Bai Ji Guan (White Cockscomb)

Tea type
Oolong Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by Thomas Smith
Average preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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  • “Too tired to post a review that will do this tea any kind of justice. Lately I’ve been brewing it with anything in the range of 2-10g per 100ml water ranging from 160-Boiling and steeps as short as...” Read full tasting note

From Tillerman Tea

There are four great varietals grown in the Wu Yi Shan district of Fujian province; the greatest of these is Bai Ji Guan or “White Cockscomb.” The leaf is relatively large but rather than the dark look of most yan cha, this one is pale yellowy/green. The dark rust color of the oxidized edges stands out markedly. The tea appears light but is deceptively rich and deep in flavor. The brew is incredibly smooth with not a harsh trace to it. The flavor has hints of stone fruit and a long “echo.” This is a rarest treat of a tea for anyone who loves the finest of oolong tea. It is a fine tribute to the labors of the Cao family.

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1 Tasting Note

93 tasting notes

Too tired to post a review that will do this tea any kind of justice.

Lately I’ve been brewing it with anything in the range of 2-10g per 100ml water ranging from 160-Boiling and steeps as short as an instant pour-off and as long as 45 minutes. Typically I just haphazardly cover the bottom of my gaiwan three times over with tea, cool some water down from 95 degrees C by pouring into a separate, preheated vessel and then onto the leaves. Let the first brew go for about 2 minutes, 1.5 for the second, and add a minute for each subsequent infusion.

I have not had a single cup of this tea taste bad, and I’ve pushed it pretty hard. Doesn’t take much to force off the wonderful florals and delicate fleeting flavors using overheated water and a long steep, but this doesn’t carry nearly as much of a risk of astringency as the Bai Ji Guan that Imperial Tea Court had last year.

Soothing, brothy, nutty. Jasmine, iris, and cymbidium florals against clove, cinnamon, and slight curry spice notes. Mineral quality reminiscent of wet granite and heated Himalayan Pink Salt in the nose (no salinity to taste, of course). Fresh hay. Slight drying feeling, but not much. Fleeting astringency and light acidity. Tempura and egg notes come in the second infusion, accompanied by aromas of a deciduous woodland after a rain. It was pointed out to me there’s a note similar to Cannabis leaf – not a pleasant thought in my mind, but I agree though I draw more thoughts of stripping mostly dried husk off a warm, sundried ear of corn and a bit of resin. Light but lingering sweet aftertaste draws thoughts of a Bao Zhong or Jade oolong, but more caramel and rocky-tinged.

The leaves look green and the liquor is bright, clear yellow, but this is actually a heavily oxidized tea… The leaves start as an ivoryish color upon plucking so only the really heavily oxidized rims on the margins of the leaf have any redness to them (let alone the brown or black of its Yan Cha kin).

Delicious. This can not last in my cupboard more than a couple weeks before I need another 25g.

190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 30 sec

Interesting how different your experience of this was compared to Imperial Court’s version. I have ordered Bai Ji Guan from Teaspring and can’t wait to compare.


Did you use your normal yancha pot to brew this?
BTW Tillerman is currently out of stock.

Thomas Smith

Jeez, that was fast. I’ll have to go in tomorrow and ask what they have left, if anything.

I have two Yan Cha pots, but one is exclusive to Da Hong Pao and the other is predominantly used for old-bush Shui Xian (though occasionally DHP or Tie Luo Han and I wouldn’t feel bad using a Rou Gui in it if I ever find one that I enjoy enough to feel I ought to use yixing for it). I brew Bai Ji Guan and Shui Jin Gui in glazed gaiwans or teapots. I’d like to dedicate a pot to Bai Ji Guan, but I never have much on hand and it was hard enough for me to waste the Da Hong Pao in pre-seasoning my other pots.

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