This is a scrumptious, organic anji bai cha. This tea is picked in the Spring. My purchase was made a year ago, and the tea has been stored since then in small portions in the freezer or refrigerator. So, even though it is a year old, it is still quite good. It is so tender and delicious that I always eat the steeped leaves afterwards as I would any nutritious cooked vegetable.
The initial steep or two are not my favorite; sometimes I toss them out. This is a “hong qing lu cha” (green tea baked to dry) and perhaps it is that process which creates the effect that the first couple of steeps are not as luscious as the following ones. I like the nutty tones of the flavor. Compared to another famously nutty flat-baked Spring green tea, ‘long jing’ aka ‘lung ching’ aka ‘dragonwell,’ anji bai cha is a less fussy steeper with similar aroma and flavor profile but lighter and jucier. Given a choice between the two, I would usually pick the anji bai cha. I also enjoy the citrus notes, simultaneously tangy and creamy, and the great throat-moistening qualities of the tea. The high levels of l-theanine, a calming amino acid, give it positive marks in the health category. I steeped 5 grams of leaf in a 3-ounce glass pot for a total of 8 steeps. That’s over 20 ounces of tea. Sometimes I steep a larger pot and ice it … so thirst-quenching.
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