Ming Qian An Ji Bai Cha
Organic Green Tea 2019
The unusually pale leaves of Ming Qian An Ji Bai Cha are rich in amino acids. Many find its mild smooth flavor and complex floral aroma calming.
- Tea Origin
- Zhejiang Province, China
- Tea Bush
- Bai Ye #1 (White Leaves #1)
- Tea Master
- Sun Xue Yi
- Harvest Time
- early April
- Picking Standard
- 1 bud to 1 tender 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 An Ji Bai Cha is a famous green tea from Zhejiang Province.
This tea’s history extends at least as far back at the Song Dynasty with the famous emperor Song Hui Zhong. Known both for his artistry and as an ardent tea lover, he wrote a book about tea and devoted an entire chapter to the pale leaf of “Bai Cha”. Although he did not mention the source, Lu Yu, the famous tea sage during the Tang Dynasty, described the An Ji 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 Bai Cha bushes in An Ji. It has taken since 1980 to propagate enough bushes to have a commercial crop. Since then, An Ji Bai Cha has become the most sought after green tea today due to its limited production and extensive history in the tea world. All bai cha 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.
An Ji Bai Cha Leaves’ Unique Character
Bai Cha’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 Bai Cha leaves contain approximately three to five times the amount of amino acid found in any other green tea.
The leaves are at the 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 An Ji Bai Cha bushes are noticeably greener and have changed in flavor. Ming Qian An Ji Bai Cha is the first picking of the year, representing the most pure and distinctive representation of the 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.
An Additional Note on Harvest Time
The term “Ming Qian” refers to the first tea picking before the Qing Ming festival. 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 An Ji Bai Cha is picked slightly later in the season than its predecessor Ming Qian An Ji Bai Cha and it refers to the second picking before the Gu Yu festival that falls on April 20th.
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 An Ji Bai Cha 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.