First time with Anji Bai Cha green tea and first time with Frankee Muller’s educational A Thirst for Tea, which is based in Oriental, NC. I’ll get more into how I stumbled upon this business in another note. I still need to email her and ask permission to use her pictures and descriptions.
[3.5g, 150mL glass gaiwan, 160F upped to 175F, first steep of 30s]
Dry leaf in the bag smells like cannabis and melon; in hand it’s sweet and dry like dark cocoa powder and roasted nuts. When warmed, the leaf smells very intense like a Japanese green with a sweet and flowery chocolate undertone.
The first infusion is light, sweet and very clean with a touch of cream that further develops in the aftertaste. Delicate. Oily with a layered astringency, cool breaths. I smell the wet leaf in the gaiwan and am greeted with the smell of roasted nuts that is common with pan-fired Chinese greens, fried squid, orchid, simply syrup with lemon juice and dense notes of kelp, steamed asparagus and blanched nettles.
With the second infusion, the aroma is light and flowery. The tea in my cup is very clear, little tea hairs floating throughout. The color reminds me of spring, a light yellow like filtered sunshine with a pinkish silvery tint. The taste is very similar to the first infusion, smooth, and reminds me of fresh bamboo. I notice the aftertaste, lightly fruity with the melon and cannabis of the dry leaf. The tea is drying now and reinforces the notion of bamboo, it’s drying like a bamboo basket might taste. Salty feel.
The third infusion is fruitier on the sip, a notion of apricot appears and the melon becomes more pronounced. Tongue-numbing, mouth closed, I sit with the tea. The aftertaste here is beautiful and silky, a refreshing, fruity breeze of lemon, melon and the impression of silica-rich horsetail. I smell the bottom of the cup for the first time and breathe deep the scent of cherry blossoms. The aftertaste lingers so long. So calm, warm.
Fourth infusion develops a delicate creamy and nutty taste. Fifth, lord, the aftertaste! It’s so coating — ghee and melon something — cotton candy? I haven’t put anything else in my mouth since I took the last sip over an hour ago. The wet leaf in my gaiwan shows a high quality picking.
Overall, this is a very structured, nuanced yet delicate green tea with strength in all facets. The aroma is understated but it fits the experience beautifully.
Flavors: Apricot, Asparagus, Bamboo, Butter, Cannabis, Chocolate, Citrusy, Cotton Candy, Cream, Creamy, Drying, Herbaceous, Lemon, Melon, Mineral, Nutty, Oily, Orchid, Roasted Nuts, Sakura, Salty, Seafood, Seaweed, Silky, Soft, Sweet, Tangy