If you’re the type of tea enthusiast who loves exploring new flavors, you might have stumbled upon the intriguing Bai Ji Guan, one of the Four Famous Rock Oolong Teas.
But the journey to brew this mysterious tea can feel like wandering in a tea forest without a map, leaving you uncertain about where to begin.
That’s why I’m here to help you with a quick recipe!
What Is Bai Ji Guan Tea?
Bai Ji Guan Tea, also known as White Cockscomb or White Rooster Crest Tea, is a type of Chinese oolong tea.
It originates from the Wuyi Mountains in the Fujian province of China.
Bai Ji Guan Tea is a specific variety of oolong tea known for its unique appearance and flavor.
This tea is characterized by a rich, floral aroma and a sweet, fruity taste with a subtle roasted undertone.
Originating in the Wuyi Mountains, Bai Ji Guan Tea benefits from the region’s unique terroir, which includes mineral-rich soil and a specific microclimate.
This combination of factors contributes to the tea’s distinctive flavor profile, making it highly sought after by tea enthusiasts.
Why It Is Called Bai Ji Guan?
Bai Ji Guan, which translates to “white cockscomb” or “white rooster crest,” received its name during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) due to the tea leaves’ yellow color and their resemblance to a rooster’s crest.
This name reflects the tea’s distinctive appearance.
A legendary tale surrounds the origin of Bai Ji Guan Tea.
According to the legend, a rooster sacrificed itself to shield a baby from an eagle’s attack.
In honor of this brave act, a monk buried the rooster, and it is believed that the first Bai Ji Guan tea bush sprouted from this very spot.
This story adds a historical and cultural depth to the tea’s name and significance.
How to Make Bai Ji Guan Tea – Gongfu Style
To make Bai Ji Guan Tea, you’ll need the following ingredients and equipment:
- Bai Ji Guan Tea Leaves: You’ll need 2-3 teaspoons of Bai Ji Guan tea leaves for a single serving.
- Water: Use fresh, cold water. Approximately 8-10 ounces (240-300 ml) per serving.
- Teapot or Gaiwan: A teapot or gaiwan is used to brew the tea.
- Teacup or Mug: You’ll need a cup or mug to serve the tea.
- Tea Strainer: To strain the tea leaves after steeping.
- Kettle: For boiling water.
- Timer: A timer is helpful to control the steeping time accurately.
1. Boil Water: Begin by boiling the fresh water. Bring it to a temperature of about 195-205°F (90-96°C). This is just below boiling point.
2. Preheat Equipment: While the water is boiling, preheat your teapot or gaiwan by rinsing it with a small amount of hot water and then emptying it out. This warms the vessel and enhances the tea’s flavor.
3. Measure Tea Leaves: Measure 2-3 teaspoons of Bai Ji Guan tea leaves and place them into your preheated teapot or gaiwan.
4. Rinse the Tea Leaves: Pour a small amount of hot water (about 1-2 ounces) over the tea leaves, allowing them to steep for about 5-10 seconds. This rinsing step helps to open up the leaves and remove any impurities.
5. First Steep: Pour the hot water into the teapot or gaiwan over the tea leaves. Allow the tea to steep for about 30-40 seconds. This is the first infusion.
6. Second and Subsequent Steeps: Bai Ji Guan tea leaves can be steeped multiple times. Increase the steeping time by 10-20 seconds for each subsequent infusion. You can typically get 3-4 infusions from the same set of leaves.
7. Strain and Serve: After the desired steeping time, strain the tea into your teacup or mug to remove the tea leaves.
8. Enjoy: Sip your Bai Ji Guan tea slowly and savor its unique flavor. The taste may evolve with each infusion.
Scroll to the bottom to have complete recipe with ingredients and instructions.
Bai Ji Guan Tea Hot or Cold?
Bai Ji Guan Tea can be enjoyed either hot or cold, depending on your preference and the weather.
Hot Bai Ji Guan Tea
If you prefer a hot beverage, follow the brewing instructions mentioned earlier.
Use freshly boiled water at a temperature of about 195-205°F (90-96°C) to make a warm cup of Bai Ji Guan Tea.
It’s an excellent choice on a chilly day or when you want to savor the intricate flavors of this oolong tea.
Cold/Iced Bai Ji Guan Tea
To make iced Bai Ji Guan Tea, follow the same brewing steps as for hot tea.
After steeping, allow the tea to cool down naturally or refrigerate it.
Once it’s cold, you can add ice cubes or refrigerate it before serving.
This is a refreshing option for warm weather.
Bai Ji Guan Rock Oolong Tea Processing
Bai Ji Guan is a rare semi-oxidized tea from the Wu Yi Region.
It undergoes 25% to 50% oxidation, making it distinct.
Its rarity is due to the tea bush’s low yield, small leaves, and late spring harvest.
Few skilled tea masters can process it properly.
Delicate processing techniques are crucial to reveal the tea’s natural sweetness and fruitiness.
It has a mellow flavor that lingers in your mouth.
9 Factors That Affect the Flavor of Bai Ji Guan Tea
The flavor of Bai Ji Guan tea can be influenced by various factors.
Here are the key elements that impact the taste of this unique tea:
1. Tea Leaf Variety
The specific tea leaf variety used in Bai Ji Guan tea is crucial.
The distinctive flavor and aroma come from the unique cultivar of tea plants.
2. Growing Conditions
The region where the tea is grown plays a significant role.
Factors like climate, soil composition, and altitude affect the flavor.
The rocky soil of Wuyi Mountain, for instance, imparts a mineral-rich taste to the tea.
3. Harvest Time
The timing of the tea leaf harvest is essential.
