Rougui is one of my favorite cultivars. I love good Chinese rougui rock oolongs an this has the same nearly intoxicating aroma that I love. Steep this one long and enjoy the aroma before taking the first sip. It is surprisingly light in color but deep in flavor. A surprisingly good tea full of the sweet aftertaste that rougui is known for!
As other reviewers have already mentioned, this tea needs longer steep times - brewed gong fu style it‘s watery and underwhelming. But! Western style, it gives a full, pleasant taste of dried cherries. I tried cold brewing it, too, and liked the result. Reminded me vaguely of whiskey.
Matt recommended that I use water with more calcium to see the cinnamon flavor better. I normally use city water and I also notice a hardness deficiency in my aquarium water, so that seemed like a reasonable suggestion.
I chose Evian, and keeping all other steps the same, I went from flavors of wheat berries to flavors of herbs and dried fruit. I still don’t find cinnamon, but now it is a very interesting tea!
This is an interesting tea if you brew it western style for at least two minutes. The shorter steeps in the traditional brewing don’t produce enough flavor to make it as interesting as it might otherwise be. Flavors include dried fruit and dried herbs when brewed western style. When brewed traditional, the flavors are much more subtle and similar to wheat water. One thing for certain is that the tea does not taste stale in spite of being 13 years old!