Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Tea Review Tuesday - A Review of Tao Tea Leaf's Purple Pu-er Tea

I love trying new types of pu'erh, as it happens to be one of my favorite varieties of tea. So, when I came across this "purple pu'erh" from Tao Tea Leaf, I was immediately intrigued. The dry leaves are an intriguing color, and, despite this being a sheng (raw) pu'erh, the aroma is a bit spicy and a bit smoky - not what I would have expected. Yet, with "purple" in the name, all expectations could be off.

Boiling water, I add some leaves to my gaiwan, then rinse the leaves briefly, when the water has boiled. A thirty-second steep yields the first cup, which carries a raw, slightly-vegetal smell that is reminiscent of a sheng pu'erh without holding the same straightforward aspect. The aroma of the purple pu'erh carries some wood notes, though not forest-y, some spices that remind me of nutmeg, and a very subdued scent that seems to be very multi-faceted.

Flavor-wise, I first notice that, despite the complex aromas, this still tastes as a sheng pu'erh at its heart. However, I find those sheng flavors supplemented by some natural spiciness, which adds a very pleasant aspect. The wood notes contribute to the taste of the tea, too. Their touch reminds me of the wood flavors that are embodied by wines, aged in wooden barrels. Several more steeps allow me to experience the gradual deepening of all the flavors, as the leaves unfurl.

Though I do not usually prefer sheng pu'erh, Tao Tea Leaf's Purple Pu-er Tea brings a unique tea experience for the drinker. Calling it "something different" is an unfair understatement in regard to this tea, as the complexity of the blend allows for a contemplative cup and a pleasant tea session. On my personal enjoyment scale, I would rate this tea an 93/100.

Photo credit to Built from Ink and Tea.
Tao Tea Leaf's Purple Pu-er Tea is available from their website, here.
This review was unsolicited and uncompensated.
Text is copyright 2014, Built from Ink and Tea.

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