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Pu'erh Tea
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  • ““Holy Pu-erh Batman!” The aroma was simply sublime. I started to salivate immediately after taking in such an intoxicating scent. It was what I would define as a “meaty” smell, broth-y, rich, and...” Read full tasting note

From JAS eTea

Purple-bud (紫芽) Pu-erh tea is from Wenshan village (文山) in Jinggu (景谷) county in Yunnan province, where the mountain altitude is over 2000 meters.

Purple-bud Pu-erh tea is made from the tender single bud of the wild, purple-bud Pu-erh tea trees maocha. This tea is called three-color tea; this means the fresh buds on the tea trees are purple, the dried tea is shiny dark, and the infused tea leaves are green for the first one or two years. The purple-bud Pu-erh tea tree is actually a rare tea tree variety in the Yunnan large-leaf tea trees and is famous for its high health benefits, high percentage of anthocyanidins, and amino acids, particularly tea polyphenols.

Currently, there is still no road that a car can navigate to this Wenshan village. The JK Tea team must walk about 3 hours to reach this remote village. The spring yield of purple-bud is tea is extremely low, around 100kgs, so the team must buy partial kilos from various farmers to collect enough fine tea for a reasonable final production. Given this, collecting the maocha from the farmers is quite an adventure. After gathering a sufficient quantity of purple-bud maocha, the tea is pressed using traditional stones of the appropriate weight; this is good for the future storage and quickens the process of aging compared to a cake that is tightly compressed by machine.

In the current Pu-erh tea market, there are many fake purple-bud Pu-erh teas. Many tea merchants use the Zijuan (紫娟) or Zicha (紫茶 purple tea) Maocha and market them as pure, purple-bud Pu-erh tea to increase their profit margins at the expense of the consumer. The difference between purple-bud, Zijuan and Zicha lies in the shape, fragrance, and taste. But the easiest way to tell the difference is by the particular tea leaf shape. Purple-bud tea has no tea hair and does not have a tea saw at both sides; the Zijuan and Zicha do not share these characteristics.

This tea is an outstanding candidate for long-term storage. If the tea is aged for about 5 years, it will already start to demonstrate an aged aroma, sweet and thick taste.

Tea tree: Purple bud big leaves Pu-erh tea trees from Wenshan village, Jinggu county, Yunnan province

Harvest time: 2011 spring

Picking standard: One bud

Fermentation: Raw

Shape: Tight, fat, plump.

Dried tea color: Shiny dark, bloom

Aroma: wild flowery, and honey fragrance

Tea soup color: shiny golden yellow

Taste: flowery and honey taste, strong throat feeling, smooth tea soup

Brewing vessel: Recommend a Gaiwan

Brewing guildline. Gaiwan: 8 grams per time (180ml Gaiwan); the first several infusion should be about 92-95C degree or 190F for about 10 seconds; then the later infusions should be about 15seconds. Note: pour the water around the edge of Gaiwan to avoid burning the tender tea buds; don’t pour the hot water on the tea leaves directly.

Do not use any strainer/filter to filter this tea; as it is clean enough. In addition, the use of a strainer will greatly decrease the denseness of the tea liquid.

Number of infusions. Gaiwan: at least 13 times

N.W: 250g/cake

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1 Tasting Note

431 tasting notes

“Holy Pu-erh Batman!” The aroma was simply sublime. I started to salivate immediately after taking in such an intoxicating scent. It was what I would define as a “meaty” smell, broth-y, rich, and that was just how it smelled. As for the infusions. I didn’t find it as strong in the steep. Of course I am confident with a little tweaking in the leaf content and water temperature I can get this beauty to sing. As for now and my initial reaction I will say the mineral like flavor was strongest. The second steep however was far more exciting. I was far more flavorful and broth-y. Still I want more and expect I will get it once I get this one figured to my liking.

Added Notes (Hubby): Very earthy. The smell of the dry leaf was like that of freshly cleaned lawn that is getting ready for bailing. The first steep was very light. However, the second steep was much more on the flavor with an obvious earthiness.

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