Bai Ji Guan
A meditative tea, disclosing unknown flavors to the palate.
We discovered this Bai Ji Guan during a Buddhist tea session in eastern China, and instantly fell in love with it. The mineral notes of stone and the lingering pine tree fragrance enchanted us.
Sweet, soft and gently fruity, it evokes forgotten sensations such as boiled quince, pomme givrée, slightly caramelized bamboo shoots, honey, and vanilla blossoms. An interplay of distinctive flavors harmonized by skillful and never dominant roasting.
A lively, aromatic tea with a long-lasting taste and an extremely pleasant finish you will recall in the days to come.
Wuyi Yan Cha – the tea from the rocks
Wuyi Yan Cha, aka Wuyi Rock Tea or, more properly, Cliff Tea, is an ancient oolong tea (one of the six tea categories, halfway between green and black teas). Rock tea is produced in the northern Fujian province.
Wuyi Yan Cha are complex teas. The typical mineral savor shares the field with the strength from roasting and the delicate floral and fruity hints.
- ORIGIN: Huiyuanken, Wuyishan, Fujian, China
- MEANING: White cockscomb (bai ji guan)
- CULTIVAR: Bai Ji Guan (first generation from Mother tree)
- HARVEST TIME: May 2017
- TASTE: Mineral fruits, pine trees, roasted wood
- ROASTING: High (3 times baking: 4-8 hours each)
- LAST ROASTING: November 2017
Authentic Wuyi Yan Cha is produced in the Wuyi Mount region, a UNESCO natural heritage site. The dramatic gorges of the Nine Bend River are surrounded by a largely intact subtropical forest and smooth cliffs of black-brownish rocks. The tea plants grow in narrow valleys, next to the cliffs, in a mineral-rich soil.
Today Wuyi Yan Cha is one of the most valued teas in China. Because it has become a status symbol, many wealthy Chinese are willing to pay a fortune for it without even knowing how a proper Wuyi Yan Cha should taste. The result has been prices inflating to unjustified level and quality often sacrificed for quantity.
Unique to the Wuyi Yan Cha is a mineral savor coming from the soil and the surrounding cliffs. Being the oolong with the highest fire finish, fresh Yan Cha may as a result be strong and pungent. Sharpness and too-prominent astringency subside upon ageing. Premium high-fire Yan Cha tastes better after a few years of storage. Use a Yixing teapot to soften the tea, should it be too astringent for your palate.
The overall tasting profile is rich, complex, and deep. Depending on cultivar and environment, the mineral-roasted flavor is refined by floral, fruity, nutty or woody accents.