Purple Tea- Purple Chaa

*Get 25% using the code HUMMING25 until November 17th*


Seller: Purple Chaa

Description:

Our purple tea is hand picked from the picturesque tea estates from Nandi Hills highlands, of the majestic Rift Valley in the beautiful East African country of Kenya. The hand rolled tea you receive goes through a different process than that of the traditional tea you get in a tea bag. Once the leaves are plucked they are spread into a thin layer to reduce the moisture content in the leaf.  Each leaf and bud is then gently hand rolled. You’ll enjoy its unique and natural purple hue, but the health benefits you’ll experience will surpass its’ visual appeal. This antioxidant rich tea fights against free radicals to reduce your risk of chronic diseases, while also helping you lose unwanted pounds and inches and naturally boosting your energy level. With a delicious taste reminiscent of raspberry you’ll love making drinking a mug of purple tea part of your daily routine.

Origin: Nandi Hills highlands, Kenya

Price: $18.99 per 100g ($0.1899 per gram)

Rating:

Purple Tea


Purple tea is a fairly new tea varietal, first discovered in India and then taken to the Tea Research Foundation of Kenya. While purple tea can be produced in other places, it is most prominent in Kenya.

It is called purple tea because the tea plant flushes purple. From the information provided in the tea package, I learned that it contains more antioxidants than green and black tea. Antixdants help prevent diseases like cancer, cardiovascular diseases and more. Hence, if you are drinking tea for its health benefits, this is something you might want to try.

The Tea


Packaging

When Jigar from Purple Chaa contacted me through Instagram about a collaboration with him, I was extremely excited. I am fairly new to purple teas and I couldn’t wait to try this tea. I had no expectations going in but I got so much in return! Shipping was super fast and the packaging was exceptional. The box came with 100g of purple tea and a pamphlet with more information of this tea.

Jigar was ALSO extremely kind and has created a 25% discount offer for my readers using the code HUMMING25 until November 17th on any orders. Currently, their offerings include a premium loose leaf tea version, a broken leaf tea version, and finally a fannings option- all great for starting out on your purple tea adventure.

The Leaves

Dry Leaves: The leaves were dark grey,purple and rolled. The picking seems consistent, and most of the leaves have a similar shape.

Wet Leaves: The leaves expanded quite a bit. When unrolled, they are a gorgeous green with purple hues.

The Brewing Method

I decided that since I’m not experienced in making purple tea, I would try several ways of brewing this tea before I reviewed it.

The brewing methods I tried are:

  • Gongfu Style (3g, 100-150ml, boiling water, 30secs +10secs)
  • Western style (1 teaspoon, 8 oz, boiling water, 1-3mins)
  • Coldbrew (10g, 1 liter, 24 hours)
  • Recipe (25g, 16oz, boiling water, 8 mins)
Gongfu Style

This was the first brewing method I tried, as gongfu style allows me to control more variables such as leaf to water ratio, and time. I got around 5-6 infusions from this tea but I could have probably done one more infusion without compromising the taste.

The true taste of this tea came through in the 2nd infusion. It has some sweetness as soon as you try it, which develops into a refreshing aftertaste. The sweetness is better classified as floral- jasmine, lilies, like walking into a flower shop. There is a very slight astringency in the mouth but it’s very subtle, and keeps the tea interesting. The tea is consistent throughout the infusions and is perfect for mindless drinking.

Western Style
Western Style

This was by far my favorite brewing method. As I found out when I brewed this gongfu style, I appreciate the tea’s quality for mindless drinking, which I find works great with Western style. The taste was also slightly different; it was sweeter- like lime and raspberry. This was very different than the floral notes I originally perceived when drinking gonfu. It was so pleasant and it never got bitter, which was amazing. I got around 3-4 infusions and while the taste did become weaker by the end, it was still pleasant to drink. I honestly loved this brewing method and I can’t wait to try more this way.

Coldbrew
Purple coldbrew

I had heard many people do coldbrew for their purple teas and I decided to give it a try. I used around 10 grams of tea for and left it in the fridge for a little bit over 24 hours. As you can see from the picture, the color was very light! The taste was good and refreshing and reminded me of cucumbers and kale. However, I was a bit disappointed by the lack of the other flavors that I first perceived, such as lime and raspberry. If I were to cold brew again, I would use my leftover leaves after a few infusions rather than unused leaves.

