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This Rougui is from a new farmer we have started working with - October 2020.
Rougui is a varietal grown in Wuyishan, the home base of Yancha or Rock Tea. Most commonly, it's associated with cinnamon (Rougui literally means cinnamon in Chinese). I don't normally like to divulge marketing names in teas because they often miss the mark. For instance I've never had a Rougui that actually tasted like cinnamon... until this one :) I mean, it's not like sprinkling cinnamon power into your tea or anything but it's there unmistakably if you take your time.
This one has a heavier roast than the Shui Xian and should fare well over the years. All of the Wuyi Yancha characteristics are there and I encourage you to stock up on it, or at least try it to see if it's in the realm of what excites you. Long legs on this one and they keep going. Remember: Short steeps!
Gong fu brewing with spring water or filtered water is recommended. Place 7gr* of dry leaf in your 140ml standard gaiwan. Douse the leaves with boiling hot water just covering them. Steep 1-2 seconds then pour it off into your reservoir. Repeat 3 or 4 times. The important thing is to let it cool to a comfortable temperature before you start sipping. Do the same thing for round 2 but increase steep time with each steep by 3 or 4 seconds. Repeat as long as the leaves hold up. Make sure to not let it steep too long with this method or the taste will overwhelm you.
*You can also brew with less leaf and less water if you like
What is "Rock Tea"?
Yancha, or “Rock Tea” is a family of oolong teas grown in the rocky soils of the Wuyi Mountain area in Northern Fujian Province. Typically, they are roasted leaves, long and twisted reminiscent poetically of a Chinese Black Dragon twisting among the clouds as he flies (oolong literally is "Black Dragon" in Chinese haha (乌龙）. Tea has been grown there at least since the Ming Dynasty.
I’m a fan of “rock” teas. I noticed early on in my tea drinking experience that certain teas softened the water in my cup more than others. Taiwanese Dayuling has this quality for instance, as do some others. I figured out in time that rocky soil, being rich in minerals delivers more of the “yan” to the leaf and therefore the teacup. “Yan” is a Chinese term for rock or cliff but really means minerals in this context and these teas are called Yancha in Chinese. As far as tea drinkers are concerned, one might translate this in modern English as “Mineral Tea”. As mineral water absorbs the character of the rocky depths from where it springs, yancha contains the character of the rocky soil in which it is grown. Various Yancha can also offer nice fruity, citrus or floral top notes. These teas age very well.