|"Subtly different from any other tea I've had."|
According to Canton’s website, Rou Gui teas (or rock oolongs) originated in Anxi then were taken to Wuyi. You usually hear the word Wuyi preceed the phrase Rou Gui, but it turns out that title is somewhat of a misnomer because it cannot be assumed that Rock Oolongs are Wuyi Mountain teas. I believe this is my first Anxi Rock Oolong, and it is yet another fascinating tea from this UK company. Another indication of Canton Tea Co’s passion for tea is that they apparently buy this unbaked then medium bake it themselves to ensure it’s perfectly done. And people say Britain doesn’t know anything about tea culture.
I steep two teaspoons in one cup at 195° for two minutes. This being a Spring flush, I expect a smoother, lighter oolong than a later flush or non-flush specific tea. The bright yellow liquor has a scent that’s fantastic, milky and sweet. It is buttery and smooth. It coats the mouth and leaves behind a pleasant creaminess. There is a hint of cinnamon and a slight lingering lemony citrus that’s emphasized as the cup cools.
Steep two is 195°, 2 minutes. Milky and coasting, this feels like the lighter end of medium-baked oolongs, which I can appreciate. Steep 3: 3 min. 4: 4 min. 5:5 min. A respectable number of steeps for an oolong of this style. This is clearly a high-calibre tea. It’s not so unique that it’s a shock to the system, but it is subtly different from any other tea I’ve had.
The advantage of baking your own hand-chosen tea is that you can make sure it is completely unique. Unless you wholesale it elsewhere, you know no one else sells the exact same leaf that’s been treated and baked the exact same way. Having something so truly unique in a sea of tea vendors is something special, and I respect that.
It’s a beautiful cup, though somewhat deceptively simple. The flavours are subtle and calm, but overall it makes for a mild yet interesting cup. It is quite flavourful, and despite this not being my absolute favourite style of Anxi oolongs, this is most definitely something I’d buy. For a change of pace, I’d rotate it in with the more lightly-roasted oolongs that tend to grace my cabinet.
— To purchase Canton Tea Co. Anxi Rou Gui Oolong Tea, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.
» Read more about this reviewer on Katie's profile page.
» Find a list of recent posts by Katie.