jeudi 14 juin 2012

An Ji Bai Cha

This morning I'm drinking the so perfect green tea An Ji Bai Cha (from 30th March harvest). Why perfect? Because first of all, the leaves are regular, tender, with a very light green color, almost yellow. This color is due to the very small quantity of chlorophyll that the tea bushes produce during winter and early spring. That's why An Ji tea is only picked during a short time, in limited quantities. You can easily see if it has been picked too late, because the leaves tend to be too green and too big (often after Qing Ming, on the 5 April) for the standards of this particular tea. Secondly, the smell is absolutely delicate with a hint of freshness. And thirdly, the taste. The most refined one. Something like very subtle flowers. I can even feel like a milky after taste. The texture is soft and silky. The whole tea is very sweet. It also brings a great feeling of lightness and brightness.

An Ji village is situated in the Zhejiang countryside  (about 2 to 3 hours from Hangzhou city). The town is also very known for bamboos, and anything you can do with them. They also contribute to the tea's "terroir". In early spring, the weather is often cloudy and the sky almost white. But the sun light is strong enough to make the tender buds grow gently.

Above, you can see the small town of An Ji, with it's chinese typical large streets. The tea gardens all around make a very particular landscape.

Tea in the cup reminds me the tender green of the An Ji tea gardens.

Finally, as tea provides a clear and peaceful mind, you can actually be present in a very conscious way.  Drinking this fabulous An Ji Bai Cha makes me feel very focused, calm, and creative. It's really important to try knowing the feelings and sensations that tea can provide. Because tea isn't only about the physical aspects.

If you have the occasion to taste genuine An Ji Bai Cha, don't hesitate (even if the price is quite frightening!). You won't regret this particular experience of perfection in a cup.

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