This well known style of wulong tea from the Wu Yi Mountains appears similar to a more commonly known Da Hong Pao (Big Red Robe) Wulong. However, the Rou Gui is quite different. The difference starts in the tea bush cultivar itself, as Rou Gui is not just the finished tea product, but also the name of the tea bush cultivar. Due to the aroma and taste notes of cinnamon or cassia bark, the name Rue Gui was given to the tea bush cultivar. There is no cinnamon or other flavorings or spices add to these tea leaves.
The color of the liquor is initially a rather dark shade of reddish-brown. The aroma has easily recognizable scents of cinnamon or cassia bark, along with a light molasses hint. The body is medium, and the texture is quite silky. The taste also has notes of cinnamon or cassia bark, very light molasses, and a light floral undertone. The aftertaste is initially sweet, and slowly morphs into a flowery essence.
I got four solid infusions out of the leaves. The second through fourth infusions began developing a mineral note in the taste, which balanced quite nicely with the other tastes.
Can I call this an instant favorite? No, probably not, but it is certainly an enjoyable and respectable tea. If you enjoy Da Hong Pao Wulong, give a good quality Rou Gui a try. I think you will find some of the qualities that you like in the Da Hong Pao, combined with some different tastes and aromas.
Flavors: Bark, Cinnamon, Floral, Mineral, Molasses