Imperial Rou Gui

$ 13.00

Rou Gui is one of the many unique tea varietals, or cultivars, native to the Wuyi Mountians. These mountains are the origin of oolong, or wulong, teas. Oolong teas are an artisanal style that is oxidized somewhere between a green (unoxidized) and black (100% oxidized) tea. Traditionally oolongs rely on the expertise and craftsmanship of the teamaker to know when to halt the oxidation process to get the desired taste and aroma. Oolongs have been produced at least since the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644AD).

This tea is harvested and crafted on the Chen family lands on Wu Yi Shan, located at an elevation of 300-500m. Their tea is considered to be the highest grade of yan cha, or rock tea, since it is grown on the “zheng yan”, or rocky soils unique to this region and within the protected area. The tea trees here are also allowed to grow naturally in spacious groves instead of carefully planted estate-style. The trees can be up to 100 years old. Plucked meticulously by hand, the Chen Family uses traditional methods to maintain quality standards and produce stellar teas.


  • Origin: Wuyishan Nature Reserve, Wuyi Mtns., Fujian, China
  • Grower/Teamaster: Chen Zhen Jia & the Chen Family
  • Harvest Date: Spring 2016
  • Cultivar: Rou Gui
  • Cultivation: Natural (Organic, no cert.)
  • Plucking Standard: “zhong kai mian”:Top 3-4 leaves; plucked when topmost leaf is half the size of largest leaf
  • Processing Notes:  Withered in the sun and then machine-rolled. Oxidization is halted when the teamasters nose and fingers tell him the tea is ready. The tea is then fried, rolled, and twisted, and dried. This "maocha" is then sorted to remove stems and unfolded leaves. Finally, it is charcoal roasted just two times to preserve the qualities of the leaf.
  • Nickname: Wuyi teas are often referred to as Yan Cha, or Rock Tea do to the unique rocky landscape and soil of this beautiful region
  • History/Pedigree: Yancha has been produced in the Wuyi Mountains for over 400 years. English mispronuciation of Wuyi lead to the old tea trade term “Bohea”3

Brewing Suggestions1:

  • Water: 195˚-205˚F
  • Tea: 2g per 4oz of water (about a scant 1 TB2)
  • Infusion: Rinse tea quickly with hot water. Discard rinse water and then infuse for 2 minutes. Steep at least 3-4 more times at 2 minutes each.

Tasting Notes:

  • Sweet aroma and taste with hints of flower, wood, and mineral


1 Brewing suggestions are just that. Try it the suggested way then experiment. Then increase the amount of tea and play with the infusion time. Shorter infusions allow for even more infusions. Some tea drinkers like to use slightly hotter and longer times for each subsequent infusion.

2 Weighing your tea is always the best way to control your dosage. I provide approximate volume measures for convenience but they can be problematic due to the variance in tea leaf shape and size. It’s best to use the single appropriate volume measure for the tea, i.e., don’t try to measure 1.5TB using two spoons meant to measure 1 TB and a ½ TB. Use an actual 1.5 TB measuring spoon. Yes, they make them! I like the oblong ones to handle longer leaf styles.

3 James Norwood Pratt. Tea Dictionary. Tea Society Press 2010.

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