Master Xu’s Rou Gui (Tian Xin Yan) 肉桂 2018


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 Tian Xin Yan (Heaven Heart Rock).

Just east of Jiu Long Ke where the Da Hong Pao mother trees are housed, Tian Xin Yan is one of the major tea producing cliffs in Wuyi outside the San Keng Liang Jian inner area. Tian Xin Yan is intertwined with the history of Wuyi oolong and Da Hong Pao as it was supposedly monks from the temple on Tian Xin that made the tea that revived the ill civil servant in the famous Da Hong Pao origin story. Competitions are held at Tian Xin Yan every year for farmers to ‘battle’ their teas against each other, with the winner of the Rou Gui category taking the most prize money.

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’ve started with two Rou Gui from different cliffs this year: the Tian Xin Yan is very true to the aromatic, fruity character of the cultivar, with a pronounced floral fragrance and a fruit juice sweetness that combines well with the caramelised flavour from the roast. For those who prefer their yancha on the lighter, aromatic side then this would be the tea we recommend.

Master Xu, Tian Xin Yan, Wuyishan, China

2 acres

Camellia Sinensis Sinensis, Rou Gui cultivar. Medium charcoal roasting. Harvested early Summer 2018.

90-95°C, 6g per 150ml. 5+ infusions.

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