Yunnan "Purple Beauty" Green Tea from Lancang * Spring 2018

Tea type
Green Tea
Ingredients
Green Tea
Flavors
Almond, Apricot, Astringent, Bitter, Char, Drying, Forest Floor, Marine, Metallic, Mineral, Ocean Air, Parsley, Pine, Salt, Salty, Sour, Spicy, Umami, Vegetal
Sold in
Bulk, Loose Leaf
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Togo
Average preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 4 oz / 125 ml

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2 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Whoa, what an intriguing tea. It is very different from any other tea I’ve had, and just for that reason, I would recommend people to try it. The leaves are dark green with a purplish hue. The...” Read full tasting note
    74
  • “My first high quality tea. Mild flavor with mild astringency. Dark floral smell with slight bitterness. Tastes like green tea. Medium chaqi. Earlier brews have neutral to no flavor. Mid brews...” Read full tasting note
    70

From Yunnan Sourcing

This is a Zi Juan “Purple Beauty” varietal that was grown in Lancang county in the Jingmai mountainous area. First flush of spring tea leaves were used and processed into a green tea. This is the first ever Purple Beauty Green Tea we have offered.

The taste is unique, something like a Dan Cong meets Yunnan Assamica Green Tea. The tea soup is a grey-purple color and the brewed leaves of this varietal remain dark even after many infusions. There is an umami taste, with sweetness, and slight bitter after-taste. The tea is packed with cha qi and if you are sensitive to it, you’ll most likely notice the feeling of this tea.

April-May 2018 harvest

Comparing Purple Bud and Purple Beauty:

Yunnan pu-erh tea grows in the superior environment of low latitude, high altitude South Asian tropics and achieves many qualities of superior tea. Among pu-erh tea, purplish red bud tea is particularly valued.

During the hot, humid summer and fall seasons a portion of tea tree buds are purplish red colored. The source of the color is anthocyanin, which changes color along with cell sap acidity. High levels of acidity lead to red color, while medium acidity is more purple, and high alkalinity tends toward indigo. Purplish red tea results from an inherited reaction to unfavorable hot and humid summer environmental conditions, providing the tea tree with a mechanism for fighting scorching ultraviolet rays.

Pu-erh tea growing areas tend to be between 1000 and 2000m elevation. According to surveys, higher altitude tea growing areas receive as much as 8 times the ultraviolet light of lower altitude growing areas. During the dry spring tea season, the atmosphere tends to be quite dusty which serves to reflect, scatter, and absorb most ultraviolet light. Entering into the rainy season, atmospheric dust is frequently washed away by rain. These clean, clear atmospheric conditions allow virtually all UV light reach the surface. In order to resist damage from this shortwave radiation, tea leaves produce anthocyanin, which can reflect away a portion of the UV light hitting the leaves. Although a southern Yunnan tea field during the high of the summer is a sea of green, most eye-catching are the specks of purplish-red scattered throughout. Purple bud tea trees occupy approximately 1-2% of all tea trees, and occur with varying intensities of purple.

Purplish red bud tea has throughout history been regarded as a standard for quality tea. Lu Yu in the “Cha Jing” evaluating the color of tea leaves, came to the early conclusion: “bright cliffs and gloomy forests, purple is the highest and green the second”. Purple tea features prominent fragrance and rich flavor. A small number of tea trees growing on the rocky slopes of Fujian’s Zhengyi mountain, because of their red color, are given the famous name Da Hong Pao. Another historically famous purple tea is Zhejiang province’s Guzhu Zisun.

Purple Bud Tea, grown in high mountain ancient tea fields, is hand-picked by growers who select only young tender buds from the purple tea trees. It is solely and painstakingly processed to produce a very small quantity of heavenly tea.

Purple bud tea can be bitter, so it is recommended that those who do not enjoy bitter flavors reduce the strength of their brew so as to enjoy the fine tea flavor.

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2 Tasting Notes

74
357 tasting notes

Whoa, what an intriguing tea. It is very different from any other tea I’ve had, and just for that reason, I would recommend people to try it. The leaves are dark green with a purplish hue. The liquor colour is somewhere between pink and purple, also unusual.

The aromas I notice include those of char, apricot, almond, sea air and parsley. First infusion is quite salty with a strong umami and a smoky, fruity background. It is fairly astringent too, but I pushed it a bit too hard to be honest. In the aftertaste, some sweetness slowly appears, but it is very shy. It is a strong and protracted aftertaste, which over time gets spicy, sour and warming in the throat. The mouthfeel is very soft, drying on the sides of the mouth while being mouth-watering at the back. Later steeps also have some metallic (Aluminum), bitter and vegetal (spruce) characteristics.

This is a strange tea, and I haven’t quite warmed up to its profile yet. I also don’t expect to feel like drinking it often at all. However, as a change of pace from more standard tea, it can work very well.

edit: I should use less than 5g next time. It is a strong and infusable tea with a strong aftertaste, meaning that I drink it quite slowly. I put away a lot of the remaining tea to cool down in the fridge to see how it tastes cold.

Flavors: Almond, Apricot, Astringent, Bitter, Char, Drying, Forest Floor, Marine, Metallic, Mineral, Ocean Air, Parsley, Pine, Salt, Salty, Sour, Spicy, Umami, Vegetal

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 0 min, 45 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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70
10 tasting notes

My first high quality tea. Mild flavor with mild astringency. Dark floral smell with slight bitterness. Tastes like green tea. Medium chaqi. Earlier brews have neutral to no flavor. Mid brews contain a consistent encompassing astringency with almost no biterness. Wet leaves smell fruity. 8 brews before it begins to weaken, after the 10th I got a headache!

Overall a great tea, but after only 2 months of storage brews went from a bright purple to a dark green. I am sure the tea has spoiled!

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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