Master Xu’s Rou Gui (Shui Lian Dong) 肉桂 2019
A roasted yancha (rock tea) oolong from the inner Zhengyan area of the Wuyi Mountains in Fujian made by Master Xu, the maker and one of the guardians of the Da Hong Pao mother trees. This tea is processed from trees of the Rou Gui (Cassia) cultivar grown on a small pocket of land in Shui Lian Dong (Water Curtain Cave) where we usually get our Old Tree Shui Xian.
Master Xu processes the leaves for this Rou Gui entirely by hand – from the picking and sorting, through to the kill-green stage and rolling. The roasting is done carefully at a low temperature (around 75 degrees Celsius) over hours, and often re-roasted over the course of many months until he is satisfied.
We were very pleasantly surprised at the price of this Rou Gui as it holds up very well against teas we’ve tried from Master Xu at double the price. This is a dense, creamy yancha, with a lovely thickness in the mouth and peach juice sweetness. For those who want a dark oolong to drink regularly we would definitely recommend this tea.
Master Xu, Shui Lian Dong, Wuyishan, China
SIZE OF FARM
PLANTS AND PROCESSING
Camellia Sinensis Sinensis, Rou Gui cultivar. Medium charcoal roasting. Harvested early Summer 2019.
90-95°C, 6g per 150ml. 5+ infusions.
When we first met Master Xu, he tested us by making lots of different teas to see which ones we preferred. Luckily for us, his and our taste coincided and we have been working together for many years. Walking with him around the historic cliffs where he produces his sublime teas and where he supervised parts of the production of mother tree Da Hong Pao on 3 occasions is like being given a tour of Wembley stadium by David Beckham.
Eagle-eyed viewers may have also caught Master Xu and Lu from Postcard Teas showing Victoria Wood around Wuyi on the recent BBC documentary Nice Cup of Tea, which you can watch here!
Master Xu (1971- )
Master Xu is a graduate of tea studies at Fujian’s University Of Agriculture and Forestry In Fujian. He later worked for The Wuyi Institute of Tea where he specialized in researching and developing new varieties of Wuyi rock teas from historic trees as well as supervising the tea growing and processing in the Unesco protected World Heritage Wuyi Mountain area. He was responsible for taking care of the Da Hong Pao mother trees for over 15 years and he led the team that picked and processed the last ever production from the mother trees. Although he still works for The Wuyi Tea Institute, he also hand produces tea from four families land totaling just eight acres in the heart of the Unesco protected park.
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