Review of the Anji Bai Cha loose leaf tea from Teavana

I recently cracked open my bag of Anji Bai Cha green tea from Teavana. This was one of the more expensive “micro-lot” teas that Teavana offered ($25 for 2 oz). I had been wanting to try this tea for a while, so I went ahead and snagged some a few months back on heavy discount when the Teavana online store was closing out. Although the loose leaf tea purveyor ambitions of Teavana were thwarted and the Starbucks owned company has since closed its online store and most (maybe all) of its brick and mortar stores, I want to go ahead and include this review (as well as other Teavana teas in the future) for posterity. So for my second official tea review blog post on Blake’s Tea Journal, I’m going to relay my notes about Teavana’s Anji Bai Cha.

Anji Bai Cha (or Anji Baicha) is a hand-rolled and pan-fired tea from the Anji county in the north of the Zhejiang Province of China. “Baicha” translates to “white tea,” but refers to the cultivar (tea plant) from which the leaves are picked rather than the tea type (processing method). Anji Bai Cha tea is harvested in early spring from tea plants that have less green chlorophyll and are whiter than other tea plants. However, Anji Bai Cha is processed as a green tea.

Dry leaves.
Dry Anji Bai Cha leaves.

The dry leaves had a dark green color with some hints of light brown. The leaves were interestingly rolled long ways, giving the leaves an almost stick-like appearance. The dry leaves have a grassy smell, somewhat like dry cut grass. There were some sweet tones in the scent, with maybe a bit of nuttiness and just a hint of pine. I did a quick rinse before infusing for 45 seconds.

Infusing tea leaves.
Infusing leaves.

The scent of the brewed tea was similar to the dry leaves but more intense with a much sweeter grassy smell with a little bit more of a roasted quality. The color of the liquid was a medium intensity, but dark hue, of yellow with an almost golden quality. The taste was light sweet grassy flavor with a strong sweet finish and only mildly astringent; there was maybe just a hint of a pine-like flavor in it as well.

In summary, this Anji Bai Cha from Teavana was a very pleasing green tea. It had similar qualities and flavors to some of the Japanese green teas that I’ve tasted (i.e., Gyokuro and Tencha brewed in similar manner). Based on my experience with this tea I will definitely try this type of tea from other suppliers and I would recommend this particular tea to anyone who likes a grassy green tea.

Teacup of the liquid.
The cup of tea.

Have you ever tried this tea? If so, please comment and let me know what you thought. Also, I want to continually improve the quality of my posts, so if you have any suggestions please comment and tell me how I can do better.

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