Sunday, August 19, 2007

2007 Wuyi Bai Ji Guan

Class: Oolong
Origin: Wuyi Mountain, Fujian Province, China
Year: 2007
Price: $13.60 (25g) / $47.30 (100g)
Verdict: 6/10

Bai Ji Guan PicturesThis tea is unlike any Wuyi yancha I have tried. As this tea wasn't subject to nearly as much roasting as most of its cousins on Wuyi mountain, its leaves are lighter in color, ranging from light brown/orange to green (you can see a better picture of the leaves here), and they are long and wiry. The aroma is floral and perfumey, and smells like a combination of a first flush Darjeeling and a dancong.

The liquor is very light in color. It tastes of flowers (orchids, I suppose, but I don't eat a lot of flowers so it's hard to say) and light honey, and has a hint of woodiness. Balsa wood comes to mind, but I don't know why. This woodiness is much more pleasant than the kind I found in the Meghma oolong, and tends to increase in intensity as the brewing time is extended.

Almost everything about this tea reminds me of dancong. It even has the same sort of astringency as a dancong, which I can best describe as the taste one gets from walking through a spritz of perfume/cologne with one's mouth open. Sounds weird, I know, but it's the best I can come up with. The tea seems patient, releasing flavor for a good number of infusions, but the lack of body leaves me feeling... underwhelmed.

The wet leaves are quite impressive in constitution, I assume because they haven't been fired as much as most Wuyi oolongs. Most of the leaves are intact, and there are very few small pieces. There are also some two leaf + a bud complexes, which are always fun to find.

Overall, I think if you like dancong you will like this Bai Ji Guan. I'm not a huge dancong fan, so I didn't care much for it, especially considering its price. 6/10.

Also see Adrian's notes on this tea.


Salsero said...

Please, "first flush Darjeeling and a dancong," you trifle with our affections, sir! I find both as satisfying as any other pleasure that requires no contraception.

I haven't tried the TeaSpring version, but I have had the Hou De darker roast Bai Ji Guan that so captivated Hobbes. While it was certainly a complex tea which provided lots of material for analogies (as Adrian nicely observes), I was not so completely taken with it as Hobbes was. Again, more like Adrian with both Bai Ji Guans and like your experience with this one, it just seemed that something was missing.

Hobbes' typically lyrical review of the Hou De tea, by the way, is located at

ankitlochan said...

my view:

i dont mean to contradict anyone but reading the review and seeing the tea - i dont think its worth the price.

well written review - i like your way of writing.


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