This stunning green tea causes much confusion when descriptions of it fly around in the conversations of tea enthusiasts. It is one of the most beautiful green teas to admire – the individual leaves are works of art in miniature, and their consistent shape and size makes one ponder with admiration the wondrous nature of hand-processed, varietal green tea.
And WOW – the 2021 ‘edition’ of Tea Trekker’s An Ji Bai Cha is absolutely, spectacularly delicious! We know that it is among the best tasting and most distinctively aromatic An Ji Bai Cha that we have ever tasted, including the many that we have tasted in China! So if you have ever been, or are now intrigued with this special tea – try it this year. You will never regret having tasted such a perfect version of this revered leaf. We have been able to hold the price on this year’s tea to be the same as last year’s, which is remarkable!
Some refer to it as a white tea because much is made by Chinese tea growers of the white/tan/pale green color of the fresh leaves on the tea bushes before the tea is plucked in the spring. This color of course changes to a muted green after the fresh leaf has been processed into green tea. It is this fresh leaf style and processing methodology of An Ji Bai Cha that makes it such a distinctive and unique tea. The leaf sometimes lightens back to an ivory color when steeped, as many leaves in this year’s tea do, and that is an interesting phenomenon.
I saw a mention of it as an ‘albino’ tea; and I am hoping that this neither causes confusion nor becomes yet another confusing sub-category of tea. We have enough categories of tea now, and this can be simply a very unique cultivar; we don’t need another sub-category just for it!! comment: rjh 04.14.2019
This tea is a relatively new cultivar, and has been in commercial production only since the 1980’s. Chinese tea historians believe that a scattered few of these tea bushes, discovered growing wild in the late 1970’s, were descendant plants of the original Bai Cha tea bushes that were the source of the ‘white’ tea that was so beloved by Song dynasty Emperor Song Hui Hong.
Today, enough tea bushes have been propagated in An Ji County to produce a small amount of this tea each spring. The harvest is short and the crop small. This tea is prized for its sweetness and high amino acid content, which gives the tea a rich mouthfeel and a very calming effect. This year’s tea has a distinct nuttiness that is quite delicious. A difficult-to-pinpoint mélange of Brazil Nut, Filbert, and roasted Almond, this flavor profile is one that we have tasted before in An Ji tea, but not recently. It must be the result of the early start to the budding this year, combined with the above-average amount of early rainfall. This flavor is quite delicious and unique, and it is fascinating to witness it again.
Fans of smooth Spring Green teas such as our Fo Cha Buddha’s Tea, village-specific Longjing teas, Lu An Guapian, and Huangshan Mao Feng will want to experience this An Ji Bai Cha. All of these teas express the ultra-fresh, clean, complex and well-balanced eastern China green tea taste that we find very exciting and delicious. The aroma of these teas takes us right back to standing in a tea market in China…
The Anj Ji Bai Cha tea growing area is now a protected tea harvesting zone and only tea plucked within the designated area can be considered authentic An Ji Bai Cha.