Bai Ji Guan is a strip style oolong tea from the Wuyi mountains but it’s definitely not your typical Wuyi tea. No strong dark fruity notes with cacao and charcoal hints, but a very subtle aroma, liquor and taste. A true Wuyi treasure this is.
The package of the China Life/Mea Leaf sample I ordered said: ‘Toffee softness’. Sometimes I find it hard to discover the tasting notes of others in a tea, but this one was so right! So toffee indeed! Don’t get me wrong now, the toffee-ish notes were not as present as in toffee itself. It was even better: very subtle, very light in the back of your mouth, very gentle. This Bai Ji Guan reminded me a bit of a white tea: some people may call it light, but in fact the flavor is very intense, just in a subtle way. It makes you appreciate the more delicate flavors a lot more.
Although it’s lighter than most Taiwanese oolongs, it has a similar creaminess and smoothness of those high mountain oolongs. And this Bai Ji Guan is as much a pleasure for the eye as it is for the mouth. It presents itself beautifully with a very clear and bright liquor.
After a couple of brews the aroma changes from a more toffee to a more grassy and apricot smell and the taste follows the same path, very gently again. The smoothness and creaminess survive all the way while the toffee stays very present in the aftertaste. This is one of the strong points of this Bai Ji Guan too: it evolves very nicely. Too much of the same sweetness all along is boring: a tea should change to keep you intrigued and this Bai Ji Guan is doing that with class! Unfortunately for the world, this tea has run out at the shop… So from now on, this is all just a memory… until Mister Don Mei finds another beauty!