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Wu Long (Oolong) Tea

Rou Gui 肉桂

Forward, sharp, aromatic, and notes of spicy cinnamon

Regular price $27.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $27.00 USD


Hu Xiao Yan - Spring 2022: It’s not every vintage one encounters a fruity Rou Gui. This bubbly batch of Yan Cha from Zheng Yan (True Cliff) impresses with hints of crunchy white peaches and an aura of blooming lilies. It’s bright, with an anchoring spiciness in the finish. 

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Tao Shu Ke - Spring 2021: Sharp and pristine, with a persistent chiming finish, this Rou Gui is dashing with the signature assertion one loves about a Rou Gui, but with grace and lightheartedness that breaks this cultivar’s reputation free of simply being aggressive.

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Niu Lan Keng - Spring 2019: The crown jewel of Zheng Yan terroir. This prestigious Rou Gui delivers all that this beloved varietal has to offer with ultra-focused clarity and liveliness. As this tea dances on your tongue, feel the transforming and continuing complexity as layers and layers of liquified rocks unfold.  

*Note: The labels on this vintage are discolored, the tea is not affected

About This Tea

Rou Gui is one of the most notable and famous cultivars of Yan Cha. All of our vintage options of this tea come from Zheng Yan (true cliff) terroir in the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Wu Yi Shan. It's best known for its forward, robust flavor and notes of spices.

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  • Origin

    Three terroirs in Wu Yi Shan, Fu Jian Province, China (~300-1000m elevation) are available.

  • History and Significance

    Rou Gui has been the hottest varietal of Zheng Yan (true cliff) teas in recent years and demands a higher price than most other varietals. Hugely popular in the 1980s, this varietal replaced many Ming Cong in the Zheng Yan area and is now the signature varietal of Yan Cha.

  • Category

    Category: Wu Long (Oolong) Tea

    Sub-Category: Min Bei Wu Long (Yan Cha, Cliff Tea)

    Cultivar: Rou Gui

  • Processing

    Yan Cha tea is made with only the leaves, making it one of the latest teas to be harvested each year, with Ban Yan picking time around early to mid-April and Zheng Yan early May. After the teas are sufficiently wilted, they remain on bamboo trays for a few hours before being shaken or tumbled to manage enzyme activity. This step regulates how the water inside the leaves travels outward. The process is repeated every hour, 5-8 times throughout the evening and night until morning. Once the teas are acceptably fermented in the early morning, they are then wok-fried to kill the enzymes in the leaves to stop the fermentation. Fresh out of the wok when the leaves are still hot and soft, they are rolled vigorously to break the surface membranes to bring out more consistent flavors in the tea. The most tedious step in all Chinese tea making is the stem-picking step, which in Yan Cha’s case takes place for several months following the rough tea making. It is a step where undesired yellow leaves (old leaves) and stems are picked out by hand. The “cleaned” tea is then roasted on very dim charcoal ash for 8–12 hours, 1-3 times depending on the varietal, to make it a finished Yan Cha.

  • Tasting Notes

    Rou Gui is the Chinese name for Chinese cinnamon, which has a distinctive spicier profile compared to cinnamon commonly used for desserts. While Rou Gui is a robust and aggressive varietal, a good Rou Gui will always have high clarity in its body and notes and have hints of cream in the lingering aroma.

  • Brewing Instructions

    Please see above for the category specific brewing specs for Gong Fu brewing. For brewing in a teapot, mug, or single cup visit this article here.

  • Learn How To Gong Fu Brew

    This foundational course is a great resource to help you understand the methods and motions of Gong Fu Brewing.