Sunday, July 29, 2007

Anji Bai Cha

Harvested between 7 to 18 degrees Celsius on March 28, 2006 before Qing Ming! There was an emperor during the Song Dynasty named Song Hui Zhong (Zhou Ji) who was a great artist, and a passionate tea lover. He wrote a book about tea titled ‘Da Guan Cha Lun’ (A Discussion Focused on Tea) He wrote a whole chapter on Bai Cha, but he didn’t mention the source.

Lu Yu, the famous tea sage during the Tang Dynasty, described An Ji as a treasure of tea, but he didn’t mention the tea. It took 900 years for tea scholars and tea masters to put the two together and discover an ancient Bai Cha bush. It has taken since 1980 to propagate enough bushes to have a commercial crop. This is the most sought after green tea in China. It is rare and wonderful. We are proud to be the first company to import this tea from China. Bai Cha means white tea, but this is green tea, and despite the name it does not belong to the white tea category. The name comes from Zhou Ji, which likened it to white jade in water. This tea is sometimes called by tea experts An Ji Bai Pian. The soil where this tea grows is similar to the soil in the WuYi Mountains in that it is sandy, rocky and rich in minerals. The environment, of course, has a powerful impact on the tea. In the winter there is a stretch of cold for more than 20 days of -8 to - 10 degrees Celsius. This causes a decrease in chlorophyll. As the weather warms and the new tea buds and leaves start to grow, the color is a very light and yellowish shade of green, the veins being dark green. After the temperature reaches 23 degrees Celsius the leaves turn to a darker shade of green.

The tea harvest time for the best tea occurs for the short amount of time before the leaves turn color. During this period the amino acid theranine is double that of other teas. Theranine is an amino acid that is calming to the nervous system. The fragrance of this tea shouts FRESH, and the taste is very clean and sweet. There is a very limited amount of this tea.

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