This stunning green tea causes much confusion when descriptions of it fly. It is one of the most beautiful green teas to admire – the individual leaves are little works of art and the consistent shape and size makes one ponder with admiration the wondrous nature of hand-processed tea.
And WOW – the 2019 ‘edition’ of Tea Trekker An Ji Bai Cha is absolutely spectacularly delicious! We think it may be the best tasting and among the most highly 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.
Some refer to it as a white tea because much is made by Chinese tea growers of the white color of the fresh leaves on the tea bushes before the tea is plucked in the spring. This color of course changes to 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. This year 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 and this can be simply a very unique cultivar, we don’t need another sub-category just for it!! rjh 04.14.2019
This tea is relatively new 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 create a small amount of this tea each spring. The harvest is short and the crop is 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.
Fans of smooth Spring Green teas such as our Fo Cha Buddha’s Tea or Huangshan Mao Feng will want to experience this An Ji Bai Cha. Both of these teas express the ultra-fresh, clean, complex and well-balanced eastern China green taste that we find very exciting and delicious.
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.