Tag Archives: Wuyi Yancha

Bai Ji Quan


According to the Chinese zodiac calendar, this year, 2017, is the year of the Rooster. I can’t help myself thinking more about this tea call Bai Ji Guan. It is a rare tea and extremely hard to come by.

Bái Jī Guān, 白鸡冠, or White Cockscomb, is very lightly oxidised Wuyi oolong tea. It is one of the highly prized tea of the four famous Wuyi Cliff tea (Si Da Ming Cong 四大名欉). This tea originated from the bat cave area on Ying Ping peak in the Wuyi Mountains since the Ming Dynasty.

Bai Ji Guan is an extremely rare tea and is hardly available in the commercial market. The tea is not widely planted and requires a lot of traditional skill to process.There are many fake Bai Ji Guan tea out there. In fact, I was searching for a genuine Bai Ji Guan for some years and luckily managed to find a batch from a very reliable source.


Genuine Bai Ji Quan is very expensive and close to the famed good Da Hong Pao tea price. The genuine tea leaves are light yellow in color with fine hair and reddish/maroon edge. Fake ones are often greenish.

The typical taste of this tea is extremely sweet with complex fruity fragrance and dry and crisp in the mouth. The type of  fruity profile can be different, depending on the batches. Some has apricot and some has lychee taste profile. The taste profile and character of this tea is very distinctive and memorable. Once you have tasted a genuine Bai Ji Guan, it is very easy to spot the fake.


This batch (2014) that I have found has complex fruity taste and aroma with an interesting subtle taste of ginseng tail. The tea is also extremely creamy and at the same time crisp and dry in the mouth. It is a very unique batch.


I really enjoy this tea especially in the year of the Rooster. According to legend, this tea was named by a monk in memorial of a courageous rooster that sacrifice its life while protecting his young chicks. The rooster was incarnated to the highest honour of being a tea tree.

This is the  year of the Rooster. It is a good year to drink the Bai Ji Guan tea and pay tribute to the courageous rooster.



1990s compressed Shui Xian
1990s compressed Shui Xian

Chocolate tea is a nickname given to compressed Wuyi Yancha 武夷岩茶 in the 1990s when they were popular amongst tea drinkers. This tea is compressed in the shape of a chocolate bar with segmented ribs.

1990s compressed Shui Xian
1990s compressed Shui Xian

Usually a segment of the tea is broken along the ridge of the bar, just like chocolate and brewed in Yixing teapot. Sometimes, a chunck of the tea is plopped into a kettle of boiling water;  the casual ritual of drinking and brewing would just continue the whole day.

This tea compression style  concept is very interesting as the tea leaves consist of Yancha 岩茶, but made and aged in Puer style in the shape of chocolate bar. Delightful concept, isn’t it?

Tea leaves
Tea leaves

Today, I will brew a piece of this tea to experience its taste. It is a 1990s piece made from Shui Xian Yancha 水仙 岩茶, compressed in chocolate bar shape.  A segment of the tea is broken and individual tea leaves are carefully removed. Normally, I like to refresh tea before brewing so I will do the same for this tea. The tea is brewed in Chaozhou style so that I can exercise some control over its fragrance, sweetness and body.

The verdict?  Hmmm… a nice and exotic taste with a hint of more than 20 years of history imbued into the tea. The taste has the backbone of Yancha, no doubt, but  has more vigour than loose aged Yancha. Perhaps it is because of the compression that allow it to age more graciously and slowly whilst retaining its flavour and vigour. I also enjoy the comforting mellowness which is typical to aged Yancha.


A very interesting experience indeed. Perhaps this compression style should be experimented in other tea that can be aged. I would certainly would be interested in other tea like Semi Fermented Dong Ding, or Tie Kwan Yin, or red or yellow and and white tea done in this compression style.  There are so much possiblities of exploring the compression style of aging other tea, beside Yancha and Puer.

Chocolate Dong Ding, Chocolate Darjeeling, Chocolate Dian Hong, Chocolate Qimen, Chocolate Beidou etc…..Chocolate tea, anyone?