My good friend Peter gave me a wonderful parcel last week! It was my share of the tea shipment that we ordered about a month ago with another friend. There were two teas waiting for me this time, but I think I shall just go through the black tea tonight.
On the packet it says... Wild Tree Purple Varietal Black Tea of Dehong, Spring 2012. Hmm.
|Forgive the terrible photography. I lack fancy equipment.|
Since it is a black tea, the leaves are quite dark and oxidised. The leaves are nice and whole, which is the standard for good loose-leaf teas. You really don't want all of the goodness to just disappear into the first brew due to the increased leeching rate from the higher surface area in lower grades of leaves. This is why I really don't like teabags, especially with black teas, as they go foul in a matter of seconds. But digression aside, there is nothing remarkable about the leaves.
Now I am never going to be able to remember the names of these teas very well, as the names on the bags are way too complicated. So therefore I've developed a weird habit of naming my teas informally based on the most notable impression/scent that I get from it. In this case, it will henceforth be known as that "Date" tea or Purple tea because out of the wondrous rush of scents, sweet dates are the most prominent note that can be detected.
Other notes include cola, a very slight hint of cinnamon and honey. There's also an earthiness and a slight tinge of medicine reminiscent of the far stronger pu'erh tea.
|It produces such a lovely brown liquor, does it not? :)|
On the tasting side, I can detect the ever-present dates, along with a very slight hint of liquorice in the aftertaste. But other than that it's just a general sweet warmth, quite like the Ruaysui.
Now the Purple Varietal of Dehong is much weaker than the Hong Mao Feng, in terms of intensity. Now that isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it made for an initially underwhelming experience because I started off my black tea adventures with HMF and Ruaysui Sky Crane... I did not expect such a low-key entry. Both were quite strong, with the former being as strong as coffee, like a savoury malt chocolate.
This stark contrast was made all the more obvious by the fact that the dry Purple leaves have such a strong smell coming right out of the packet, quite like the HMF. However if you pay some attention to it, there are so many delightful aromas and flavours to be found. It's definitely one of the more floral and sweet black teas out there, and I am quite pleased to have found this one.