Rou Gui Oolong – Teaspring

Ahh… finally back to tea. My shipment arrived after the normal struggles with the USPS and their inability to grasp the concept of accepting the signed form *they* provide and the fact that most normal people are not home at 11AM to personally accept packages. I wish I was however. Regardless, I am now the happy owner of some teas in a totally new direction for me… red/black tea. I also snagged some Rou Gui because it is a tea I have heard a lot about but have never tried. So, I started with it.

Rou Gui is often spoken about as having cassia/cinnamon-like qualities which intrigued me, however the nose of the freshly opened packet was more of red dates. I wasn’t getting anything resembling cinnamon at all, in fact I wasn’t getting a whole lot of anything from the dry leaf. In my gaiwan I began to brew the tea and the initial aromas from my notes went like this: Citrus. Chamomile. Nestea Instant Iced Tea w/ Lemon.  The last one might seem strange but it was the perfect explanation of the scent, those pre-sweetened instant tea granules that come in the can have the exact aroma of what I was getting. As it brewed a bit longer the aroma changed abruptly to a green TGY and it lost those former notes completely.

The first sip was purely green oolong. Thin, watery, not very complex, not much of anything. Again, certainly no cinnamon. A bit of a letdown. I moved on to a second brewing to see if anything new might appear but unfortunately nothing did, more of the same. Pretty disappointing. It is a good tea for what it is but nowhere near what I had been expecting or hoping for, and since I’m not a big green oolong fan there was little for me to get excited about. I’ve not given up yet, though, and I will track down a more finely crafted version before giving up on it.


3 Responses to Rou Gui Oolong – Teaspring

  1. Jason Witt says:

    I’ve had Rou Gui that was cinnamony. I guess there’s just going to always be variation in different harvests that’s going to make some have more prominent signature tastes than others. –Spirituality of Tea

  2. shah8 says:

    Rou Gui should be bought from Seven Cups, Jing Tea Shop, or Hou De.

  3. teasphere says:

    I normally start with a new, to me, tea by purchasing one or two versions of it in a lower-mid quality and really explore it in a basic sense. Then I move on to higher quality/artisan leaf to really appreciate the increase in quality. Sometimes this shift is subtle, sometimes it is quite pronounced, and that is what I like to determine. I think there has to be some baseline established before jumping right into the top-end. I will certainly revisit this tea with a number of other vendors.

    For now I am enjoying a multi-part tasting with Lochan Tea and after that I have a great shipment of Japanese greens/matcha coming which will be the next focus, but an order from Jing or Hou De will follow that for a couple teas, Rou Gui take two included.

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