Review: Canton Tea Co. Anji Bai Cha

Canton Tea Co., Green Tea, White Tea Add comments
CJ’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"Purported to be calming and complex. A satisfying, delicate cup."
CJ’s Teaview: 9.5/10
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cantonanjibaiLabeled as a green tea but made from leaves usually processed as a white tea, Anji Bai Cha is full of contradictions.

"Anji" is  a county in Zhejiang province, China. It also means "white tea" in Chinese, as does "Bai Cha."But because it is heat-dried to stop oxidization, this is decidedly a "green" tea. If it had been destined for white tea status, the leaves would have been withered with minimal heat. Such processing is tedious and exacting.  It requires skilled workers to monitor temperature, humidity, air-flow, and light to allow for the production of sugars and theanine. These two ingredients are responsible for the sweetness of white teas.

Anji Bai Cha possessed the sweetness inherent in it's genes. And experts claim it has 3 to 4 times the theanine levels of other green teas,making it a especially calming cup. It's flavor was also somewhat tangy, somewhat herbal, and medicinal. Canton described it on their website as  tasting like spring flowers lemons, and tropical fruits.   "Vivacious and exuberant flavors combine lush sappiness with discreet floral top notes,"  the website said.

I would agree with all that. But I cannot agree that the leaves provide three satisfying infusions.  Using cool water (about 150 degrees) as directed by Canton's website, I enjoyed only one flavorful infusion. Batch number two was just warm water to me.

But that's just me. I like strong tea, no matter what the color. If you have a delicate palate, this would definitely be your cup of tea. It is not mine, so I'll rate it a 9.5, just to distinguish it from fine teas that I love. This is a fine tea, but just too mild for my taste.

— To purchase Canton Tea Co. Anji Bai Cha, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

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