Rou Gui (Wu Yi Oolong)

Tea type
Oolong Tea
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Char, Cinnamon, Drying, Grain, Honey, Mineral, Roasted, Wood, Bitter, Burnt Sugar, Dry Grass, Spices, Tannic
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Edit tea info Last updated by Lindsay
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205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 7 g 4 oz / 125 ml

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9 Tasting Notes View all

  • “I was prepared for this one to be subtle; I’ve seen enough copy from various tea vendors disclaiming their rou gui oolongs as being subtly cinnamon-y, the kind of thing that might disappoint...” Read full tasting note
  • “I’ve discovered that the secret to bringing the cinnamon out of this tea is to use a lot of it. I used to put about 4 or 5 g of tea in a 120 ml vessel, but adding a couple extra grams makes all the...” Read full tasting note
  • “I had this from awhile ago and some cinnamon sounded pretty good. I opened it up and took in a pleasant warm and spicy wood aroma. I had good hopes for this session. I placed a good amount in my...” Read full tasting note
  • “Sample sipdown! I bought a sample of this from Tao last year (along with a lot of other WuYi oolongs) and I’ve been letting them sit for far too long. I ended up putting the whole sample into my...” Read full tasting note

From Tao Tea Leaf

Rou Gui (Chinese: 肉桂; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: bah-kuì) is a Wuyi Oolong tea; the name literally means Cinnamon. The tea can be difficult to prepare but its distinctive sweet aroma can be brought out up to 7 steepings. It was first developed during the Qing Dynasty.


Rou Gui, the name literally means Cinnamon which from Wu Yi Mountain, Fujian Province.Because of its taste likes cinnamon flavor, so as a matter of habit people call it Cassia tea. It is one of the most famous in Wuyi. It had been selected as one of the top ten tea in China in 1984, and it has won the international agricultural fair in gold since 1989 to 1995.

Health Benefits:

We recommended drink Oolong tea since it is high in antioxidants and It may help you in the fight against cancer, high blood pressure, cholesterol, obesity, and eczema, and also keep warm your body and stomach


Region WuYi Mountain, Fujian Province, China
Appearance Features of shape: tight and gathered, breen and bright.
Aroma Deep, roasted-sugar sweetness, along with some roasted raisin-like.
Taste The color of soup is orange and the most distinctive is the fragrance and orchid flavor which is strong and durable and obvious rock charm.
Ingredients Oolong Tea
We recommoneded Warm up the tea ware before steeping. Rinse the leaves: Pour some hot water in the Gaiwan/Yixing Teapot, swish the leaves around a bit, and pour the water off. It really brings out the roasted smell and flavor of the tea. Then begin your infusion using the recommended directions. Gaiwan/Yixing Teapot: Use about 7g (2-3 teaspoons) each time ; Steep at 95°c (203°F) to 100°c (212°F) water for 50 second to 30 second for the first three brewing; then the later is about 1 to 3 minutes. You can steep around 7 times. All the information is based on our tea sommelier’s testing. You can change the steep time according to your personal favor but any water temperature alternation is strongly not recommended.

About Tao Tea Leaf View company

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9 Tasting Notes

612 tasting notes

I was prepared for this one to be subtle; I’ve seen enough copy from various tea vendors disclaiming their rou gui oolongs as being subtly cinnamon-y, the kind of thing that might disappoint someone used to flavored tea. But actually this was more on the nose than I expected. The dry leaf smells deliciously of cinnamon, and I like that it’s not cinnamon sugar, more like the Vietnamese kind I use to bake with. Warm but not candy powdery. Steeped it’s less sharp and clear, but you still get that soft warmth of baking cinnamon as well as the rocky element I’m used to from Wuyi oolongs. I really enjoyed this one and am glad I know now when I want that kind of thing rou guis are a good, maybe best option (my mishaps with hot cinnamon flavored black teas made me wary!). A lot of tea shops I like offer a rou gui oolong and now I feel confident sampling them when I make future orders. Bet this is a good specimen in particular; I’ve been pleased with the quality of just about everything from TTL I’ve tried.

200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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424 tasting notes

I’ve discovered that the secret to bringing the cinnamon out of this tea is to use a lot of it. I used to put about 4 or 5 g of tea in a 120 ml vessel, but adding a couple extra grams makes all the difference. I steeped 7 g of tea in my 120 ml teapot at around 195F for 10, 12, 15, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50, 120, and 160 seconds.

In the pot, the dry leaves smell like cereal, roasted spices, and char. The first steep has initial impressions of wood, roast, cereal, honey, and char, with the cinnamon lurking at the end of the sip. The cinnamon is more roasted and mellow than spicy, and I might not have classified it as such if I hadn’t been looking for it. The tea is a bit drying and has a reasonably long aftertaste.

The roast really ramps up in steep 2. I don’t think I oversteeped it, but it sure tastes that way. Gone are the cereal and sweetness, and the cinnamon is relegated to the aftertaste.

Steep 3, at 15 seconds, isn’t so roasty, and the original notes come through again. Still, this tea is a little too roasted for me. The sweetness gradually diminishes over the next three steeps until, by steep 6, it’s not nearly as complex. The cinnamon has virtually disappeared by this point. By steep 10, when I called an end to the session, the tea was just charcoal water.

