I’ve had a few purple teas from Kenya before, but all that I have had before were closer to black teas then greens let alone a purple tea from Yunnan, so What-cha’s Graceful Purple Zi Juan really interested me. Because of my little mix-up yesterday I did not have a gongfu session with this tea, but I may return to it at a later date.
This is a wonderfully smoky green tea, the dry leaves smell like beef jerky and dry gourd. The leaves are very dark for a green tea, but even with the pungent smoky smell, I could smell it was a green tea. The dry leaves remind me a little of a long jing crossed with a very tippy white tea.
For my first infusion I brewed at 176°F for two minutes. Instantly I was greeted with a very smooth texture. It had moderate (if it was a black tea, I have never had a smoky green tea before), but it also had a tangy grape taste as well. It had a mild smoky aroma, also a little vegetal.
My next infusion I brewed at 185°F for three minutes. This time it had a very silky creamy texture. While it was still smoky, I was starting to taste very mild floral notes, there was also some fruity notes and a little earthiness at the end.
Overall I found this tea to be really nice; I enjoyed the lingering smoky taste while the initial smell may stop a veteran green tea drinker, if you take the plunge and brew it I am sure you’ll love it. It almost reminds me of an oolong/Hei-cha hybrid, but in the back of my mind I could always see how it is a green tea.
(Originally post on http://rah-tea.blogspot.com/2014/10/what-chas-yunnan-graceful-purple-zi.html)
Flavors: Earth, Grapes, Smoke, Tangy