Bai Ji Guan (White Rooster Crest)
Rock Wulong Tea 2023
Unique bright yellow fresh leaves with spiky edges resembling a pale rooster’s comb. Lighter roasted than most rock wulong to preserve the beautiful and unusual character of this albescent cultivar. Bai Ji Guan is traditionally the most delicate of the four famous rock wulongs, its vibrant orange brew bringing flavors unlike any of its peers.
- 2022 $20.00
- Tea Origin
- Wuyishan City, Fujian Province, China
- Tea Bush
- Bai Ji Guan (White Rooster Crest)
- Tea Maker
- Zhou Yousheng and Huang Shiying
- Harvest Time
- Plucking Standard
- Zhong kai mian
Bai Ji Guan is one of the four famous rock wulong teas of the Wuyi Mountains, along with Da Hong Pao (Big Red Robe), Shui Jin Gui (Golden Water Turtle), and Tie Luo Han (Iron Monk). As such, it exemplifies rock wulong’s complex and mineral flavors while highlighting the unique character of this albescent tea cultivar. The rarity of this tea comes from its low yield, small leaves, late harvest time, and large space requirement, much like Que She (Sparrow’s Tongue). Such traits are regarded as undesirable for commodity tea. Thus, annual production of Bai Ji Guan is very low and very little is available even on the specialty market.
As you walk through the tea fields of Wuyishan at the end of April just when wulong harvest season is about to begin, you can see the striking bright yellow rows of Bai Ji Guan (White Rooster Crest) standing out among the other green tea bushes. The shape and color of Bai Ji Guan’s leaves are what give it its namesake “white rooster crest.” The leaves posses a yellowish color, and when they unfold from the bud, the leaf edges are particularly serrated and spiky like the comb of a rooster. Even in the finished product, Bai Ji Guan leaves appear light in color, not dark like most of its rock wulong colleagues.
In order to preserve this tea’s unique, smooth, floral character, the tea maker has lightly roasted the leaves. As you infuse the tea, you’ll likely be struck by the thin and silky texture of the leaves. Upon brewing, the tea color is a clear and vibrant orange. When the leaves open during brewing, their red edges become visible, showing the slight amount of oxidation usually not visible in other rock wulong tea.
The Legend of the White Rooster
There is an old legend about the origins of the Bai Ji Guan tea bush. As the story goes, White Rooster Crest was named for a heroic rooster who saved a tea farmer’s life somewhere near a place called Hui Yuan Rock. Once, there was a tea farmer who was tending his tea garden when he was threatened by a venomous snake. This young rooster saved the farmer from the snake at great risk to its own life. Out of gratitude toward the brave animal, the farmer allowed it to live to a ripe old age, instead of letting it be eaten like a rooster normally would have been on a farm. At the end of the old rooster’s long life, the farmer buried it with great reverence under one of his tea bushes. When the next spring came, he found leaves of bright yellow new growth on the bush that the bird had been buried beneath. To honor the valiant rooster, the farmer named the yellow tea bush after it, and its legend lives on.
No chemical fertilizer, pesticide, or herbicide was used in the production of this tea. Click here to read more about our promise to fair trade and the environment.