This Rou Gui was good, with a nice cinnamon note if I use enough tea. However, I’m just not as fond of Wuyi oolongs as I am of greener ones.

Flavors: Char, Cinnamon, Drying, Grain, Honey, Mineral, Roasted, Wood

195 °F / 90 °C 7 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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526 tasting notes

I had this from awhile ago and some cinnamon sounded pretty good. I opened it up and took in a pleasant warm and spicy wood aroma. I had good hopes for this session. I placed a good amount in my warmed gaiwan and gave it a shake. The spiced wood aroma deepened to roasted spices. This scent was close to a chai aroma. I washed the leaves once and prepared for brewing. The flavor was heavily tannic and unpleasantly bitter. I’m unsure if I did something wrong. I tried to do flash steeping and the result was the same. The taste was like sucking on a cinnamon stick. I was reminded of when I was younger, and I did the “cinnamon challenge”. However, the session improved in later steeping. The tones softened to a burnt sugar taste and light roast aroma. This took quite a bit of steeping. This rock oolong carried no sweet aftertaste and was very rough. This might not be the tea for me.

Flavors: Bitter, Burnt Sugar, Cinnamon, Dry Grass, Roasted, Spices, Tannic

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

You did the cinnamon challenge and lived to tell.


hahahah I have. I do not recommend it…


I only watched one video of someone doing it. It looked terrible xP


a lot of gagging, shivering, and shaking. All in all, unpleasant. but I beat the challenge ;)


Holy shit :O You truly did live and tell.


hahaha I should have a badge or something…


Interesting… Quite frankly, Rou Gui is pretty much the only rock oolong I’ve never been a fan of. I haven’t tried this one and don’t think I will anytime soon after reading this, lol. But have you had other TTL Wuyi? They are quite good, especially their Bei Dou.


I’ve had their DHP which was decent. I’ve never had any others. I have two in my cupboard that I need to get to. I’m unsure on what they are though…

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987 tasting notes

Sample sipdown!

I bought a sample of this from Tao last year (along with a lot of other WuYi oolongs) and I’ve been letting them sit for far too long. I ended up putting the whole sample into my gaiwan last night and let the thing steep about 6 or seven times.

I did get a hint of the cinnamon flavour the tea is noted for, but I smelled it more than I tasted it. It hit the back of the palate, and there was a malty flavour alongside that made the whole thing reminiscent of cinnamon buns.

However, the dominant taste was of the roastiness, smoke, hay, tobacco, that sort of thing. It got quite astringent as the steeps went on.

The thing I like about gong-fu brewing is that it forces me to sit and contemplate things for a bit – counting out the seconds as the clock ticks during my steep, keeping my hand steady when I pour it out into my cup. That sense of peacefulness that comes from silent still time is good, and I got that when drinking this last night.

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15810 tasting notes

Sipdown (115)!

Thank you TheLastDodo!

I’ve only tried a few different Rou Gui oolongs before, most of them from Nannuoshan, but so far I haven’t found one I dislike – the wide range of flavours experienced with the different infusions very much appeal to me so this Rou Gui oolong from Tao Tea Leaf is just going to further my exploration of the class. To stay consistent with the other Rui Gui I’ve tried I had a Gong Fu session with this one using my gaiwan.

The leaves for this are very dark, almost charcoal or black, and decently large. The smell of the dry leaf is very roasty with some fruity sweetness layered underneath. It’s perhaps a touch peachy? I did a ten second wash with this one; as the water hit the leaves my kitchen was instantly filled with a very robust, borderline earthy and roasty smell.

Infusion One: 10 Seconds – This is surprisingly sweet right off the bat despite quite strong toasted barley notes. It’s a little nutty and definitely has some stonefruit notes as well; like dried peach drizzled with honey. There’s maybe some cinnamon too, but not much. These notes comprise the start of the sip and the body. The finish tastes of corn chips and flax to me with a very intense presence of raisins in the finish. I’m usually quite anti-raisin but I actually like the way it tastes here. The taste of the raisin lingers in your mouth for a very long time after swallowing; minutes. For the most part it’s very smooth though it did leave my front two teeth feeling very dry. Leaves are barely opened up at all and smell quite roasty with cinnamon notes and something maybe vaguely like coffee grounds?

Infusion Two: 15 Seconds – Still tastes strongly of roasted barley but it a bit more nutty and has woody notes at the start as well as much more defined cinnamon notes. The body is comprised mostly of rich peach and raisin notes. The honey notes have also gotten stronger, and are tightly tying in with the raisin. Some floral notes have begun creeping in as well. I’m almost reminded of a roasted trail mix with dried fruit/raisins mixed in. This subtle transition of flavours is keeping true to what I’ve observed with other Rou Gui. The leaves smell subtly fruitier.

Infusion Three: 30 Seconds – Ooh! This was not a good pour; I spilled tea everywhere. The flavour is really starting to turn. I’m observing a dramatic decrease in roasted flavour. Definitely strong peach/raisin notes; the strongest so far. The peach is less so a dried peach flavour now, and closer to something fresh. Significantly more floral with more defined floral notes like orchid. Almost seems buttery. Leaves are almost completely opened up and smell sweet like honey and quite floral. There’s absolutely no dry feeling on my teeth from this infusion.

