drank Anxi Rou Gui by Verdant Tea
900 tasting notes

Another of the oolong samples I recently finished, I actually meant to get around to this tea much sooner than I did. I’m not sure that it would have been better for me had I gotten to it sooner, however, as Rou Gui is still not one of my things. I know others who enjoyed this tea, but I, on the other hand, found it to be a little lacking. Again, Rou Gui is not a cultivar I dig all that much.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 5 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 208 F water for 10 seconds. This infusion was chased by 14 subsequent infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 12 seconds, 14 seconds, 17 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, and 5 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, I could detect aromas of spice, cream, and custard coming from the dry tea leaves. After the rinse, I noted a clearly defined cinnamon scent. The first proper infusion then yielded an even stronger cinnamon aroma, but I did not find anything new. In the mouth, the tea liquor immediately offered notes of cream, custard, butter, and aloe. I was expecting more of a cinnamon presence up front, but it ended up hitting me on the swallow, leaving spicy tingling sensations in my mouth and throat. Subsequent infusions turned increasingly floral, as I began to note impressions of hyacinth, gardenia, narcissus, and violet. Notes of grass, minerals, watercress, pear, peach, vanilla, honey, and lychee emerged as well. The later infusions mostly offered cream, butter, and mineral notes balanced by touches of grass, narcissus, lychee, and honey.

Well, I was expecting a much spicier tea than I ended up getting. This tea surprised me greatly by how floral, savory, and vegetal it was. That, however, was a problem in my eyes; it was not all that unique compared to any number of contemporary Anxi oolongs. To be blunt, I think I’ll just go ahead and file this one under not terrible, but not all that appealing to me.

Flavors: Butter, Cinnamon, Cream, Custard, Floral, Gardenias, Grass, Honey, Lychee, Mineral, Peach, Pear, Vanilla, Vegetal, Violet

Boiling 5 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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My grading criteria for tea is as follows:

90-100: Exceptional. I love this stuff. If I can get it, I will drink it pretty much every day.

80-89: Very good. I really like this stuff and wouldn’t mind keeping it around for regular consumption.

70-79: Good. I like this stuff, but may or may not reach for it regularly.

60-69: Solid. I rather like this stuff and think it’s a little bit better-than-average. I’ll drink it with no complaints, but am more likely to reach for something I find more enjoyable than revisit it with regularity.

50-59: Average. I find this stuff to be more or less okay, but it is highly doubtful that I will revisit it in the near future if at all.

40-49: A little below average. I don’t really care for this tea and likely won’t have it again.

39 and lower: Varying degrees of yucky.

Don’t be surprised if my average scores are a bit on the high side because I tend to know what I like and what I dislike and will steer clear of teas I am likely to find unappealing.



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