Ming Qian Anji Baicha (Early Harvest Anji)
Organic Green Tea 2020
A high end green tea with very pale green leaves, rich in nutrients with unusually high levels of amino acids. The one bud and one leaf pluckings from the early spring harvest have a mild smooth flavor and complex floral aroma.
- Tea Origin
- Anji County, Huzhou City, Zhejiang Province, China
- Tea Bush
- Baiye #1 (White Leaf #1)
- Tea Master
- Yu Shunhu
- Harvest Time
- Early April
- Picking Standard
- One bud, one leaf
Green tea is an unoxidized tea originating in China and has the longest history of any tea. It has been praised for centuries for its healing and soothing properties. Ming Qian Anji Baicha is a famous green tea from Zhejiang Province.
The long history of Anji Baicha
This tea’s history extends at least as far back at the Song Dynasty with the famous emperor Song Huizhong. Renowned both as an artist and as an ardent tea lover, he wrote a book about tea and devoted an entire chapter to the pale leaf of “Baicha”. 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 Baicha bushes in Anji. It has taken since 1980 to propagate enough bushes to have a commercial crop. Since then, Anji Baicha has become the most sought after green tea today due to its limited production and extensive history in the tea world. All baicha 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.
The Anji Baicha bush’s unique character
Baicha’s pale jade leaves are unique in their high amino acid content, which contributes to the sweetness and calming effect of their infusion. Some studies have estimated that the Baicha leaves contain approximately three to five times the amount of amino acid found in any other green tea.
The leaves are lightest in color and richest in amino acids the early spring, before temperatures climb above 25 degrees Celsius. Once the temperature warms beyond this point, the leaves of Anji Baicha bushes are noticeably greener and have changed in flavor. Ming Qian Anji Baicha is from the earliest harvest period of the year, representing the most pure and distinctive representation of this cultivar’s variety’s character.
Take time to appreciate the clean, green tea liquor and high fragrance. 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.
The first tea of the year
The term “Ming Qian” refers to the first tea harvest of the spring, picked before the Qing Ming Festival at the beginning of April. The Qing Ming Festival is a traditional time for paying respect to one’s ancestors. In the past, if the tea did not reach the capital by the day of the Qing Ming festival, this would upset the Feng Shui for the rest of the year. “Ming Qian” is sometimes also referred to as Tomb Sweeping Day. Typically, an offering of tea is made to the gravesite of an ancestor as well. Yu Qian Anji Baicha (Spring Rain Harvest Anji) is picked slightly later in the season than its predecessor Ming Qian Anji Baicha. The name refers to the second harvest before the Gu Yu festival that falls on April 20th, a time when spring rains typically fall.
No chemical fertilizer, pesticide, or herbicide was used in the production of this tea. Click here to read more about our promise to fair trade and the environment.
Ming Qian Anji Baicha (Early Harvest Anji) brewing guidelines
Teaware: 12 oz. glass or porcelain pot
Amount: 1 ½ Tbs of tea leaves
Water: 185°F filtered water
Infusion: First infusion at least 3 minutes. The leaves are good for 5 infusions. Add a little more time for each subsequent infusion.