)
Bai Ji Guan (White Comb)
Ban Tien Yao (Middle Sky)
The other two major families of Wuyi tea are the Rougui and Shuixian. These two types of tea, together with the Dahongpao, make up the bulk of the production of modern Wuyi tea.