Chapter 871: Da Hong Pao becomes famous!
Translator: Legge Editor: Legge
The next day.
In the morning.
As long as they were situated in the same city, the courier packages would have reached their destinations by now.
His paternal elder cousin called. "Little Ye, I was still wondering what you'd sent to me. So it's actually some cosmetics and a cell phone, and it's even the latest Yuanhe 8V model?"
Zhang Ye laughed and said: "You've received it?"
"Yes, I did." His cousin said: "This gift is too expensive!"
Zhang Ye said: "It didn't cost me anything anyway."
His cousin said: "Alright then, Sis thanks you for it!"
Zhang Ye said: "How is your blogshop doing?"
His cousin beamed and said: "Ever since we put up your photos and that advertising tagline last year, our business has been doing quite well. It's even getting better in conjunction with your popularity."
"That's great then." Zhang Ye said: "Just use my photos as you deem fit. I don't have a management agency anyway, so there aren't many restrictions."
A while later, Yao Jiancai texted him a message.
Yao Jiancai: "Zhang'er, I've received your package."
Zhang Ye replied: "Great."
Yao Jiancai: "Haha, Mimi wants me to thank you on her behalf. That girl keeps holding onto that He-something cell phone and is playing with it. My wife has also opened up the cosmetics set that you gave her and tried the milk cleanser. She says it's really good."
Zhang Ye: "It's great as long as she likes it."
After that, Xiao Lu also texted him a message. "Thank you, Teacher Zhang!
Dafei: "We've received the items! Mighty Teacher Zhang!"
Hou Ge: "Director Zhang, early Spring Festival greetings to you! Thanks for the cell phone! It's just really great to use!"
Songstress Grandma Zhang Xia also called. "Thanks, Little Zhang."
Peking University's Chinese Department's Teacher Su Na directly posted on Weibo instead and even attached a picture accompanying it. The picture depicted the cell phone in its before unboxing state and after unboxing state. She said on Weibo: "Thank you to Professor Zhang for your New Year's gift. I like it very much!"
Zhang Yuanqi also received her gift.
However, Old Zhang only sent him a message with two words: "Received it."
Zhang Ye asked: "How do you like it?"
Old Zhang: "I'll make do with it."
Lightly chuckling, Zhang Ye knew that this was Old Zhang's true character in private, so he did not get too bothered by it. After replying to everyone, he put aside everything and quickly went to work.
Stepping into the period just before the Spring Festival, Zhang Ye was suddenly swamped with work as his schedule was packed to the brim.
A Bite of China's promotions…
Advertiser feedback sessions…
Throughout the day, he was kept on his toes.
In the end, an incident even happened when night arrived. Tonight was the broadcast of A Bite of China's latest episode. Many of the home viewers were tuned into Channel 14 to watch the show as usual. As with previous broadcasts, A Bite of China always focused on food, whether they were ingredients or cuisines. However, today's episode had an additional segment that focused on tea leaves. Even though the focus on tea leaves was not exactly unusual as it still stayed faithful to A Bite of China's theme, the critical issue here was that no one seemed to have heard of this particular tea leaf that was featured.
"There is a nameless monastery located in the Wuyi Mountains scenic area, where incense does not burn too brightly. On this morning, Huizhi, the young monk, wakes up as usual and goes with his senior brother to draw the water…"
"Several tea trees of a lush green shade line the cliffs over here."
"This tea in focus is called Da Hong Pao. Its leaves are wiry and have a greenish-brown appearance, with the resulting brew forming a clear and light amber tea. The most outstanding quality of this tea is its aroma that has a hint of orchid and lingers ubiquitously for a long time, with a distinctive terroir of 'rock.' In addition, most teas have the benefits of refreshing and aiding thinking, elimination of fatigue, promotion of diuresis, clearing away and preventing heat, being antibacterial, having detoxification effects and preventing diseases, aiding digestion, helping in losing weight, and improving health and fitness. It may also prevent cancer, help lower cholesterol levels, and has anti-aging and other special effects."
"The Da Hong Pao tea leaves can last through more than seven or eight infusions and still be very fragrant.
After the episode was broadcast, there was a great reaction online.
"Da Hong Pao?"
"What tea is that?"
"Oolong tea? Why have I never heard of it before?"
"Your horizons are not wide enough!"
"My horizons are not wide enough? Fuck you, I am a local of Wuyishan!"
"Previous poster, I don't think you are from the way you speak."
"Fuck, my style was influenced by Zhang Ye, but I'm really a local here. There are many Wuyishan teas that are quite good and famous, but I've never, ever heard of this Da Hong Pao before!"
"That's right, I'm also a local and I've never heard of this tea called Da Hong Pao. My family have been tea merchants since my grandpa's and parents' time. If there was really a oolong tea called Da Hong Pao, I couldn't possibly have not heard of it. There are only so many varieties of oolong tea and I can recite their names backwards easily!"
