Sunday, November 27, 2011

'High' tea in the Bavarian Alps - Anji white tea

Tea drinking has always been a source of excitement for my taste buds. When we celebrated my birthday on 11.11.11, we decided to make a trip to the mountains where we can enjoy the breathtaking view that the mountains have to offer. Needless to say, there was tea. A sort of tea and view pairing.

Food for the senses and definitely the best therapy for my weary soul. The alpine air reminds me of freshness and vibrancy. So I decided to brew Anji White tea for the occasion. It is a relatively new breed among famous teas in Zhejiang Province.

Anji tea is processed like a green tea, but it is termed "white tea" because the tea buds harvested in early spring appear to be so. The higher the grade, the whiter the tea buds. Anji white tea also has a deceivingly light-coloured infusion.

For this reason, I'll take the liberty of coining Anji white tea as the champagne of teas. The brew is pale in colour, yet very aromatic with a vibrant and grassy flavour that isn't as overpowering as low-grade green teas tend to be. Sounds just like the perfect flute of bubbly.   
Once again, the characteristic leafy green colours confirm that Anji white tea is in fact a product of the green tea processing method. This shade of green is a vivid reminder of ornamental jade. The leaves are beautifully slender and smell elegantly perfumed, leaving you wishing for more like a savoury dish does to your appetite. The smells of the opened leaves become heavily accentuated.

The amino acid content of Anji white tea is higher than most teas, resulting in a mild and slightly sweet flavour that gives you an overall feeling of calmness.

This tea contains at  least 6-8% amino acids, of which at least 2.5% is theanine. This roughly translates into 3-4 times the level of theanine found in other Chinese green teas.

Tea has four basic tastes: sweet, sour, salty and bitter. L-Theanine contributes to the fifth element, which is termed unami or broth-like. Tea tasters often rate the unami taste most highly, as this is considered to be the single most important determinant of tea quality.

Blogeintrag auf Deutsch: Hochland Tee in den bayrischen Alpen - weißer Anji-Tee