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Rou Gui Wuyi Rock Oolong

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Brief Introduction to
Rou Gui Wuyi Rock Oolong


Rou Gui is a local tea bush variety with a strong character, rich aroma, and is hardy against cold and hot weather. It is also very easy to cultivate and can yield a large quantity of tea from its many branches. Rou Gui now occupies approximately a third of all tea gardens in Wuyi Mountain.

The picking season for this tea is around the first week of May, making it a late picking variety. Leaves that are too mature will not roll and twist properly. Pickers select only the top 3-4 leaves for production. The tea master knows the exact time to pick the tea, sending workers to the gardens as new leaves start to come. It takes a great amount of skill to control the quality of tea before it has even started its processing.

Picking begins after the sun rises, and they never pick tea on a rainy day. After about noon, they carry all the fresh leaves back to the factory to wither under the sunshine on top of large bamboo trays or sheets of fabric. The leaves will naturally lose some moisture over 2-3 hours. The leaves are transported inside the factory under shade and placed inside a long wooden rolling machine for 6 hours or more, depending on the humidity that day. Each hour they will rotate the leaves. If the weather is cold, tea makers will blow warm air in to the rolling machine to help the oxidation. Increased moisture and temperature encourages the natural oxidation of the tea. Chinese tea makers have a saying “tea master’s most valuable property is his nose and hands.” Tea masters rely on the smell and feel of the leaves to know how far along in the oxidation process the leaves are. When the leaves are ready, they are fried in a very hot 210 Celsius rolling machine for 7-10 minutes to halt their oxidation. Wulong tea is made up of much larger leaves, meaning they must be fried for longer and at a hotter temperature than green tea to stop the oxidation process and by quickly neutralizing the enzymes that drive it. After the leaves are withered, they are kneaded with a machine for about 30 minutes. The strength of the machine’s compression is adjusted to compress the tea into the long twisted shape. The leaves are then dried in an oven for about 45 minutes. At this point the wulong tea’s “mao cha” is complete. Mao cha is tea before it has been finished by any final sorting, destemming, roasting.

Wulong tea mao cha (raw tea leaves) is collected throughout the tea season and finally goes on to finishing around the end of May. The mao cha is sorted by hand or machine to remove large, unfolded leaves and sprigs, leaving only the dark twisted tea leaves. The tea is roasted above charcoal 2-3 times during a span of about three months. Each roasting time is about 7-10 hours and up to three times, depending on how much humidity the weather brings. The temperature of the first roast is hotter, about 110 Celsius, but will decrease to around 80 Celsius for the last one or two roasts. After that, the tea is done, but is very crispy and delicate. Each time after roasting, the workers must be very careful transferring the tea, so as not to break it. This long process creates a complex, deeper flavor with a lightly sweet lingering aftertaste.

Wuyi Rou Gui is generally roasted 2-3 times. This is done so the roasting does not cover the character of its high quality leaves. Wuyi Rou Gui, as result, is surprisingly sweet smelling, has lots of flavor without being heavy, with a growing sweetness in the back of your mouth that will last over many infusions without turning bitter.

make the perfect cup of
Rou Gui Wuyi Rock Oolong

    • Teaware
    • icon-brewing-guidelines-teapot
    • Gaiwan (Bowl), Porcelain Pot, Yixing Pot
    • Leaves
    • icon-brewing-guidelines-leaf
    • Half of the capacity
    • Water
    • icon-brewing-guidelines-water
    • Filtered (Spring) Water
    • Fire
    • icon-brewing-guidelines-fire
    • 100°C | 212°F
    • Time
    • icon-brewing-guidelines-clock
    • 5-8 SEC for 1st infusion; add 5-8 SEC for subsequent infusions
    • Infusion
    • icon-brewing-guidelines-infusion
    • 6-7 infusions

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Rou Gui Wuyi Rock Oolong


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