There is a saying about Wuyi Cliff Teas:
"In fragrance, none surpass Cinnamon."
This tea is one of the classic Cliff/Rock Teas of the Wuyi Mountains, so named for the rocky climate, in which soil is scarce, and tea will sometimes grow out of the cliff sides. It is a regular practice in the Wuyi Mountains to break up soil and carry it in baskets (generally on either end of a bamboo pole slung across the shoulders) to the tea-growing areas, where retaining are frequently built from the nearby stones to contain the valuable dirt.
This late-growing bush varietal has a history of over a hundred years of cultivation, and it is particularly known for its powerful and long-lasting fragrance.
This particular Rou Gui was naturally grown alongside the banks of the Nine Bends River, in the Wuyi Mountains.
Dry, its leaves carry an aroma reminiscent of iron. Wet, their bouquet floral and spicy, with notes of orchids, cinnamon, chocolate, and fudge brownies. Its flavor is rich, deep, full, sweet, and savory, with a roasted caramel sweetness and a heavy iron flavor. It produces a silky-smooth, amber brew, with a light body, which leaves a clear sweetness on the palate, evocative of rainwater flowing over stone. In Chinese, this flavor is known as yan yun (岩韵), and it is a hallmark of good Wuyi Cliff Teas. The qi of this tea is relatively warm, and its effects soothing. (This is relative, as tea, categorically, tends to be cooling in nature.)
If this tea were a person, they would be wearing an elegant robe, sitting by a fire in a red velvet armchair, enjoying a good novel on a crisp winter day.
Lasts 6-8 brews.
Nomenclature: The Chinese name of this tea is 肉桂
肉 - Ròu - Meat, flesh.
桂 - Guì - Cinnamon or osmanthus.
肉桂 - Ròu guì - This is the bark of the cinnamon tree, as opposed the twigs of the plant, which would be referred to as 桂枝 (guì zhì). This tea is not actually made with cinnamon, but takes its name from its powerful aroma.