Recipe

Jigar also invited me to try this tea with spices added, using a higher amount of leaves. I used 25 grams of leaves and 16oz of water. I left it brewing for 8 minutes and the color was so beautiful! It’s crazy how purple it can get- I could not stop admiring it. I added some ice and added an entire squeezed lime and got sipping. The tea, as can be expected, was extremely bitter and had to be watered down. The lime definitely helped but I do think it took some of the taste of the pure purple tea away. I personally never add spices or sweeteners to my tea, and the whole experience felt odd. I also think the tea on itself is so good and adding sweeteners takes away some of the experience. However, if you are someone who enjoys spices and sweeteners in your tea, definitely play around with this tea! You will get awesome results and a pretty cool looking tea! (Halloween tea anyone?)

My Thoughts


All in all, I am overly pleased by this tea and I already know I will be drinking it on a regular basis! If you are new to purple tea, this is an excellent way to start exploring this type of tea. Its affordability and their convenient 100g packages will allow you to experiment until you find your favorite brewing method.

Dong Ding Tea Taste- Bowl and Spoon


Yesterday, I watched a super fun Instagram live with Rie and Steven from TeaCurious. Every week, they do these Instagram lives talking and experimenting with tea. The title of this week was, “How to Test Tea Samples.” I won’t give you too many spoilers, but you should definitely go check it out. I was so interested in the way they test out their teas however, as they use bowls and spoons! Rie gave awesome tips on how to look for the quality of the tea, and how this method would be pretty helpful for side-by-side tea comparisons.

I decided to try this method today and test out two dong ding oolongs. I acquired these samples recently, and I knew that one was a much better quality than the other sample. However, I had never done a side-by-side comparison and this was the perfect way to test it.

First, some information of both teas:

#1#2
OriginAlishan, TaiwanTaiwan
PickedSpring 2020?
CultivarChin Xin?
Roasted?Yes?
Price$0.56/g$0.19/g

In order for the test to be fair, I followed Rie’s advice on how to make a fair comparison. My control group was:

  1. I used 2.5g of leaves
  2. I used the same bowls and spoon
  3. I used boiling water
  4. I poured in the same manner

Findings


Leaves

Tea #1: The leaves were not exactly heavier than they looked, but I felt they were just right in how they should feel. The leaves were tightly rolled and very dark. I tried looking for oily leaves and some of them did have some shine to them.

When I poured the water, the leaves slowly unfurled, and it took the leaves several minutes until the leaves were fully open. The leaves were long and full, and there was minimal tea dust in the bowl.


Tea #2: As you can see by the pictures, it appear that there is much more of this tea than tea #1. This is because the tea was much lighter. It didn’t weight anything at all! The rolled leaves were very dry and different shapes as well. You could easily tell that the tea picking was very uneven. The color of the leaves were greener and lighter in color, making me think this could be an unroasted dong ding.

Left: tea #1 Right: tea #2

I think what surprised me the most was when I poured the water on these leaves. They unfurled SO QUICKLY. They were completely open in less than 15 seconds. The leaves were fairly broken and there was a lot of tea dust in the bowl.

Taste

Tea #1: Sweet and fruity. Since the leaves were slower to unfurl, it took this tea a bit longer for the taste to develop. It was very smooth and there was no astringency at all. It slightly numbed my tongue and left a creamy, stone fruit aftertaste in my mouth. The liquor was a warm yellow verging on orange.


Left: tea #1 Right: tea #2

Tea #2: The taste was immediate and strong. Similar to #1, the tea numbed my tongue. It was fresher, making me think this might not be roasted. It reminded me slightly of stone fruits as well, but the taste faded away pretty quickly. At first, there was no astringency, but with time, I started to feel it all over my mouth. It wasn’t so strong that it overpowered the tea but it was very present. The biggest BUT of this tea was the aftertaste. Unlike tea #1, there was a metallic and fishy aftertaste that was quite unpleasant.

Overall Thoughts


I am so happy I tried this out! The differences between these teas were so outstanding to me, and I don’t think I would have ever been able to see the differences if I had brewed these samples in any other way. I loved seeing the leaves unfurl. I am used to seeing the life of the tea by taste, but never by eyesight and it was awesome to see. I also really enjoyed seeing how different teas can be. I always knew that tea #1 was better quality, but I only based this on taste. This was an awesome way to see the full picture. I also learned a lot about tea quality. Thanks to Rie, I learned about feeling the weight of the tea, seeing the oiliness of the leaves, and seeing if the tea became bitter to test for quality. I would honestly recommend this tea practice to anyone, it’s not only easy to do, but it teaches you a lot!!

