Thank you Nannuoshan for the review sample!
It was really amazing being able to do a Gong Fu session with her because I don’t typically have people over for tea other than family and Tre (who is pretty disinterested) and, up until quite recently, I didn’t even have the proper brewing vessels to share the same tea with someone; no pots, Gaiwans, and otherwise. Just tools for matcha or Western brewing.
I’m sure I could have gotten more infusions from the leaf because the flavour wasn’t really even starting to fade when we stopped steeping; but we stuck with four because we had ordered food for supper an it had just arrived. And greasy Spinach, feta and banana pepper pizza didn’t seem like it’d go too well with a nicer oolong like this one.
Started with a quick wash; was surprised how much the leaves had started to open up just from the really short amount of time they were steeping. The smell was amazing; lots of mineral notes, just a smidgen of earthiness, a little sweet. Very lovely, and interesting.
By far the most mineral tasting, with a pretty roasty body flavour as well as some stronger loamy, earth notes. A touch astringent; not much. There was just a little bit of sweetness poking through; like dried apricot maybe? For a tea named after cinnamon, I was definitely expecting that flavour though I definitely didn’t sense any in this first infusion. I think this was my least favourite infusion – though that certainly doesn’t mean it was bad; far from it.
My favourite infusion! Still had roasty and mineral notes, though less so. Accompanying these notes were the sweetness of walnut with a little bit of a drier mouthfeel from the tannins in the time. It was a nice astringency, though (while I usually dislike all things astringent; I have come to expect at least a little astringency with nearly every nut flavour in tea- hazelnut being the exception). A bit more than in that first steep. Didn’t taste anything particularly earthy this time around; and the fruity note was a lot stronger. Still reminded me a little of apricot, but a little peachy as well and definitely more of a fresh, ripe flavour than the flavour of dried fruit. Some cinnamon notes in the background; still less than I had anticipated. The leaves were almost completely opened up.
Third and Fourth Infusion:
I’m grouping these ones together because they tasted almost identical to me. Leaves were completely open for both. Hardly any roasty or mineral flavour at all, but a lot more walnut and cinnamon. Maybe even maple notes? The bulk of the flavour was made up by a very, very sweet borderline syrupy peach flavour. Really fresh, ripe and natural. And, I’m wondering if it’s the sweetness of the peach that’s making me think of maple as an extension of the walnut notes? A few fun floral notes in the background as well.
This was my first Rougui, though I have another variation from Nannuoshan to try still and I’m quite excited for it given how much I enjoyed this one. I’ve also got another from a different company, and I look forward to trying that one after I’ve finished with my Nannuoshan reviews; those are definitely more of a priority for the time being.
This definitely seems like a tea type right up my alley though; there wasn’t any part of it I disliked so I’ll probably explore it further once I’ve finished up what’s in my cupboard. Sharing it with a good friend made it better too; though part of me wishes I hadn’t so I could’ve drank all the tea…
Flavors: Apricot, Cinnamon, Dried Fruit, Floral, Loam, Maple, Mineral, Peach, Roasted, Walnut