Tao Tea Leaf’s Purple Pu-Er | Tea Review

by Tea in Spoons

Tea gifted

Since it is the end of the year, I have been reminiscing about the past. So, I was looking through the teas I have and I found a tea that was gifted to me that I hadn’t tried yet!

Description: “This medium bodied brew has a complex flavour, hints of chocolate, vanilla with the tartness of raspberries and a bit of white wine.”

Instructions: 3g /1½ teaspoons | 100°c (212°F)rinse tea leaves | first steep, 30-50 seconds | second step, 10 seconds with additional 5 seconds to following steeps. | steep 4 times

Review: This tea was given to me by Rita who I met through the Toronto Tea Festival many years ago! She gave it to me when I saw her earlier this year at the Toronto Tea Festival. I had been holding on to it for a cold day. Since this was a sample package of tea, I used 1.5 teaspoons as it allowed me to brew the tea twice. The tea was an 2009 aged raw pu-erh.

The long needle shaped inky dark blue, brown, and black leaves had a musky earthy fermented aroma. When warmed in a gaiwan, the leaves smelled of mushrooms, damp wood and smoked. After a 5 second rinse, the leaves had a reddish and greenish brown tinge and smelled of damp earth.

Infusion 1 (40 seconds): The recommendations suggested between 30 to 50 seconds, so I decided on 40 seconds. The liquor was a greenish brown colour with an earthy taste and some lingering astringency at the back of the throat.

Infusion 2 (10 seconds): During the second infusion, the liquor was a reddish brown colour. More flavours were developing with some mellow earthiness and mushroom notes followed by some dryness at the back of the throat.

Infusion 3 (15 seconds): The mushroom notes were replaced by nuttiness and an underlying earthy note. The sip ended bitter and the leaves had mostly unfurled.

Infusion 4 (20 seconds): The liquor had hints of floral notes with some faint earthy and ended off mineral.

Infusion 5 (25 seconds): Despite the recommendations noting the tea can be 4 steepings, I wanted to infuse the tea one more time. The liquor was a greenish-brown colour and the flavours were starting to fade.

Since this was a sample size, the second time I tried the tea, there was a bit more bitterness but that most likely was because of the additional dusting at the bottom of the pouch. Pu-erh is still a tea type I am developing a pallet for but this one had a surprising range of flavours! The flavours were mellow and not overly strong due to the ageing of the tea (3/5 rating).

  • Type: Pu-erh tea (raw/sheng)
  • Origin: Jingmai Tea Mountain, Puer City, Yunnan Province, China
  • Caffeine: Unknown
  • Ingredients: Zi Juan Pu-erh
  • Company: Tao Tea Lea

The question of the post: Do you like aged pu-erhs?

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TeaIsAWishBlog December 18, 2020 - 4:46 am

Sounds like such a treat!

teainspoons January 9, 2021 - 1:30 pm

It was a fun tea to try!


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Tea in Spoons is where I share my love of teas through tea reviews, tea travel, tea tips, information, and more. New tea adventure every Thursday!