2012 Shang Chun- Yunnan Sourcing


Wet Leaves

Seller: Yunnan Sourcing

Description:

Shang Chun “赏春” means “Springtime Reward”. We tirelessly blended a variety of different wild arbor and ancient arbor mao cha to create this recipe tea cake.  This is the 2nd year we have produced Shang Chun, and our blending method is basically the same. This year’s version is a bit stronger in taste than last year’s due to the unique character of 2012 spring teas.

Origin: Blend

Price: $7.50/ 25 grams

Overall Rating:

Brewing Method:

Gongfu: 3 grams/ 100ml. 20secs, +15 secs.


My Thoughts

Do you remember the first tea you tried that made you a tea lover? The first sip that made you turn twice and think, ‘Wow, this is WAY better than expected!’ I think this was the tea that made me feel this way about Sheng Puerh. In the past, I found Shengs to be too astringent or too strong for my taste, which is why I rarely bought these teas.

However, this Shang Chun was refreshing and very enjoyable. It was very light in the mouth, and the first sip always hit my palate with an explosion of floral, fresh notes. Overall, the taste was very consistent. It tasted like basil and sage, and gardenias. Even when I overbrewed it, it never got bitter. I did feel some astringency at the back of my mouth and at my sides but it was subtle.

My only complaint about this tea is that I got 5 infusions out of it. I prefer when I am able to brew my teas over and over again and the taste never dies out. By the 6th infusion, I left it brewing for 2 minutes and even then, the liquor was almost completely clear. It’s such an easy drinker that you just don’t want it to end.

Overall, this tea exceeded my expectations. It has definitely become one of my daily drinkers and I will miss it so much once it’s gone. 😦


Infusion Notes

Dry Leaves: Medium sized leaves. I could see up to two (maybe three) leaves.

Wet Leaves: Bright greens with hints of brown. Some twigs. Reminded me of a flower shop.

Body: Light to medium

1st infusion: I should have left it brewing longer. The taste was very weak but it was herbal. I could start to feel some astringency at the back of my throat.

2nd infusion: Explosion of flowers and herbs (sage) in my mouth that quickly fades away, leaving a slight astringency but with a really nice and pleasant aftertaste.

3rd-5th infusion: I started to feel some spice in my tongue, the kind that numbs and tingles your tongue. At this point, the taste begun to decrease gradually until it died completely by the beginning of the 6th infusion.

“Icon made by Vitaly Gorbachev from www.flaticon.com

Water Sprite Oolong- Tea Runners


Water Sprite Oolong- Tea Runner

Seller: Tea Runners

Description:

This special Shui Xian oolong comes from a family farm high up in the Wuyi Mountains of Southeast China. The 10-100 year old plants are fed from mountain spring water and grown in a deep gorge that provides protection from the elements.

Water Sprite oolong is spicy but slightly tinged with sweetness, balanced with strong earthy notes and the distinct taste of honey brought out by this family’s award-winning charcoal roasting process.

Origin: Wuyi Mountains

Price: $19.95

Overall Rating: undefined


Tea Notes

The brew

This tea has beautiful chocolate mint notes that are accentuated by a charcoal roasted taste. I was impressed by the linger of the tea, as I could very clearly taste chocolate mint for an hour after my last sip. Throughout the infusions, the tea developed a spice that very nicely contrasted the mint taste. I could also taste the charcoal roast, which the packaging says that this family is famous for their process. It was a lovely taste!

The leaves were small, very dark, with hints of lighter browns. The liquor was strong, typical of what you would expect for a tea like this.

While I really enjoyed the tea and I would definitely purchase it again, I will say that the leaves were fairly broken, and there was a lot of tea dust at the bottom of my cup. Compared to other oolongs I have tried, I would have liked to seen a better picking. I would also note that the aroma was delicious, but the taste was even better!

Dry Leaves

All in all, I am very happy to have tried this tea and if you are looking for a good oolong tea, I would definitely recommend you try this tea.


Dry LeafMy Thoughts
AppearanceBroken leaves, irregular, black
Fragrancemint chocolate, sugary, sweet apple, spices
Wet LeafMy Thoughts
AppearanceLeaves did not open up fully, black
Fragrancefishy, aged white tea, moist, moldy, charcoal roasted
LiquorMy Thoughts
Appearancedark golden, bubbles on top
Flavorfizzy drink, roasted mint, dirty water, spicy, moldy
Texturelight but sticky
AftertasteVery clear and thin. Long chocolate mint aftertaste

“Icon made by Vitaly Gorbachev from www.flaticon.com

White Peony (Bai Mu Dan)- MeiLeaf


Seller: MeiLeaf

Description:

Mid-aged Fuding White Peony to drink now or continue to age. Marzipan, melon candy, icing sugar, cement and winter air. Includes instructions for ageing tea.

