Rou Gui Cinnamon Oolong

Tea type
Oolong Tea
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Apple, Autumn Leaf Pile, Butter, Cinnamon, Cream, Earth, Floral, Honey, Honeysuckle, Milk, Mineral, Raisins, Roasted, Toast, Wet Earth, Wet Rocks
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Edit tea info Last updated by kimquat
Average preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 45 sec 8 oz / 236 ml

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From Mandala Tea

First flush spring leaves are picked and roasted for this classic “rock” or “cliff” style tea which comes from the Wu Yi Mountains in Fujian Province, China. This stunning area has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of the abundance of different species and cultural importance of its tea growing tradition.

Rou Gui translates literally to cinnamon or cassia. The dry leaves give a distant impression of the spice and once they are rinsed it becomes more apparent. Short gong fu-style steepings produce a clear and peach-hued liquor. This oolong earns its nick name with magnificent almond milk, toast, and cinnamon flavors that persist in the mouth after each sip. We find ourselves picking up the gaiwan again and again to behold this mesmerizing tea.

Basic Brewing Instructions:
-Do a 5-10 second rinse with the same temperature water as used for brewing.
-195˚ F water temperature.
-Use 1 generously heaping tablespoon per 8oz. of filtered water.
-Recommended early steepings of 30 seconds, adding time as desired.

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10 Tasting Notes

156 tasting notes

I’m trying to make room in my cupboard, so I’m going back and drinking down teas that are close to finished! I’d like to make this a Saturday sipdown; I’ve only got one TB of this left. Yeesh, my other note on this is so vague!

Nearly 2TB/10oz
Rinse: 15sec
First steep: 55 seconds
Second steep: 1min 15
Third steep: 1min 40
Fourth steep: 2min 10

(Aroma from the rinse: apple, cinnamon, damp earth, mineral, raisin.)

1. At the front of each sip I’m getting strong mineral notes and a wet, dark earthiness. It’s clean and tastes like spring water. River stones. Rocks. Midway through sipping it takes on a roasted flavor, then notes of cinnamon and cream appear. The finish is smooth and buttery. Silky! It’s not heavy at all. It’s very light on the tongue. Maybe medium-bodied, since I used SO much leaf. As the liquid cools the mineral and earth notes step back. It tastes like lightly buttered, slightly charred cinnamon raisin bread. Very darkly toasted but not quite burnt.

2. There is much less mineral in this cup. It’s slightly earthy with a taste like autumn leaves. The dominant flavors are cream, butter, cinnamon and honey. The roastiness is still present, but it’s toned down a bit as well. The buttery cream taste coats my mouth as I continue sipping. At the bottom of the cup, the lukewarm liquid brings back the mineral/spring water flavors I was getting earlier. Now my tongue is coated with honey sweetness and a touch of malt.

3. Earthiness and mineral notes have all but dissipated. This steep is very soft, creamy, and slightly floral. There is a fruity undertone: it’s like raisins or maybe plums. A little tart. (Just a little.) Finish is long: notes of butter, cream, honey, and flowers. Lingering cream/floral flavor. Cinnamon spice is barely present in the background. Impressions: Dairy. Lightly sweetened whipped cream. Fleece. Light peach/coral color. Greek yogurt. (From the thickness of the dairy flavor.)

4. Stronger honey taste. It’s at the beginning of each sip. Rocky, mineral notes are back but rather than being dark, they’re light and sparkling. Like gray stones splashed with spring water, glistening in the sun. There is honeysuckle and cream at the end of each sip. Honey persists throughout. I think I taste a golden delicious apple somewhere in there…but I can’t tell if I’m imagining it or not. Long finish, again. A lot of dairy. And honeysuckle flowers.

There is a lot more complexity to this tea than I remembered. Holy crap. I’m glad I came back to it. This could be a sign of me getting back into oolongs! GREAT for gong fu, or bastardized western versions of gong fu. (Which is usually what I do.)

