Purple Raw Puer
Purple sheng tea is a lightly fermented (green) puer variety that has special flavor, aroma, appearance and chemical composition. The raw material is picked from rare tea trees with purplish leaf edges and buds. Some producers state that white buds have very special properties; others claim that purple buds are the best. The truth is that both white and purple buds are appreciated for the very unique taste, natural rich microelement composition and rarity. Leaf tea is also highly valued though rather more for it's taste and aroma. The oldest known tea treatise "Cha Jing" 茶經 by famed poet and scholar Lu Yu places purplish or brownish-red tea material above green in respective quality. Modern science supports these VIII century claims finding high quantities of anthocyanins (an important flavonoid subclass famed especially for their antioxidant properties) contained in purple-coloured camelia sinensis mostly originating in the south-west of China, specifically - Yunnan province.
Purple sheng is made according the raw puer production technology. 紫娟, Purple Charm, Zi Ya紫芽, Purple Tips or Zi Cha紫茶 Purple Tea. Shu (black) puerh is not produced from purple buds, though some farmers make purple tea according the red tea Dian Hong production technology. The result is exclusive and surprising. Pressed purple-leaf shu can sometimes be encountered.Purple tea is sold loose or pressed as Zi Jiuan
As any tea, purple tea can highly differ in quality, depending on the type of tree, soil quality, and the production process. At times purple puerh may be high-priced due to the tea's rareness and colleclible value rather than the actual quality.
A genuinely superior purple tea has a mild, rich and sweet fruity compote taste with little or no bitterness or astringency.