Origin: Fuding, Fujian, China

Price: $0.46/g

Overall Rating: undefined

Brewing method:

Gongfu style: 25 secs and 15+ seconds after each infusion


My Thoughts

I bought this tea from MeiLeaf as part of their white aged tea study. The purpose is to try to see the difference that storing the tea under three different conditions would affect the tea for a year. MeiLeaf provided detailed instructions and sachets on how to do this. Before storing the tea however, they recommended we take detailed tasting notes. I found this really hard to do, as I could not express into words all the tastes and smells I was experiencing. In all honesty, I had two or three sessions with it before I was able to put into words what I was tasting. Now that I feel comfortable with my notes, I will begin the study.

I found this tea very different from other white aged teas. The dry leaf smell is very sweet and floral, yet it transforms when the leaves got wet. At first, I found the smell offputting, as it was very strong. It reminded me of wet cement or even wet fur. However, throughout the infusions, this smell began to shift and it reminded me of blooming flowers in the spring.

As for the taste, it was as if I was tasting melons and cement at the same time. Towards the end of the infusions, this began to change and I was reminded of brown sugar and milk, even some icing. The texture was so smooth and creamy, very easy to drink. In the last few infusions, the taste was very sweet and enjoyable.

I find that whenver I drink aged white teas, my mood improves, and this was no exception. From the first few infusions, I started feeling more relaxed yet focused. It’s a very grounding and overall happy feeling.

All in all, I am quite pleased with this tea and I would definitely drink it again and again.


Menghai Puerh- New Mexico Tea Co.


Seller: New Mexico Tea Company

Description:

This organic tea is direct-sourced from one family and one farm. The family prepares tea in traditional manner by hand-picking, hand-processing, hand-firing and hand-rolling their tea; they are true masters of each step. This hand-crafted artisanal Pu’er has never seen machines or chemicals, allowing for a great product today or decades to come.

Origin: MengHai County, Yunnan Province, China

Price: $6.75/oz

Overall Rating: undefined

Brewing Method: Gongfu style


Thoughts

Taking that first sip of Menghai puerh teleported me somewhere that I cannot quite place, but it made me feel extremely happy, happier than any tea has made me in a while. I have no idea where I have tasted this tea before (I don’t typically drink Shou puerhs) but, as tea often does, it reinforced my love for it.

I primarily bought this tea because I read The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane a few years back and it became my favorite book. The main character in this novel picks up tea leaves in the Menghai region, and it made me curious as to how it tastes. I was joyously surprised.

The taste of this tea is hard to place. It reminded me of walking through a forest after it just rained, or being inside a Chinese tea house. The taste is everchanging throughout the infusions, with the petrichor taste fading away, and a sweeter, fruitier taste taking its place. A delicious, long lasting tea.


Infusions

  1. The liquor was rosy, light brown. The taste was hard to place at the beginning.
  2. The liquor became red, dark brown. There is a very nice aftertaste that is very light and thin.
  3. The liquor gets darker, the taste reminds me of petrichor, and gives me a heavy feeling in my body.
  4. The color has now changed to a dark orange color. There is very little tea dust, and it has an amazing aftertaste. I can now taste some sour notes and it’s sweeter.
  5. The taste reminds me of a Chinese tea house, I can also taste some fruit notes and some spice notes.
  6. The color is beginning to fade, but the color is still beautiful. The taste is sweeter but sour, there is some spice at the end, but the taste of rain and the feeling of being in a dark forest persists.
  7. Alcoholic notes? Rum maybe?
  8. Amazingly creamy and light

Tea Notes

Dry LeafMy Thoughts
Appearancematte brown, fluffy
FragranceSunblock and rain
Wet LeafMy Thoughts
Appearancedark, red brown, long and big leaves
FragranceForest and chocolates
LiquorMy Thoughts
AppearanceDark red, thin
FragranceWet forest
Flavourpetrichor, wet forest, oranges, spices, sour notes
TextureLight, refreshing, creamy

Welcome to Humming Tea

Photo by koko rahmadie on Pexels.com

Hello! Thank you for visiting Humming Tea! My name is Mildred Alvarez and I am a HUGE tea enthusiast. Through this blog, I hope to share my tea experiences and adventures with you. I am by no means an expert in tea, but if there are other tea aficionados, I hope this blog will encourage you to continue your tea adventure!

I will provide honest tea reviews, compare different brands and more, to help you find your perfect cup of tea. I will also share with you what I learn about tea and provide resources, so you can learn alongside me!

Thank you so much for stopping by and I hope you enjoy reading my tea adventures!

Mildred Alvarez 🙂