Purple Tea - Spring 2018
Purple Tea is a special Yunnan tea. There exist three unique varieties, all different cultivars. The original Purple tea is called "Wild Purple" or "Ye Sheng" Purple tea. The varietal is referred to as Assamica Dehongensis. Ye Sheng tea is very bitter when young but ages quickly and develops great complexity with age. It was originally processed into mao cha and sold as a kind of Raw Pu-erh tea, but more recently has been processed into Black tea with incredible results! The second kind of purple tea is often called "Zi Cha" 紫茶 or 紫芽 (Purple tea or Purple Bud). Zi Cha is a naturally occurring mutated version of Assamica. It grows all over Yunnan and accounts for less than 1% of cultivated Assamica in Yunnan. The third kind of purple tea is called "Zi Juan". Zi Juan (aka Purple Beauty) is a man-made cultivar developed by Yunnan Xishuangbanna Tea Research Station in the late 1990's. Fujianese purple leaf cuttings from Wu Yi area were hybridized with local Yunnan Assamica plants to product this unique tea.