Infusion Four: 40 Seconds – There’s essentially no barley, nut or roasted flavour left. The liquor tastes quite floral with strong raisin and honey notes. The peach has faded quite a lot which is actually kind of disappointing; now that the focus is more on the taste of the raisin I’m losing interest. Also, it’s definitely very buttery. This is the lightest and most watery infusion yet. I’m sure I could probably get a decent fifth infusion but for my own personal tastes the leaves may very well be spent. They are, however, fully opened and smell sweet like honey and flowers.

This is definitely similar to the other Rou Gui/Cassia Teas I’ve tried but unique in its own right too – I definitely experience some more unique notes with the first steep like corn chips and flax, and I don’t remember really tasting raisin with the others I’ve tried. It’s definitely something I’d serve to other people and I would totally drink it again myself.


its my favorite, glad you like it ;)

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296 tasting notes

Very roasty and toasty. I read in the description on the package that this tea is synonymous for ‘cinnamon oolong.’ Thinking back to my favorite Asian Beauty from Beautiful Taiwan Tea Co, which tasted so much like cinnamon toast crunch, I was instantly sold.

Perhaps my hopes were too high, maybe I chose the wrong vessel to brew it in, maybe I oversteeped it, or the water temp was too high. I so wanted to love this tea, but I can’t. I get scorched rice, burnt popcorn and sour plums. It was pretty astringent and a I have been slowly warming up to roasted oolong, seeing as they are one of my least favorites. This tea all but dashed my hopes of liking a roasted oolong in a hot minute. Le sigh. I want to try it again with shorter steeps and a cooler water temp. I am not about super finicky teas, but I have a good 25g still to get through. I will give this another shot, and if it does not work, to someone else it goes!

205 °F / 96 °C

How are you steeping it?


I brewed 3g in 100C water in one of these:
The capacity is about 200ml. I did 4 steeps: 2min/2:30/3/3.
The fourth one turned out the best. All the astringent bitter toast flavor wash almost gone. What am I doing wrong?


You probably steeped too long. I tend to brew mine for about 30 seconds or less ( usually less) if using small water to leaf ratio. Some teas do need a longer first steep to open up so I might use 20-30s for the first steep and adjust down my second steep 10-20s depending on the intensity of the flavour and then start adding time. If brewing western style use about the same amount of leaf and at least double the water. Having said the rou GUI is sometimes more cinnamon in fragrance than flavour I have three open at the moment one tastes like black forest cake with kirsh, one leans more to the floral spectrum of yancha’s and the other is quite cinnamon and fruity ( unfortunately its from the one Ali dealer I will not do business with again). One young some yancha’s can taste very heavily roasted some do best after sitting for a while. One of my yixing pits does a good job of taming this as well. You may find the first steep a bit too roasty even when you tweak your parameters. Rinsing might help. Too much leaf can cause bitterness as well but I think you should be OK with what you have in a semi gongfu style of brewing. For western brewing one of my sources recommends 2g.


I got the tea shaker for semi-gongfu on the go. I read on Tao’s website that a long steep at first (30-50s) can usually take care of any bitterness. I did not rinse that time, maybe I should do that next time. I want to do maybe 2.5/3g in my 100ml gaiwan and perhaps lowering the temp a bit.

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1758 tasting notes

Thank you Boychik for this sample. This was quite good. I only steeped this four times because I have to watch my caffeine tonight. It started out with a strong roasted taste, not sure if I should call it roasted barley or just roasted. This flavor began to evolve and dissipate over the four steeps I put it through. There is still some roasted taste on the fourth steep. I think this a high quality oolong.

I brewed this four times in a 180ml teapot with 6g leaf and 185 degree water. I steeped it for 10 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, and 20 sec. If I wasn’t watching caffeine today I am sure I could have gotten four more steeps out of the tea.

Flavors: Roasted

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 6 OZ / 180 ML

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493 tasting notes

Everything I tried from Tao Tea Leaf was a winner( I’m in trouble for liking many teas, no space to store them)
This one is incredible.
Gongfu method
6g 100ml 200F
Rinse/pause/3/3/5/7/10 etc
I lost count of steeps. It’s so flavorful and complex. Fruits, nuts, some roast,cinnamon and cannabis. Very noticeable in first 3-5 steeps.
I need to reorder it because I got only 25g to try.
That was a joint order with Marzipan and other 4 ppl. I hope we will do it later in December( Boxing Day )

0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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1040 tasting notes

I don’t think this is the correct photo for this tea, but anyway….

I LOVE it, awesome, fantastic, amazing, everything I think a dark oolong should be.
I’m not getting any cinnamon as suggested by the company, but it does have WuYi characteristics. Not getting much floral either, but it does have some sweet/honey notes.
Reading the description I was a bit apprehensive, but what I experienced didn’t really match the description and for me that’s a good thing.

Thanks so much scribbles for sending me another fabulous tea from Tao.

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