Leaf Type: Pu-erh (Purple)
Where to Buy: Butiki Teas
Our Wild Purple Buds Puerh originates from Yunnan, China on the border of China and Burma. This tea was harvested from wild ancient trees at an altitude of 6,000 feet by the Wa tribal people in 2011. Our puerh falls in the Sheng (raw) category of puerh and is in loose leaf-form. The buds of this tea are purple, green, and yellow. Purple buds indicate a higher level of anthocyanin (a flavoniod). This flavonoid usually causes bitterness but does not in this case as this is a smooth puerh. Our puerh has light smoked oak notes with honey and floral notes and has a juicy mouthfeel. This rare tea is of limited supply.
Learn more about this tea here.
I guess I should have read the steeping parameters for this one before I brewed it! haha! The recommended steep time is just 3 seconds! I steeped it for 45 seconds in my gaiwan after rinsing. After that time, the infusion as so light in color, it looked like a white tea! It certainly did not look like Pu-erh. I was worried I did something wrong, or maybe that 45 seconds was not long enough … and then I learn that I should have only steeped for 3 seconds.
After 45 seconds, the flavor is intense. It is rich, earthy, and a little sharp from the smoky tones, but not at all bitter. It has a lovely honey-esque undertone to it as well as a mineral-y overtone. It has a lighter body than a typical Pu-erh, it doesn’t feel real “heavy” the way that Pu-erh can often feel, but at the same time, there is a whole lot of flavor to it.
For the second infusion, I decided to steep it a little less time … not 3 seconds, since I figured after steeping it for 45 seconds, 3 seconds would be weak. So I steeped it for 30 seconds this time, and the flavor is very much like the first cup, but I notice that the mineral notes are softer, and the honey notes are tapering to a more floral sweetness. It’s still earthy and oaken, and has a pleasant crispness to it. It is quite enjoyable.
I found the third, fourth and fifth infusions to be very similar to the first and second, but by the sixth infusion, the flavor was becoming even smoother. The flavor is still rich and was by no means becoming weaker, but by this sixth infusion the flavors seemed to have melded together seamlessly. The smoky note here is fantastic. So deliciously savory, and a delightful contrast to the sweet tones of this cup. I notice less of the mineral notes now, and an almost bean-like vegetal note has emerged that marries with the smoky notes so delectably.
This tea is still going strong! As the day was coming to a close, I decided to put the leaves aside for the next day. Well, the next day is here now, and I’ve been steeping this tea! This is now my eighth infusion. The seventh infusion was delightful, reminding me of the flavors that I enjoyed last night: slightly mineral, sweet, floral, honey, vegetal, earth, and oak. This infusion is similar. Each infusion becomes smoother, and … I don’t want to say that the flavor gets “softer” as in weaker… but softer as in silkier, smoother, and easier to sip.
I am astonished at the endurance of this tea. It just keeps on going. I still have not brought the steep time to over 1 minute, and I am now on my ninth infusion. The flavors are still there, and still very enjoyable. I have a feeling that this tea is going to go on for a while still, but, I think that by now, you – the reader – gets the point, which is to TRY THIS TEA!
Seriously: try this tea. If you love Puerh, you must try it… even if you don’t really care for Puerh, give this one a try, if for no other reason than to expand your horizons a bit. You might find that this Puerh is to your liking… as it is quite unlike any Puerh I’ve ever tried.