Anji White Tea (Anji Bai Cha) derives its name from the almost completely white color of its natural leaves. Due to the way it is produced, Anji White is considered a green tea, despite its name. Grown high in the mountains of Zhejiang Province, the one bud, one leaf picked from the Bai Cha bush offers a light apple green color and a very smooth, rich and slightly sweet taste. The depth of flavor is often described as "liquid silk". Anji White tea is a new breed among famous teas in Zhejiang Province. However, as a product of green tea processing technology, Anji White Tea is actually green tea in white color, with its raw materials being white young leaves of a certain tea plant. Located in northern Zhejiang Province, the Anji County is a famous hometown of bamboos in China embraced by mountains and streams.
Ever since 1982, when the local people accidentally found an ancient white tea plant in a valley, the Anji white tea has gradually been known and developed by people. It is a rare variety among tea plants, and the color of its leaf buds can change with the seasons: grey before the Tomb-sweeping Day, which will turn green at the Grain Rain Day (Apr.19, 20 or 21) until totally green. The Anji White Tea has a short harvest time lasting about one month, which makes it even rarer. We have mentioned that it is actually a kind of green tea since it's the white tea leaves made out of the green tea processing techniques. Upon spreading the new leaves out for four or five hours and de-enzyming according to a certain temperature and time, then comes the trimming and drying processes. When new Anji white tea is steeped, it features green stem and white leaves, as well as light yellow tea liquid giving out a fresh and strongly fragrant aroma.
Anji Bai Cha has become the most sought after green tea today due to its limited production and its history with famous Song Dynasty emperor, Song Hui Zhong. As a great artist and passionate tea lover, he wrote a book about tea and devoted a whole chapter to the pale leaf of "Bai Cha", although he did not mention the source. Lu Yu, the famous tea sage during the Tang Dynasty, described the Anji area as a treasure of tea, but did not mention the tea. It took 900 years for tea scholars and tea masters to put the two together and discover the ancient Bai Cha bushes in Anji. It has taken since 1980 to propagate enough bushes to have a commercial crop. All Bai Cha bushes today are descended from two mother bushes, only one of which is still living. The remaining mother bush is estimated to be over 300 years old and its place on the mountain side has now become something of a destination for devoted Chinese tea drinkers.
◆ Origin: as the name already revealss, this white tea is produced in Anji. This county is part of the Huzhou prefecture in Zhejiang province with a population of about 450,000. By taking advantage of their favorable environment and climate, the Anji community is able to develop pollution-free green products, such as bamboo shoots, white tea, alpine vegetables, and flowers. The Chinese government also designated Anji as a pilot county for ecological and green building construction.
◆ Tasting & Appearance: the tea leaves of Anji Bai Cha have one of the freshest appearances of any teas. The leaf patterns are still visible. Once infused, the tea leaves starts to turn whitish-green in color and unfurl into one-bud-one-leaf form. The skinny, flat tea buds and leaves are rich in amino acids creating a mild and slightly sweet flavor that gives you an overall calming feeling.
◆ Notes & Well Being: Anji Bai also has a high level of amino acids, which help to reduce cortisol and produce a calming effect.
Dose of tea
1 Tsp. for 6oz Cup
160°F - 170°F
3 - 4 Minutes