Teas harvested in the spring are considered to be the best in many regions, and China's green teas are no exception.
“Pre Qingming” means the tea has been harvested just before the “Pure Light” festival, when the Chinese people remember their deceased, and marks the start of the new-season green teas. All teas harvested before this date are particularly prestigious due to the extreme delicacy of the plucking and the tiny quantities produced.
Grown in the mountains of Zhejiang province at an altitude of 850 metres, Anji Bai Cha is an extremely rare green tea. Its young buds in shades of very pale green evoke white jade, which has earned it the Chinese name of “Anji white tea”.
The history of this fine tea goes back to the year 1107, when Emperor Huizong of the Song dynasty apparently named it as his favourite tea in the book "Treatise on the Magnificent Spectacle of Tea". Then all traces of this incredible white tea were lost in the various upheavals experienced by China over the centuries, and it became a legend.
When a tea plant with white buds was found in Anji county in 1980, it was decided that it must be a descendent of this legendary variety. In the years that followed, cuttings were taken from the bush, and these were planted on small plots in Anji. And that is how this exceptional fine tea was reborn.
François-Xavier Delmas' choice:
“An incredibly fine, delicate, fresh pre Qingming green tea. Just a few kilos of this particular tea were produced.”
- Origin: China
- Tea colour: green
- Appearance: a magnificent plucking that is delicate with plenty of beautiful silver buds. The leaves are very gently crumpled
- Colour: a beautiful, luminous green
- Scents: vegetal, burnt, mineral, sweet vanilla
Brewed leaves (infusion):
- Scents: sweet and floral to start (white flowers), vegetal, but also more mineral notes, marine hints and burnt accents
- Colour: a beautiful, very pale green liquor
- Texture: smooth, full and round in the mouth
- Flavours: sweet and umami
- Aromas: pronounced sweet vegetal (cooked vegetable, artichoke, asparagus, potato) then fresher vegetal (cut grass, stems), floral (white flowers), sweet vanilla, mineral, a marine hint (crab flesh), burnt notes and nuts (roast chestnut)
- Aromatic profile and length in the mouth: a pronounced finish with fresh vegetal notes as well as burnt notes and nuts