Parameters for Rou Gui

Owes its flavors to oxidation levels between green & black tea.


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Oct 29th, '08, 08:21
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Parameters for Rou Gui

by Beidao » Oct 29th, '08, 08:21

Hi all! I'm sitting here with 30 gram of Rou Gui. I really don't want to waste a single leaf, so I'm nervous about brewing it. I've googled like a freak but can't find any good advice on how to make Rou Gui in a gaiwan. Help is very much appreciated!

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Oct 29th, '08, 08:32
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by olivierco » Oct 29th, '08, 08:32

Scruffmcgruff gave some indications about a Rou Gui here

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Oct 30th, '08, 06:20
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by Beidao » Oct 30th, '08, 06:20

Oki, so now I know I should use about 5 g and the first infusion should be 20 sec. Any general advice on how fast the seconds should increase in following steeps? Temperature should be about 95 I guess?

Thanks, Olivier!

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Oct 30th, '08, 08:32
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by olivierco » Oct 30th, '08, 08:32

I am no oolong expert but I think you should adjust the steep's length from the previous steep.
Adding 5s-10s each steep to the previous steep time was fine with the Rou Gui I had.
I used near boiling water.

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Oct 30th, '08, 09:31
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by hop_goblin » Oct 30th, '08, 09:31

Never be nervous. Just remember that it's just tea.. But when in doubt, I always go with the save 1g for every 30ml of water. 10 sec infusion after the rinse..and then adjust to strength of the first infusion.

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Nov 4th, '08, 02:48
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by ABx » Nov 4th, '08, 02:48

Beidao wrote:Oki, so now I know I should use about 5 g and the first infusion should be 20 sec. Any general advice on how fast the seconds should increase in following steeps? Temperature should be about 95 I guess?

Thanks, Olivier!
Oolong in general, but yancha especially, will generally benefit from boiling water and preheated pots.

Yancha will also often benefit from using even more leaf. The more leaf you use, however, the less time you want to steep it. A lot of times I will fill the gaiwan approx 1/4 full and do pretty much flash steeps. The only time you don't want to do this is when there is a significant amount of small bits because they take up much less space and steep very quickly, making it hard to prevent oversteeping when you use much leaf. The 1/4 gaiwan (of dry leaf) figure is for mostly full leaf, which is pretty voluminous with yancha.

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Nov 4th, '08, 04:51
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by hop_goblin » Nov 4th, '08, 04:51

When in doubt I always use 1gm for every 30ml of water to start with.

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by drumhum » Nov 4th, '08, 10:57

Thumbs up for hob goblin's advice.

I brew my rou gui in a 150ml yixing pot with about 3g of tea. first brew is about 45s to 1 min. I add about 30sec to every subsequent brew depending on how strong I want my tea (which depends on my mood).

A gaiwan is a great way to start with a new tea IMO. The main reason being is that you can watch and taste the tea as it brews! I just (very) gently stir the tea with the gaiwan lid and then sample the tea with a warmed teaspoon.

This might seem a bit of a heavy handed way to go. Sure, its better to let the brew sit undisturbed and covered over to preserve aroma/temperature. You shouldn't stir the tea to avoid breaking up the leaves or making the brew cloudy etc etc. I'm happy to do this on a first try brew though. Once you've got a feel for the tea parameters then you can start to perfect the process.

To be honest, I find with most robust leaf teas (and Rou Gui being one of them), there is little difference in taste brewing in my "stir and sip" way!

Do not fear the tea - the tea gods will be quite happy for the beginner to treat tea with such a heavy hand - at least to begin with.

Rou Gui is lovely tea. Enjoy.

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Nov 4th, '08, 13:29
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by wyardley » Nov 4th, '08, 13:29

I would use 3/4 to completely full by volume, though with 30g of tea, that might not last you very long, so you might want to use a little less.

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by drumhum » Nov 4th, '08, 14:45

wyardley wrote:I would use 3/4 to completely full by volume, though with 30g of tea, that might not last you very long, so you might want to use a little less.


Now this I just don't understand.

Do you mean, say in a 100ml gaiwan you would add dry tea to occupy at least 75ml of space? I did a quick experiment and found that to be about 14 or 15g! That sounds an enormous amount of tea in 100ml.

each to their own of course, but I can't even imagine what the tea would taste like with this much leaf!

I think I misunderstood something here!

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Nov 4th, '08, 15:12
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by wyardley » Nov 4th, '08, 15:12

drumhum wrote:
wyardley wrote:I would use 3/4 to completely full by volume, though with 30g of tea, that might not last you very long, so you might want to use a little less.


Do you mean, say in a 100ml gaiwan you would add dry tea to occupy at least 75ml of space? I did a quick experiment and found that to be about 14 or 15g! That sounds an enormous amount of tea in 100ml.

each to their own of course, but I can't even imagine what the tea would taste like with this much leaf!


No - not a typo, and yeah, it's a lot of tea. That's the way most folks brew in Wuyishan, and that's how I usually make yan cha, though you do have to move pretty quickly if you don't want it to be really strong - you usually do an instant pour. It really depends how big the leaf is - if it's kind of broken up or smaller, I'll use closer to 3/4; if it's very long, I will fill it completely full or even popping up over the top a little. Hell - some folks even crush up some of the leaf to get a more concentrated flavor.

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Nov 4th, '08, 16:01
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by Salsero » Nov 4th, '08, 16:01

Yan cha often seems to be all about using as much leaf as you can afford! The really large leaf amounts and flash infusions do yield some fabulous experiences.

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by drumhum » Nov 4th, '08, 17:40

Well Wyardley,

you have taught me something here and set me off on yet another internet research session. I've not heard about using quite so much leaf.

Indeed I've just realised now that yan cha just means rock teas - and there's me been thinking it was some sort of special da hong pau (or whatever) when "yan cha" was in the name! Seems every merchent is keen to have a slightly different name for their tea. They're either mixing english and chinese or sticking various chinese words in there. To the newb, "Wuyi Yan cha big red robe" looks a lot different to "Da Hong Pau". And then there's the different (and mis-) spellings! But now I'm rambing...

The learning never stops does it!

You've inspired me to try brewing some "rock teas" a different way - so thanks for that :-)

I have to say though that I'd imagine its easy to go wrong with this sort of brew technique and (as you said) perhaps is not the best way when learning and brewing for the first time. Especially when the tea is expensive and in short supply!

Right, now its time to use up a handful of tea...

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Nov 5th, '08, 15:47
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by Beidao » Nov 5th, '08, 15:47

I'm really glad for all the great response! Will brew my Rou Gui and a Tie Lou Han this way tomorrow. Thanks to you, it will probably go very well :)

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Nov 5th, '08, 16:14
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by hop_goblin » Nov 5th, '08, 16:14

Rock tea is "supposed" to be brewed in a vessle smaller than 100ml for this reason. I personally use a Yixing of 70ml.

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