Anji Baicha 2021 First Harvest 明前安吉白茶
March 23, 2021
Yinjiang Village, Anji, Huzhou, Zhejiang
Made by Mrs. Qian
Emperor Huizong of the Song Dynasty was a discerning connoisseur and a master of the art of tea; he was fiercely passionate about it. He was also a gifted poet, painter, writer and calligrapher. In 1107, he composed the highly respected Daguan Chalun or Treatise on Tea. It offered a rare glimpse on the tea traditions during the Song Dynasty. He described the cultivation, harvesting and processing of tea, as well as the sophisticated tea ceremony of the Song Dynasty in thorough and vivid detail.
In the book, he devoted a whole chapter to “baicha”, which was later discovered to be Anji Baicha. He described baicha as “unique amongst teas, and different from other teas. The leaves are thin and almost translucent. They grow sporadically from cliffs and cannot be domesticated by man". The baicha that was the favourite of Emperor Huizong remained a mystery until 1982.
In 1982, in the high mountains of Anji County, the baicha tea trees were discovered and have since been widely propagated in the country.
Our Anji Baicha is from Yinjiang village of Anji County, a picturesque village surrounded by lush undulating mountains. The hills are covered with magnificent bamboo trees. Mrs. Qian, who is in her sixties, took us to her tea garden about 800m high in the misty mountains.
Anji Baicha, contrary to its name of “white tea”, is a green tea. The tea is called “baicha” or “white tea” due to the color of the fresh leaves in early spring - they appear more white than other tea leaves and almost translucent due to its lower chlorophyll and higher amino acid content. The dry leaves are some of the most beautiful and elegant leaves we have seen.
This year's Anji Baicha is outstanding. It is the taste of the beginning of spring - tender, gentle, yet invigorating and bursting with fresh energy. It is intensely sweet, like drinking sugar cane nectar. One of our favorite green teas of all time, a must try!
. . .
|Steep time||10 - 60 sec|
|No. of infusions||6