Anji Mountain White - Shanghai Cha
"Our quest for China’s finest teas has been rewarded with five of the most extraordinary flavors you will ever taste. Each leaf is hand-picked only when conditions are perfect. Each batch is hand-fired by a master tea maker, just three ounces at a time. Our teas are found in remote villages, on steep mountain slopes, ringed by mists, where the sun warms just enough, and the rain falls at the right time. You can taste the flavors of these mountains—the jasmine that blooms nearby, the earthiness of the soil—the tea will tell you where its from."
Ingredients: Green tea
Steep Time: 3 minutes
First Sip Thought: "So pure. So fresh."
Smell: The leaves are long, green and needlelike that give off a fresh bamboo aroma with a delicate floral scent. The strong smell is wonderful. It's easy to imagine the outdoors and laying in fresh cut grass under a shady tree when surronded by these tea leaves. The after steep scent is quite similar but a bit more mellow. The liquid is also a very pale yellowish green (even with a longer steep time than usual!)
Taste: While it is recommended to steep this tea for 1 minute, Monica from Shanghai Cha steeps it a bit longer to get a stronger cup. I decided to give that a try and was quite impressed. I was worried at first because I didn't want the delicate tea leaves to ruin and leave myself with a bitter drink but that was not the case. Don't let the name of this tea confuse you as it is actually a green tea. The name comes from the colour of the unprocessed leaves as they are white. Anji Bai is grown near the famous bamboo forests of Anji, outside of Shanghai region. The tea leaves are young whole leaves with the buds still visible. It is not hard to admire them before, during and after steeps. With the first sip I gather a light sweetness and vegetal undertones--almost grassy. I grasped some fruity notes after several sips and was able to notice more fruit like flavours such as apples after a few more resteeps. This tea is so pure, so fresh, and oh so amazing.
I would also like to make note that the service from Shanghai Cha is outstanding. When I was told I was being sent a sample, I was expecting enough tea leaves for two or three cups of tea. However, Monica sent me a full 51g container. I can also go on and on about how beautiful the packaging was made and the lovely handwritten note that went along with it. In addition, I was suprised and super excited to find a lovely bamboo scoop along with the tea. Many fancy tea photos will be coming on my Instagram that shall feature that beauty now!