I’ve had some amazing sessions with various teas from Vin-Satori so I went through the samples they sent me with a recent order. The 2014 Wang Bing Zi Juan Purple sheng puerh is the one I picked for today’s session.
2014 Wang Bing Zi Juan Purple
This is a sheng puerh tea from 2014, but it is a purple leaf variety. Purple tea is not a separate kind of tea, but it’s just a mutation of the leaves. Purple leaves can be processed in different ways to produce different kinds of tea. You can also have purple hong cha, for example.
The 2014 Wang Bing Zi Juan Purple comes from Yiwu and was produced by Wang Bing. The leaves that were used for this tea are purple leaves, as mentioned above. In 2006, new purple tea plants were planted in this particular area and those are the leaves that were used for this tea. This makes the tea trees very young, so I’m excited to taste how this will impact the flavour and experience.
- 6.1g for 140ml Wuhuini LQER Julunzhu teapot
- Water 99°C
A fairly dark colour for leaves of this age. The leaves are twisted and I also see some stems and buds. Some of the leaves and buds have a purple hue, although barely noticeable. It’s a lot more visible after several infusions. The aroma is really interesting. I’m getting old leather and very old wood like you would find in old churches. Once the leaves get wet, they have a refreshing edge with a fruity twist.
Infusion 1 (15 sec): the colour of the liquor is a faded copper and I haven’t really seen this colour on tea before. It tastes completely different from what I expected based on the aroma. It starts out slightly fruity, but it has something else as well that mutes this fruitiness a bit. The finish and aftertaste feel good and stay around for a very long time. It’s a sugarcane sweetness that just sticks around. This is a complex infusion and I’m curious to see how this one develops.
Infusion 2 (20 sec): the liquor looks more or less the same. It feels fruity and summery, but not in a direct way like the 2009 Hou You 9026. This one also has a touch of citrus and lime to it. It feels warming and refreshing at the same time. I think I can taste the environment this tea comes from; so pure! The aftertaste is long-lasting again.
Infusion 3 (25 sec): it tastes unlike other sheng puerh of the same age. It’s similar to the previous infusion but still really different. It’s fruity but it’s becoming a bit floral as well and there is also incense popping up. The aftertaste is fruity with an undertone of incense.
Infusion 4 (30 sec): it’s a bit less fruity and there is some hay coming through from the middle onwards. It’s good, but less intense.
Infusion 5 (45 sec): I feel I needed to push the leaves a bit so I did a longer infusion. It’s more intense again but not as fruity. I’m getting more of the hay notes from the middle onwards and it’s a bit astringent at the end. No real aftertaste.
Infusion 6 (long): this is a long one because the leaves were fading a bit. It feels fruity, but hay is also peeking through. This is the final infusion because the leaves gave everything they had.
The early infusions were really good and mysterious. I got a fruitiness during the infusions and the aftertaste was intense and long-lasting.
Unfortunately, this one didn’t go the distance. This is probably due to the (lack of) age of the tea trees, which were only planted in 2006. Still, the flavours in the early infusions were nice.
If you’re interested in this tea, click here.