"But that's not what A Bite of China says."
"Did they get it wrong?"
"It can even last seven or eight infusions and still be very fragrant? That must be bullshit! Any tea leaves would be tasteless after three brews!"
"If it's really as A Bite of China says, then won't that tea be the number 1 tea in the country?! How can it be that good!? That even the locals do not know about it?"
"Impossible. When Teacher Zhang makes a show, he's always very care to fact check and surely would not make such a stupid mistake!"
Online, the discussion about this was relentless as the debate intensified.
A lot of those who did not like Zhang Ye were using this chance to attack him.
"Zhang Ye only knows how to talk nonsense!"
"Da Hong Pao? You must be joking!"
"Is there even such a tea?!"
"This show is too irresponsible with its claims!"
"This is called cheating the viewers!"
"How can a tea that grows on some wild mountain top be nice?!"
Finally, some of the locals of Wuyishan and even the local tea merchants there started appearing on Weibo as well.
One Fujian tea shop owner said: "Da Hong Pao? Excuse my ignorance, but I've really never heard of it."
A merchant who deals with oolong tea in Wuyishan said: "Me neither. Does such a good tea really exist? If it's really as good as the show claims and there are only several of those tea trees left, then with the excellent taste and aroma of the tea, wouldn't it be worth an out-of-this-world price? So how could it be possible that no one knows about it?"
An expert from the Chinese Society of Tea Science also came out and asked: "What tea is this?"
Almost at once, A Bite of China had attracted a wave of criticism, being called liars along with claims that they were irresponsible. They even claimed that they were broadcasting a fake segment and gave the show many similar labels too!
Yan Tianfei urgently contacted Zhang Ye.
Over the phone, Old Yan sounded very anxious. "Teacher Little Zhang, have you seen what's happening online yet? What's this about Da Hong Pao? Is there really no such tea?"
Zhang Ye laughed. "They're just ignorant."
Yan Tianfei was taken aback by the response. "But those are local tea merchants speaking up. Do they also not know?"
Zhang Ye explained: "Director Yan, I have never faked anything when it comes to making shows. It's not like you don't know that already. There's nothing that they can pick on regarding this tea; it's just that there aren't many people who know their stuff."
Hearing that, Yan Tianfei felt somewhat relieved. "I should've known. Anything that you, Little Zhang, do has never disappointed anyone before. I understand. So we won't need to hold an emergency PR session?"
Zhang Ye replied: "I guess not? We'll see how it goes, just leave it to me."
Yan Tianfei said: "Alright then. It's coming up to the Spring Festival soon. Just bear the brunt for a little longer."
Zhang Ye laughed: "Of course."
The debate was still going on online.
This was the first time that A Bite of China was suffering from a crisis of confidence.
The matter only had a turnaround the next day.
A Bite of China's viewership ratings were rising extremely high and the show was now considered a national documentary. Although any of its scenes could attract all kinds of attention, that unheard of tea called Da Hong Pao had attracted countless people's attention this time. Quite a number of local tea merchants, and even the local Society of Tea Science and other national tea-related organizations, had descended upon the Wuyi Mountains scenic area, with some of them rushing here by flying from miles away. The Wuyi scenic area management committee staff were alarmed by all of this.
Seeing this turnout, the Wuyi Mountains scenic area management committee staff could only lead those people into the scenic area. Actually, even most of the staff here did not know about the existence of these few trees. The trees did not really stand out much, so no one bothered with them or took them seriously since they were really miserable looking. Otherwise, why would they have sold the trees to Zhang Ye back then so agreeably and even took him for a sucker!
The monastery was located.
The tea trees were located.
The tea merchants started to investigate, while the experts began examining. "These tea trees have to be at least a hundred years old! Or even older than that!"
This fact shocked many of them!
Previously, the monastery's abbot had already packed most of the Da Hong Pao tea that they harvested in the past for Zhang Ye to bring back to Beijing. However, they still kept a little bit of it for their own consumption. The tea merchants and experts spoke with the monastery and somehow managed to get their hands on some of those Da Hong Pao tea leaves.
After tasting the tea, all of them were greatly astonished!
"What kind of tea is this!?"
"It's really true! A Bite of China's claims were true!"
"It's really a top-of-the-line oolong tea! On top of that, it even has an aroma that no other oolong tea has! It's has such a full aftertaste! And it's so pure! This has to be first-rate tea!"
"Is there even such a gem in this world?"
"Master, do you still have any of the tea left in your monastery? I'll buy them all!"
A monk of the monastery said, "We don't have any more left."
The tea merchants immediately approached the scenic area's management committee. "Regarding these tea trees, we would like to buy them all. Just let us know how much you want for them!"
Even those tea experts were getting excited!
But when they heard what the scenic area's management committee staff told them, a sense of disappointment came over them. "These parent trees have already been bought by Teacher Zhang Ye."
