95
drank Zijuan Hong by Daxue Jiadao
388 tasting notes

I ordered a bunch of teas from Daxue Jiadao back in early 2022, and this is the first one I opened. I’ve been keeping it for special occasions, but sadly, I’m near the bottom of the bag and it’s now sold out. I steeped 6 g of leaf in a 120 ml teapot at 195F for 10, 12, 15, 18, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50, 60, 90, 120, and 240 seconds, plus some long, uncounted steeps.

The dry aroma is of jammy raspberries and elderberries, forest floor, and mushrooms. The first steep has notes of strawberry, raspberry, elderberry, forest floor, hay, and mushrooms. Honey, wood, and even headier berries appear in steep two, and the woodiness of the tea makes it feel drying without any astringency. I get hints of eucalyptus and earth in the next couple steeps as the berries recede somewhat, though they’re still very apparent in the aftertaste. A little malt emerges in the next two steeps, and the woodsy notes become stronger. Subsequent rounds achieve a nice balance of soft berries with wood, malt, minerals, honey, and earth. The tea gradually diminishes in flavour over the final long steeps, but is still tasty until the end of the session. I often steep it overnight to get that last bit of jammy goodness.

This is the best purple tea I’ve had so far and is also among the best teas from Yunnan. It has all of the berry and forest notes I associate with purple teas and very little of the funkiness. As Derk mentioned, this is a meditative tea that rewards careful attention.

Flavors: Berries, Drying, Earth, Elderberry, Eucalyptus, Forest Floor, Hay, Honey, Jam, Malt, Mineral, Mushrooms, Raspberry, Strawberry, Wood

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 6 g 4 OZ / 120 ML
derk

Yes, this is a wonderful tea. Thank you for the introduction.

Leafhopper

I’m glad you enjoyed it! I’ll miss it when it’s gone.

beerandbeancurd

Zijuan is the varietal of the maocha that sent me on a space trip. I’ll have to start poking around for some hongs made with it. This sounds beautiful.

Leafhopper

It didn’t send me to outer space, but it was indeed a beautiful tea! I think it’s also spelled Zi Juan if you want to stick to that cultivar. TheTea may still have a nice purple hongcha, though I’m not sure what the cultivar is. This one from Daxue Jiadao is the most refined purple black tea I’ve had.

beerandbeancurd

Thanks for the rec. Always more to explore…

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derk

Yes, this is a wonderful tea. Thank you for the introduction.

Leafhopper

I’m glad you enjoyed it! I’ll miss it when it’s gone.

beerandbeancurd

Zijuan is the varietal of the maocha that sent me on a space trip. I’ll have to start poking around for some hongs made with it. This sounds beautiful.

Leafhopper

It didn’t send me to outer space, but it was indeed a beautiful tea! I think it’s also spelled Zi Juan if you want to stick to that cultivar. TheTea may still have a nice purple hongcha, though I’m not sure what the cultivar is. This one from Daxue Jiadao is the most refined purple black tea I’ve had.

beerandbeancurd

Thanks for the rec. Always more to explore…

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Since I discovered Teavana’s Monkey Picked Oolong four years ago, I’ve been fascinated by loose-leaf tea. I’m glad to say that my oolong tastes have evolved, and that I now like nearly every tea that comes from Taiwan, oolong or not, particularly the bug-bitten varieties. I also find myself drinking Yunnan blacks and Darjeelings from time to time, as well as a few other curiosities.

However, while online reviews might make me feel like an expert, I know that I still have some work to do to actually pick up those flavours myself. I hope that by making me describe what I’m tasting, Steepster can improve my appreciation of teas I already enjoy and make me more open to new possibilities (maybe even puerh!).

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