What makes a high price Rou Gui so expensive? What kind of flavors and profiles do you get with a truly high end Rou Gui? In this video, I want to begin to answer some of these questions for you. In the past few months, I have picked up two completely different Rou Guis from two farmers I know. Both are good teas for their price, but the price is vastly different. The first is 800 RMB per Jin (about an Lb) the second is 4500 RMB. I use the 800 RMB Rou Gui tea to really highlight the differences in flavor. From the first steep the differences were clear. While both had floral notes, good texture, and some interesting flavors, the high end tea had a much smoother and fluid body.
The structure of the tea was much better. Throughout the steepings, as the higher end tea changed and developed, the normal level tea stayed more or less the same. It lasted through many steepings and stayed consistent which was good, but it didn’t develop too much. In the end, it was the body and the put-togetherness of the high end tea that really made it exemplary. It was like a painting that was beautiful from a distance but could also be analyzed for its many small details. The 4500 RMB Rou Gui is from Zheng Yan Wuyi Shan and therefore the price comes a lot from the location. The silky body and well balanced characteristics are a result of a very good location.
The 800 rmb Rou Gui is probably from the mountains above Zheng Yan, about an hour drive up, and showed a lot of good characteristics as it was well made, but really lacked the foundation that is given to a tea leaf that is given by really good terroir.