Zi Ya "Purple Bud"
Our Zi Ya "Purple Bud" is a unique and distinctive pu'erh raw from one of our favorite tea craftsmen, Mr. Tang in Jinggu Yunnan.
Zi ya (purple bud) is Yunnan Big Leaf varietal pu’erh trees that have significantly higher anthocyanin in the developing buds than other pu’erh trees. The development of these zi ya tea trees are closely linked to the environment - stronger sunlight and higher temperatures cause the tea leaves to have higher levels of anthocyanin.
The zi ya 紫芽（purple bud) tea trees were planted by Tang Wang 18 years ago in his tiny tea garden in Jinggu, Yunnan. The young leaves from these zi ya trees emerge purple, and then turn green as they mature. The leaves were predominantly used to make black tea in the past.
In 2016, Mr. Tang made a small experimental batch of pu’erh with the leaves from the zi ya trees. Hand picked one-bud-two-leaves are picked in the early spring and are allowed to wither naturally on bamboo mats outdoors under the gentle morning sun. The leaves are pan-fried by hand in charcoal-fired steel wok, and then rolled and air-dried naturally. The tea is crafted following the traditional 晒青 shai qing (sun wilted/dried) processing of pu’erh tea, where the tea leaves are dried naturally in the sun, instead of roasted or oven-dried.
After the mao cha 毛茶 has been made, it is aged for one month, and then steamed to be pressed into individual cakes. Finally, the tea cakes are dried naturally.
The cake is stunning - the leaves are full, plump and have a beautiful dark blue sheen. On the nose, it has distinct and unique floral notes when brewed. On the palate, it is a gentle, smooth pu’erh raw with clarity, depth and a slight smokiness.
A delightful pu’erh raw for the gentle mornings in the fall and winter.
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|Steep time||10 - 60 sec|
|No. of infusions||8