Bai Ji Guan | White Rooster Crest
During this podcast, Zhuping Hodge, tea master and owner of Seven Cups, visits the Rock Oolong region in the Wu Yi Mountains of Fujian province. She happens to be standing by the Bai Ji Guan bushes, which are notorious for their coloring and their small yield. Bai Ji Guan, also known as White Rooster Crest, is one of the famous rock region oolongs and is slightly more vegetal and certainly less heavily roasted. At the time she is here, the pickers are working on Huang Guan Yin (Huang means yellow)–it tends to be a bit more yellowish than Jin Guan Yin, which you may recognize as one of the teas we regularly carry in stock.
During the interview, we get to learn about the plucking standard. After all, terms like “zhong kai mian” or three slightly open leaves can be a bit abstract if you’ve never seen picking in action. We also learn the timing for the picking. Apparently, in this case, these pickers are putting their time in between nine in the morning and four in the afternoon. Three leaves with a “little bit of buds” is the picking target for these tea leaves. Bear in mind, however, that the picking standard is different for other teas. They pluck these leaves once a year. Some other producers do pick from their bushes a second time to make summer tea in the month of June.
The soil and the fertilizer are important contributing components to the flavor of any tea, not to mention the usual suspects of rainfall and the way in which it gets processed. The fertilizer is organically made from composting what’s left after oil is produced from vegetables and soybean. Shui Xian can be seen behind them as the camera scans the countryside near the end of the video.