ANJI BAI CHA KING APRIL SNOW GREEN TEA
Anji Bai Cha King April Snow Green Tea
Grown in a remote mountain area near the Bamboo forest featured in the film 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon', this is currently the most sought after tea in China, where most of it is kept because it is considered to be unique. It is grown from cuttings of one of the only four surviving giant white tea trees. Whilst it is a 'White' tea it is processed as a green tea. This gives it a deeper flavour than Yin Zhen for example. The leaf looks slim and feather like with an almost white colour just prior to picking in the spring. This is expressed as the distinctive pale yellow-green in the dry leaf, not the more usual green seen in most green teas and in lower grades of Anji. It has a wonderful fragrance and pale lemon, crystal clear liquor. We buy the finest grade, which has more amino acids than other green teas and the best flavour we have experienced in any green or white tea.
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There are only four wild white tea trees in the world and they are considered national tea treasures. One of these four is found in Anji County in the Zhejiang province of China. It is only there that tea farmers have been successful in growing white tea bushes using cuttings taken from the famous white tea tree, making it unique in all the world. Anji white tea grows in a beautiful, natural environment in the mountains where special climatic conditions help create its wonderful appearance and character. Every spring, between April 5th and 15th, the new shoots burst through to give a spectacular show, with the leaves looking almost white in colour and some virtually transparent. It is as though the bushes have been covered in a shower of snowflakes. After this period the leaves revert back to the more usual darker green colour. Anji white tea, like other such rare teas, must be processed with great skill to preserve the special characteristics of the leaves and in fact, is processed like a green tea. First, the hand-picked tea is placed on bamboo mats for four hours to wither, then it is put into a special tea drying machine. After this, it is placed into bamboo baskets for further drying and sorting. This procedure is carried out twice before the tea is graded and packed. Whilst it is a 'White' tea it is processed as a green tea. This gives it a deeper flavour than Yin Zhen for example. Prior to brewing the leaves are almost feather-like and slim. This is expressed as the distinctive pale yellow-green in the dry leaf, not the more usual green seen in most green teas and in lower grades of Anji. The infusion is a pale lemon in colour but absolutely crystal clear. The leaves unfurl in the water to show their translucent colour and give the drink a depth of flavour that belies its pale appearance. It tastes clean and sweet with a fresh aroma. Another special quality of Anji tea is that it contains twice as many health-giving amino acids as any other tea. It has as many as thirteen different types. One, theanine is an amino acid that is calming to the nervous system. It won the Gold Medal at the Chinese Agricultural Fair in 1999 and is the best tasting white or green tea I have ever tried. Hardly any of this special tea leaves China but I have managed to obtain a few kilos of the very small crop that qualifies for the highest grade. So precious and scarce is this tea that a part of my order was taken for the Chinese government one year! As well as using the method described above to make this tea you can also try using 3g of tea in a pint of 70c filtered water. As the leaves settle, after about 10 minutes, the tea is ready.
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Leaf GradeHandmade Strip
Country of ManufactureUnited Kingdom
StrengthLight Green Tea
Brew Time2 mins
Water Temperature70-80 c
Number of Infusions1-3