Rou Gui, the "Cinnamon" Tea of Fujian
One of my favorite teas in the whole world is Rou Gui, which translates as "cassia" or "cinnamon" bark. Indeed, its sweet flavor and subtle spicy roasted aroma make it a delicious choice anytime of the year, whether you sip it on a gray or sunny, cool or warm day. Our Rou Gui, a "yan cha"—rock or cliff tea— is harvested from the beautiful mountains of Wuyi in the Fujian Province of China. Our tea grows at an elevation of about 600 meters from trees that are just under 30 years old. Though we have access to several tea gardens in Wuyishan producing Rou Gui, the important thing about our leaves is that they come from a single garden in the desirable growing area of Zheng Yan, the innermost and highest area of Wuyishan. Indeed no outsiders are allowed in as it is a world heritage site and thus protected. The harvesting is such that each garden's production of leaves is never mixed together, but kept separately because each is ever so slightly different due to any number of factors. The result of harvesting our leaves from a single garden is a clean, robust, and complex flavor profile with each sip.
Additionally, we have a special Rou Gui, our grande dame, which is harvested from San Yang Feng, the highest Wuyi mountain peak at 650 meters. Elevation has a great deal to do with the quality of the tea in all its facets. Much like wine, terroir including climate and soil have a lot to do with the end result of the product, as do the expert hands of our wonderful farmers. The attention to detail from harvest to the withering of the leaves, the level of oxidation (60% to 70%), and triple roasting technique give both the Rou Gui and San Yang Feng Rou Gui delicious end results that will only get better with age, if you can hold on to any at all. I have a really hard time keeping some for the purpose of aging it myself.
Consider the Rou Gui an elegant sweet and spicy tea for every day that is as bright as champagne, while our San Yang Feng Rou Gui drinks like a smooooooooth cognac. Dating back to the Qing Dynasty, this style of tea has become a great classic and is regarded as one of the top 10 teas in China. You'll enjoy at least 7 steeps and sometimes more, depending on your water. Last but not least, look forward to a long lingering finish with either tea.
Not convinced yet? It is believed that Wuyi oolong teas have the ability to absorb fat, making them a wonderful addition to any weight-loss diet.