Country of Origin: China
Leaf Appearance: dark, twisted
Steep time: 30 seconds
Water Temperature: 212 degrees
Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan
Liquor: reddish amber
I've had the pleasure of reviewing several teas from WuyiOrigin, an operation run by Cindy Chen and her husband Mr. Zhou. They specialize in Wuyi and Dancong oolongs produced by each of their respective families. I first discovered Cindy when a friend suggested that I follow her on social media because of the beautiful pictures she shared of the Wuyi mountains. The quality of her teas has really impressed me. There aren't too many farmers that Western tea drinkers can access directly without using a middleman so I find it pretty excited to be able to purchase directly from WuyiOrigin.
Rougui is most often translated as cinnamon or cassia. I've seen some debate in the tea world as to whether or not that is correct. Many believe that the power of suggestion can cause us to taste things that aren't there. Above all else, it is important to remember that taste is subjective. Two people tasting the same tea will come up with two very different sets of tasting notes. I find that tasting Rougui side by side with another Wuyi variety, such as a Tie Luo Han, will help to emphasize the subtle spice of the tea.
The first infusion of this tea was seriously intense. It carried a heavy minerality with notes of espresso and dark chocolate. Dark red fruits in the aftertaste ended in a sweetness that lingered on the tip of my tongue. Wuyi oolongs sometimes have a drying smokey quality but the roast on this tea was masterfully done. Later infusions settled down to a more mellow complexity and revealed floral notes that were not as obvious before. This is a tea that I found myself wishing would never end. At $0.88 per gram, it is not something that most people can afford to drink every day but it is certainly worth trying for a rare treat.
It looks like WuyiOrigin is out of the 2017 harvest of this tea so I will link the 2018 version below. Have you ever tried this tea? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments!