2021 - ANJI BAI CHA ｜Bai Ye Yi Hao
Reminds us of: baby bok choy. It's sweet, vegetal and a nutty, with umami in the background.
This tea, like everything that Zhang Wenhua grows, is an absolute work of love. Tender, tiny, meticulously picked and handcrafted leaves open up in your teapot; it would seem that they were harvested a few hours ago.
Anji Bai Cha (安吉白茶 | White Tea from Anji) is a cultivar that has been commercially farmed in Anji (province of Zhejiang) since the 1980's.
The name of the tea might be confusing: this tea is processed as a 'green' tea. It is called 'white' because of the very light colour of the cultivar's young leaves, not because it is processed as a white tea.
This year, Zhang shared two types of Bai Cha:
- Bai Ye Yi Hao (百叶一号), or White Leaf #1, is the most widespread cultivar for Anji Bai Cha. Please see the note, below, about Emperor Huizhong of the Song Dynasty.
- Nai Bai Cha (奶白茶), literally translated as Milk White Tea, and sometimes also called Anji Golden Bud (安吉黄金芽). This subspecies was only identified in 1997, from a wild plant in the the bamboo forest behind Yangjiashan; commercial farming started well into the 21st century. It is a lighter coloured, more delicate leaf.
i) The Anji Bai Cha trees that we enjoy today reportedly descend from only two heirloom 'ancestors', one of which is over 300 years old.
ii) Emperor Huizong (of the Song Dynasty), in his 'Treatise on Tea' (大观茶论), recorded his love for Bai Cha. Some scholars believed that he was talking about the cultivar that gave birth to the Anji Bai Cha that we enjoy today.
TYPE Green Tea ORIGIN Changxing, Zhejiang, China GPS 31ºN 119.8ºE TASTING NOTES GROWER Zhang Wenhua
WATER 75℃ | 120 ml TEA 3g STEEP STYLE 90 seconds | multiple steeps EQUIPMENT Gaiwan
ABOUT THE GROWER
Zhang Wen Hua has been a generous friend and teacher over 11 years. The lady has a wealth of information about tea, both modern and ancient.
The heirloom cultivar Zisun cultivar tea trees on her property are 70-80 years old. Most of the leaves she harvests are handcrafted into loose leaf green or black teas but a very small amount is converted into Tang Dynasty style 'coins'.
Grower on the map
MON - SUN 12:00PM - 6:00PM
Location2208 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver, BC1.604.558.0500
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