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