Younger leaves tend to produce a more delicate and mild flavor, while older leaves can be stronger and more robust.
4. Processing Method
The way the tea leaves are processed, including drying and roasting, greatly influences the flavor.
Bai Ji Guan tea undergoes a specific production method, as I mentioned earlier, to achieve its unique taste.
5. Oxidation Level
Bai Ji Guan tea is lightly oxidized, which preserves its natural freshness.
A higher level of oxidation can result in a different flavor profile.
6. Brewing Technique
The way you brew the tea, including water temperature and steeping time, can impact the flavor.
Using boiling water or steeping for too long may lead to bitterness, while cooler water and shorter steeping times can bring out the tea’s delicate flavors.
7. Storage Conditions
Proper storage is crucial for maintaining the tea’s flavor.
Exposure to light, air, or strong odors can lead to flavor degradation.
8. Water Quality
The quality of the water you use for brewing can affect the taste.
It’s recommended to use clean, filtered water to avoid unwanted flavors.
9. Tea Ware
The type of teapot or teacup you use can influence the flavor.
Yixing clay teapots are often preferred for Bai Ji Guan tea as they can absorb and enhance its unique characteristics.
Bai Ji Guan Tea Food Pairing
Bai Ji Guan tea, known for its rich, fruity, and floral notes, pairs exceptionally well with a variety of dishes.
Here’s a straightforward guide to help you make the most of your Bai Ji Guan tea experience.
1. Light and Fresh Foods
For a nice pairing, opt for light and fresh foods like steamed or grilled seafood, sushi, and sashimi.
The delicate flavors of these dishes won’t overwhelm the subtle nuances of Bai Ji Guan tea, allowing you to fully savor its floral and fruity undertones.
2. Poultry and White Meat
When enjoying Bai Ji Guan tea, consider serving poultry and white meat dishes.
The mild, tender flavors of chicken, or turkey pair nicely with the tea’s floral notes.
Preparations such as poached chicken or grilled turkey breast can create a satisfying combination.
3. Vegetarian Fare
If you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, you can still enjoy Bai Ji Guan tea.
Opt for vegetable-based dishes like steamed or stir-fried greens, tofu, or light vegetable soups.
These options complement the tea’s floral and fruity characteristics without overwhelming your palate.
4. Fresh Fruits
For a simple and refreshing pairing, choose fresh fruits such as apples, pears, or lychees.
These fruits align well with the fruity notes in Bai Ji Guan tea, creating a delightful contrast of flavors and textures.
When it comes to desserts, look for options that aren’t overly sweet.
Try pairing Bai Ji Guan tea with light, mildly sweet treats like almond or sesame cookies, shortbread, or fruit-based desserts.
These will enhance the tea’s flavor without making it feel too sugary.
Tip – Avoid Heavy and Spicy Foods!
To fully appreciate Bai Ji Guan tea’s delicate flavors, it’s best to steer clear of heavy or spicy dishes.
Overly rich or spicy foods can overpower the tea, diminishing its unique taste.
When to Drink Bai Ji Guan Tea
You should drink Bai Ji Guan tea when you seek a caffeine boost.
This tea, like other varieties of oolong tea, contains caffeine that can provide a gentle energy lift.
Bai Ji Guan tea is best consumed in the morning or early afternoon.
Its caffeine content may interfere with your sleep if consumed too late in the day.
Enjoy Bai Ji Guan tea when you want to savor its unique flavor.
This tea is known for its sweet and fruity notes, making it a delightful choice for those who appreciate its distinct taste.
It’s a good idea to drink Bai Ji Guan tea with a light meal.
The tea’s flavor pairs well with various foods, enhancing your overall dining experience.
Bai Ji Guan tea is an excellent choice when you want to boost your metabolism.
Some studies suggest that oolong teas like Bai Ji Guan may assist in weight management.
Related Guides on Tea Making
Bai Ji Guan Tea RecipeCourse: DrinksCuisine: Chinese
Create your own delightful pot of Bai Jiguan tea, perfect for two tea enthusiasts to savor.
2 teaspoons of Bai Jiguan tea leaves
16 ounces (about 500 ml) of filtered water
- Gather your ingredients: Start by ensuring you have your Bai Jiguan tea leaves and filtered water at hand.
- Heat the water: Bring the water to a near boil - approximately 212 degrees Fahrenheit (100 degrees Celsius). After boiling, let the water to cool down for about 2 minutes.
- Rinse the tea: Briefly rinse the tea leaves with a small amount of the heated water.
- Steep the tea: Steep the rinsed tea leaves in the remaining hot water for 3-5 minutes, depending on your taste preference.
- Strain and serve: Once the tea has steeped, strain the leaves and serve in your favorite tea cups. Your Bai Jiguan tea is ready to be enjoyed!
- If you prefer the Gongfu method, you can enjoy this tea for up to 4 infusions.
- In between infusions, empty entire pot and do no leave any tea in it to avoid over-steeping of tea and getting a bitter or unpleasant flavor.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What does Bai Ji Guan tea taste like?
Bai Ji Guan tea has a unique flavor profile. It is known for its bold, robust taste with floral and fruity notes, along with a subtle mineral undertone.
Does Bai Ji Guan tea have caffeine?
Yes, Bai Ji Guan tea contains 30-50 mg caffeine. Like most traditional teas, it has caffeine, although in a moderate amount.
Is Bai Ji Guan a real tea?
Bai Ji Guan is indeed a real and authentic type of Chinese tea. It’s one of the renowned varieties of Wuyi rock oolong tea.
How many calories are in Bai Ji Guan tea?
Bai Ji Guan tea is virtually calorie-free. A standard cup contains negligible calories, making it a low-calorie beverage.