"Why did it turn out like that?"
"There's not even a single one left that we can have?"
"Aiyo, what a pity!"
Everyone started howling with pained hatred!
Little did they know that those people from the scenic area management committee were also almost in tears. Seeing how these merchants and experts reacted, they understood that the tea leaves were not just any ordinary tea leaves. Besides, one of their staff members was lucky enough to have tasted it just now and could still smell the tea's aroma in their mind. But then, so what? They had already sold away all their rights to those trees! There was nothing left!
This news quickly spread!
After the experts and tea merchants went back, they could not stop praising the tea!
The netizens were surprised!
"Is it really that good?"
"That can't be, right?"
"Why not? The people from the Society of Tea Science went onsite to examine them!"
"So this claim about Da Hong Pao is true then?"
"Then why didn't anyone know about it until now?"
"Yeah, why is it that only those from A Bite of China's program team know about it? And how did this name of Da Hong Pao come about? Who gave it that name?"
"I will keep my reservations about this. Could those experts and tea merchants turn out to be shills?"
"How can that be? There have been several waves of tea merchants and tea lovers who went to the site over the past two days! It should be real!"
"But why was it that only Zhang Ye who knew about it and not anyone else?"
On the third day of this incident, another major turning point surfaced!
This turning point was one that even Zhang Ye did not think of.
A professor from Fujian University who researched history discovered a historical record of Da Hong Pao from a rare Qing dynasty document. Although the document was badly damaged and missing a large chunk, it really mentioned words like "Wuyi Mountains," "Da Hong Pao," "tribute," and "Emperor." Due to the missing information, there was no description of the specific location and other relevant details. Therefore, this document did not attract the attention of anyone until now!
This was an astonishing discovery!
That professor uploaded the historical document online and posted: "As an associate professor of Peking University, I can't comment on Zhang Ye's character. But in terms of knowledge and diligence, I trust him fully. Therefore, I went through a lot of information and finally found some evidence that can prove that the tea called Da Hong Pao truly existed. In fact, the earliest mention of it dates back to the Qing dynasty where a few isolated words match closely with the introduction of the Da Hong Pao parent trees on A Bite of China!"
This news immediately caused a huge reaction on the Internet!
The tea merchants went into a frenzy!
The tea experts went into a frenzy!
The tea lovers went into a frenzy!
"So it's really true!"
"Fuck, Da Hong Pao was really a tea used for tributes?"
"It's that famous? Even the emperors liked to drink it?"
"How awesome! It's really too awesome!"
"What the fuck! Is it really that good?"
"So it turns out that this Da Hong Pao was already amazing in ancient times!"
"It's a famous tea!"
"There are only a few parent trees left in the entire country? Then how much would it cost per catty?"
"Per catty? You fool! How could they be selling this by the catty! With this proof from the historical documents, they wouldn't even sell it by the tael. It's more likely it would be sold by the gram!"
Zhang Ye who was at home was also stunned. There was still a difference between this world and his previous world. The historical direction of Da Hong Pao had developed differently. For example, there was no longer that inscription on the wall of the cliff where the tea grew, but a historical documentation of the tea had appeared in this world instead.
The newspaper coverage of this subject was appearing everywhere!
It was even talked about on News Simulcast!
"Birth of a famous tea!"
"The Da Hong Pao tea that was forgotten by history!"
"Qing dynasty tribute 'Da Hong Pao' shockingly reappears in this world!"
"A tribute by A Bite of China to cultural heritage!"
Da Hong Pao!
Da Hong Pao!
Da Hong Pao!
This term appeared all over the news and on the Internet!
His parents were staring with their mouths agape as they watched the news on TV.
Suddenly, his mother turned around and lightly kicked at a bag of tea under the coffee table. She pointed to it and asked dumbfounded, "Little Ye, that famous Qing dynasty tea that they're talking about, could it…could it be this big bag of lousy tea that you brought home that one time?"
Zhang Ye smiled and said, "That's the one."
His father jaw dropped. "The one that you wouldn't let us have more of after we had a cup of it?"
Zhang Ye replied, "That's right."
His father asked again, "It was a drink for the emperors during the Qing dynasty?"
Zhang Ye answered with amusement, "That might be possible, but I don't know the details."
"Aiyo, oh my god!" His mother was utterly shocked by that, then hurriedly bend down to take out the bag of Da Hong Pao carefully. That gentleness, that movement, that protectiveness was as if she were carrying her own baby. "Hurry! Hide this! Hurry up and hide it!"
Zhang Ye laughed and said, "I've already stored the bulk of it, so what you have there is just for our own consumption. Why are you hiding it?"
His mother stared at him. "Nonsense, how can I not hide this?! Right now, we're the only ones who have Da Hong Pao in this entire world! This is a treasure! A treasure that only emperors had the honor to drink!" 5 Best Chinese Romance Books of 2018 So Far