Leaves are still going strong…but after drinking this all afternoon, I’m in the mood for something different. I’ll probably throw this into a mason jar in the fridge overnight. We’ll see what happens. (:

Flavors: Apple, Autumn Leaf Pile, Butter, Cinnamon, Cream, Earth, Floral, Honey, Honeysuckle, Milk, Mineral, Raisins, Roasted, Toast, Wet Earth, Wet Rocks

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21 tasting notes

Dark roasted oolong. I didn’t get the cinnamon notes, felt more toasty and charcoal.

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694 tasting notes

Yesterday was intense. My brain was running 100pmh all day long and when I got home, kids in bed, husband out of the house for man night it was still running at top speeds. It was running so fast I was making myself overwhelmed. So to shut the damn thing off I decided to take 30 mins. I just sat and enjoyed this lovely tea. It did the trick! Calming, cozy and so very tasty.

This tea was a very nice medium roast oolong. The first few steeps were roasty with hints of mineral. As the leaves opened up a bit I got quite a juicy flavor from this tea. I will be honest I had a hard time detecting the cinnamon note that many others have found, but it was still a very enjoyable tea. Yum.

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1113 tasting notes

Thanks for the sample TeaTiff

I’m not usually into these darker Wuyi oolongs but I’ve always been curious about this one! This is very complex, sort of spicy, and has a nice floral characteristic on top of the darker roastiness. Very nice!!!


I love Wuyi oolongs. Every steep is different.

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2534 tasting notes

Thank you for this one, TeaTiff! The name is a little promising, but it’s kind of tough to live up to…

Steep #1 // rinse // 15 min after boiling // 50 second steep
I used what looked like a tablespoon of these very long, dark, twisty leaves. Dark oolongs aren’t usually my thing but this one is lovely. There are only hints of that charcoal flavor rather than being the main note. It doesn’t scream cinnamon but how could any tea without actual cinnamon? Mainly I find peaches in this pale yellow brew.

Steep #2 // 10 min after boiling // 60 second steep
This one definitely rewards with shorter steeps. A little longer and this would have been too much. As it is, it’s a lovely peach nectar! Even fuller flavor with a syrupy texture and somehow even the charcoal that was there is missing now.

Steep #3 // 10 min after boiling // 60 sec
Another delicious cup. Much like the flavor of the second steep. I think this one could keep going without getting an oversteeped leaves flavor.


Very interesting. Anything like Gui Fei?


I don’t think I’ve had Gui Fei before…


Oops, sorry, I think I confused you with someone else :D The version I had was a Butiki tea that I thought tasted like ice wine – was thinking maybe the “cinnamon” was the same sort of flavour.


I haven’t had ice wine before either :)


:o you should fix that!

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3294 tasting notes

Funny, I know I’ve reviewed this tea before, & yet, there is no review from me in the database. Oh well….
This was my friend Lisa’s next selection. I showed her how to man the yixing, gave her suggested parameters, & she did a great job! We drank cup after cup of this medium roast tea, & I don’t really have any tasting notes to offer, as I was restringing a harp for one of my students, while Lisa supplied me with lovely tea & great conversation.
It doesn’t get much better than that!


90% sure steepster is eating things again


I’ve just noticed that at least two reviews that I posted (one on Old Silver Tea Pot and one on Silver Dragon Beard) are gone. Don’t feel like going over the list and checking each review, but it looks like Steepster is having database problems :(


It’s been doing this for a while now…there was a post on it but I can’t find that post and I don’t recall seeing Jason respond to it.

Terri HarpLady

The Bermuda Triangle of Steepster :)

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1040 tasting notes

The Lovely TeaFairy was drinking this earlier and found apple and peach. She brewed it gongfu style, so I decided to go the other way and see what I found.
I steeped half the sample (about 4g) in my 10oz yixing mug with 90C water for 4 minutes.
This is an odd little tea. It is oolong, there is no doubt about that. It has subtle woody notes, a few slight mineral tones, and there is no doubt about the cinnamon. Sweet gentle cinnamon. The second steep wasn’t really woody, still a little mineral, still some cinnamon, but I was getting some fruit (more grape to me).
This is interesting – I don’t think I’ve had anything quite like it. That’s what I love about Mandala, Garret seems to be able to find unusual and interesting teas. Thanks so much for sending this sample to me. I’m going to steep the rest of the sample with short steeps and see what the difference is.


