Sunday, December 12, 2010

2006 Haiwan "Purple Leaf"

I cannot recall where I purchased this specific bing, as it was a while ago. Although I did happen upon the same tea being sold at Norbu Tea.

I will not go into the science of the meaning of purple leaves. Look it up on Google if so interested.

This tea is from the Haiwan factory in Xishuangbanna. This tea has many memories for me, as it was my first sheng pu'erh cake that I purchased. Learning how to brew this tea was trial and error for quite a while as I tried to find my bearings.

The dry leaf smells of tobacco, chocolate and some form of foliage. I cannot put my finger on what vegetal smell arises from the leaf.

The aroma of the liquor is exquisite. There are scents of roasted nuts, savory qualities and a sort of "well-seasoned" smell.

In the taste there is watercress up front.
When I let the liquor sit on the palate for a while, a brothy quality shows.
There is a distinct meaty, protein taste. The closest description I can conjure up is a thick slice of smoked bacon.
It is not a bad quality, just intriguing.
I have never tasted bacon in a tea.

When I think of tea, pork usually is not on my list of descriptors.

The endurance of the hog related qualities is unshakable. It lasts for quite some time!
Astringent, smoky notes appear in the latter infusions of this meaty tea.

It is a very warming tea, as I start sweating within the first few cups.

The more I drink the tea, the more I come to appreciate it and enjoy it.

Rummaging through the wet leaves, I spot a few surprises.
The above picture is of two infused tea buds. I have never found buds in a tea before.

Always search your leaves. Sometimes it tells you more about the tea than anything.



  1. Informative as always.

    Keep on the good work.

  2. Ice,

    As always, thank you for your constant support. It is appreciated!

  3. This looks like a tea I would really like to try. "hog related qualities"; I love your choice of language here. It looks bizarre and intriguing; and I tend to like sheng with tobacco-like and smoky qualities to the aroma.

  4. Alex,

    The only thing missing from the hog in this tea is the manure (thank goodness)!
    The tobacco qualities are quite distinct in this tea. It is a palate expander, but also a wonderful tea to sip after a meal!

  5. Looks interesting. I've never tried tea with tobacco aroma

  6. Teapster,

    It is actually something I like to look for in sheng pu'erhs.
    I think it is a quality that no other tea possesses, or at least out of the ones that I have run across.
    The tobacco notes actually balance the tea's bitterness (I fell) and help to bring out some of the fruity undertones sometimes found in a sheng pu.
    Thanks for dropping by!

  7. Hey! I remember this one. You sent a sample of this to me. Sadly, it has long since been consumed. It was a decent one, and one I'd like to experience again.

    Bacon? Wow. I never experienced THAT. :P


  8. Fox,

    This tea is quite good! I am glad you were able to sample it!
    Also, taste buds are fairly individual from person to person. Two people could taste the same tea and sense different attributes! It is all quite interesting!

  9. I just got a sample of this from Norbu - Thanks for the heads up! I will most likely be waiting sometime next year before I try it, as I am not too keen on it's youth.

    As for smoky teas, there are some strange breakfast blend Hong cha out there that absolutely reek of bacon. If I can remember where it is (and if you're interested) i'll point it out to you.

    23-14 hut,


  10. Mr. Cha,

    2006 is not too old! After another year I assume that the flavors will mellow quite a bit! I have a feeling this tea will get very sweet as it ages! I am looking forward to seeing the results!
    Bacon is a quality that is more of a novelty than a highly sought trait haha. But I would be interested in trying much more decent quality hong cha!