Country of Origin: China
Leaf Appearance: small, dark
Steep time: 20 seconds
Water Temperature: 203 degrees
Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan
Liquor: dark amber
Rou Gui is one of my all-time favorite Wuyi oolongs so I was really excited to receive a sample of this one. I find that this variety is among the most complex, offering something for every sort of tea drinker. I’ve seen the name translated as cassia or cinnamon bark. According to Tea Guardian, Rou Gui was praised by scholars in the early 1700s.
I think this might be the last of the teas that I drank before getting my new digital camera. Please excuse the lower quality pictures here! I’ve been working hard to improve my photography and it’s kind of nice to see how I’ve improved over time.
I’ve discussed this in reviews of other teas from Zhao Zhu. I am not a fan of their recommended brewing parameters. Five to six gram infused for 3 seconds will taste like absolutely nothing. My personal preference from yancha is to use closer to 7 or 8g with an infusion time of at least 20 seconds.
The dry leaf was slightly twisted and fairly consistent in size. They were mostly dark but with a few that looked greener under bright lights. I immediately noticed a nice roasted aroma. This tea is a few years old at this point so it doesn’t have the same char that a freshly processed tea would.
Gongfu style is definitely the way to go for this tea. My trusty gaiwan was all I needed to have a satisfying session. I finished up the last of this sample by brewing it western style at work. I rarely brew Wuyi oolongs that way but it turned out quite nicely, especially on a cold winter day.
Zhao Zhu Rougui Grand brewed up a dark shade of amber. The taste was sweet with fruity and floral notes that lingered long after each sip. All of that was grounded by the subtle cinnamon spice that I was looking for. The first few infusions had a slightly smokey quality but this faded fairly quickly.
Have you ever tried Zhao Zhu Rougui Grand? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!