Dry leaf: Prune, raisin, tart dried cranberry, smokey tobacco. Loose cake, small material, dry, brittle. Almost black charcoal grey color with the occasional silver streak.
Taste: Vegetal, dried grass, a little hay, dried cranberries and a touch of peach. Light sweetness and light sourness. Light mouthfeel, no astringency.
Liquor: Yellow to dark yellow-grey.
Spent leaf: Dark brown with a little dark olive.
Vessel: Clay teapot (125ml)
I decided to add this tea (sample size) to my recent tea ware order from BItterleaf. I had never tried a purple so, why not? Gotta explore everything. I went ahead and used my dedicated sheng clay pot, which incidentally, was part of that tea ware order as well. (Shameless plug for Bitterleaf: they have such beautiful tea ware and the most elegant photography that shows it all off so well!) I’m super happy with this pot (Chaozhou Zhuni clay Lingyan teapot). It’s so beautiful, the lid fits perfectly, and I love the shape of the stubby little spout. Oh dang – were we talking about tea?
I loved the dry material. It was lightly compressed and fell apart with a little gentle wiggling and coaxing. The smell was very sheng-like but had a bit of a smokiness and dried grass/hay and was a nice black-charcoal grey color. The spent leaves reminded me of seaweed, very dark, but not quite black – more of a charcoal grey color with a tiny bit of dark green here and there.
A quick 5 second rinse and I was off. Vegetal, tart, dried fruits, smooth. The liquor darkened up on the second and third steeping and stayed that same dark yellow color throughout. Something interesting – this tea looked different in my white porcelain cup. It had a grey tint to it – sort of around the edges of the cup – something I couldn’t see in my glass pitcher as the light was just passing right though, with no background to view the color against. When I got near the bottom of the cup, there was a very very fine grey sediment sitting in the last few drops. This must explain the grey hue I was getting around the edges of my full cup. Is this the anthocyanin pigment I’m seeing? Not sure. Perhaps this is where the purple tea name comes in along with the dry leaf being a charcoal like color. (I’d be interested to know if anyone else has seen this sediment too so please leave me a comment if so).
For me, the mouthfeel was quite light. I would have preferred it to be a little heavier in my mouth. But, to be fair, I might be missing body and some of the other subtle flavors because I was a little shy on my leaf. No particular reason other than it’s early Sunday morning and I’m a little fuzzy. (I’ll adjust my leaf and my rating after my next session.) Overall, I quite enjoyed this tea which to me, was unique.
Flavors: Cranberry, Dried Fruit, Dry Grass, Raisins, Smoke, Tart, Vegetal