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China Tea ep. 24 – Dongding Oolong, Tie Luo Han, Rou Gui | Sunday Tea Book | Sip-a-long – Rou Gui Ma Tou Yan

Dongding Oolong

Dongding Oolong belongs to the lightly oxidized oolong tea category. Dongding is the name of the mountain, oolong is the cultivar. Dongding oolong is of great quality, one of the best ones among Taiwanese oolongs

Wenshan in the north, Dongding in the south.

Dongding oolong is a kind of Taiwanese Bao Zhong tea. Bao Zhong tea, a name that originates in Anxi, Fujian Province. The local tea stores used to use two square paper to wrap the tea for sale. The paper wraps 4 liang (around 150g) of tea, forming a cuboid, sealed with the stored logo. All the teas are sold in this kind of paper cuboid, also known as “bao zhong”. Taiwanese Bao Zhong tea is light to medium oxidization, also named light/green oolong.

There are two types of Bao Zhong tea based on the difference in shapes. One is stripe shaped Bao Zhong tea, such as Wenshan Bao Zhong. Another one is the ball shaped Bao Zhong tea, Dongding oolong as the most representative one. There’s a saying “Wenshan in the north, Dongding in the south (bei wen shan, nan dong ding 北文山,南冻顶)”.


The look of dry leaves: tightly curled, deep and vibrant green with frog skin like white-ish grey dots.


Slight orange yellow, prevalent bright fragrance, almost osmanthus like. Liquor is sweet, vivid and lively, strong throat feel (hou yun 喉韵) and return sweet (hui gan 回甘).

Tie Luo Han

Tie Luo Han is the earliest famous bush (ming cong) among wuyi yan cha. Tie Luo Han is the name of a wuyi cultivar dating back to the Song dynasty. The plants of Tie Luo Han grow and flourish in Gui Dong, a spectacular terroir and a cave near Huiyuan Yan. Mid May is the plucking season with a standard of 2-3 leaves being harvested. The characteristics of Tie Luo Han are that the leaves have a hint of redness in the green, and the tea has a  bright aroma with strong return sweet (hui gan 回甘).

Shape: uniform, sturdy and tight

Color: brownish green with lively luster

Liquor: clear, deep orange

Aroma: thick and lingering, floral

Brewed Leaves: bright and soft, rough at the edge.

Wuyi Rou Gui

Wuyi Rou Gui, also known as Yu Gui, because the aroma and taste has similarity with cinnamon, it’s often called Rou Gui. Rou Gui is one of the famous tea bushes (ming cong 名丛) of Wuyi. In 1984 it was rated as a top 10 famous teas. It also won the gold award consecutively for 7 year (1989-1995) during the international agriculture expo.

Shape: Uniform, curly.

Color: radiant greenish brown

Liquor: clear orange

Aroma: thick, lingering

Brewed Leaves: yellow and bright, red edge.

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