Mmm. I love Round Gui!


Rou Gui! (Autocorrect attacks again).


I have a sample of this I need to try. I’m interested to know which way you like it best Dexter


No cinnaNOM for me :-(


I’m going to short steep the rest of the sample tonight (if it’s not too hot) and see if I get the apple peach that you were tasting. Western style – definitely cinnamon.

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360 tasting notes

I don’t think I’ve ever had such a fruity oolong before. This is amazing.

I thought I would be able to identify cinnamon notes, but quite frankly, my taste buds don’t seem to pick up cinnamon much at all.

What I do get is lots of apple and peach. Oh, this is oven baked apple and peach cobbler with honey drizzle!

It’s lightly roasted and nutty, smooth, sweet and creamy, no astringency present at all.

I also get a faint earthiness mixed with some minerals…not strong minerals like from a giant rock or something, very gentle…like pebble minerals :-)

I really like this…pure oolong awesomeness.

Thank you so much Garret for this generous sample…

I love that your samples are always large enough to brew gongfu style.


Oh my… this sounds just yummy! Love the review!


Thanks Sars…I think I may need some of this in the cupboard…sigh.


Awesome!!! Really happy that you enjoyed it, and really happy that it’s more apple, peach than cinnamon. This was the sample that I asked for with the order I received today!!!


This does sound amazing! You always sell me on the teas you review though :), except the greens…but that’s not your fault!


Dex, how funny that we both requested the same sample! I can’t wait to have your impressions. I’m surprised I did not get cinnamon…but I don’t care, that apple taste is so good and juicy.

Mj, lol, I know you haven’t crossed to the green side yet :-)


Fairy – how did you steep this? Did you gongfu it or did you western brew it? Parameters?


Is ok mj – stay with us over here on the dark side – that green stuff is scary. ;))


Gongfu gaiwan. 4 oz water and it was perfect. Now I don’t remember how long, but I think I did 20s, 30, 60, 90, and then lost track. I’m terrible with that, sorry. Did about 6 steeps. Are you trying tonight?


Dark siiiiiide. We don’t drink grass here! :p


Lol, if you don’t drink it, what do you do with it? (Innocent face)


Mow it? :p


You don’t know the power of the Dark Side. I must obey my master.


I’m an imposter…I play both sides, and I,m loving every minute of it….cause I want ALL THE TEA!!!!


I’m going to go the other way and western steep it in my yixing mug. I’m going to use about half the sample and do about 3-4 minutes – see if that gives a different flavor profile. Will be back….. (if I drink this tonight I don’t need to enter it into my spreadsheet)


Lol you know you’re addicted to tea when….?


LOL You know you are overwhelmed with tea when….
(How am I suppose to enter "from my personal stash 2006 ripe from Yong De area?)


The joy of spreadsheets :-o


OHHHH I found cinnamon…. this is odd – good but strange….


Yay, you found it!


i love that dexter really does have to “find” her teas…


I’m with you, TTF. I like both the dark and the light side. The dark is new for me, though.


This sounds really good


Krystal, it is hard to find a Mandala tea that isn’t!


I found one once!

No wait. That was something else. Nevermind. :p


See??? Lol.


Yes I am just finding this out now Tea Fairy! But bettet late than never



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1060 tasting notes

(From the Unflavored Traveling Tea Box)

A very enjoyable Oolong. The taste is toasty with a steady cinnamon note and bit of a mineral flavor. I’ve had four steeps of this so far, and the flavor has been consistent with each cup. I’ve been enjoying this one so much that I haven’t tried any other teas today!

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 45 sec 3 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

That’s one of the things I love about a good oolong. I can sit and drink it for hours, the same leaves.

Cameron B.

Ooh I’ve never heard of a cinnamon oolong… That sounds amazing.


@Cheri – Sometimes I get bored with them and give up on the leaves before they’re truly spent. I should remember to cold steep them, but I always forget. Won’t be an issue with this tea though. :)

@ Cameron B. – This was my first cinnamon oolong. I was impressed!


Oh, I just requested a sample with yesterday’s order, now I can’t wait to spend an afternoon with it!

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