Unusual indeed is the 2010 "Purple Yiwu" from Yunnan Sourcing, which I cannot find available any more. My previous flings with purple-leaf pu'ercha include the charming 2005 Dehong "Purple Leaf" brick - although not from Yiwushan - which is remade most years by Yunnan Sourcing.
Back in the day, these few cakes used to be the core of the Yunnan Sourcing own-brand offerings, which have since expanded dramatically. Just visiting the web-site, I now realise that I did not try any of the YS 2012 cakes, and there are zillions of them.
The large, well-compressed chunk of leaves has the low, sweet aroma of excellent tobacco. The maocha is also noticeably purple, which, it has been said, occurs through direct exposure of the growing leaves to the bright Yunnan sunshine. It is a good deal more like ordinary Yiwushan tea than I expected, although the finishing sweetness is extreme, and more like that expected from purple leaves. The difficulty with such things is the aging potential, but they are delicious for immediate consumption.
Thanks to JT of the T blog for the sample. Hurry up and move to Oxford, man!
This cake, a "2010 Yiwu Old Tree", was made by the mentor of the gentleman behind the "Longfeng" Czech tea business, and was kindly provided by TA.
The scent of the dry leaves is entirely dazzling, which is quite a surprise. The soup is a clean yellow-orange and has a similar clean sweetness in the mouth. It is cooling and eternally sweet in the mouth, and I begin to wonder who the anonymous mentor in question might be.
A pleasant sharpness arrives at the end, just to keep things interesting.
Xiaohu helps me brew, and puts the leaves into the pot after "cleaning" it with each of my chadao utensils in turn.
My mother, who is visiting, asks why I have so much tea.
"I need a lot of tea because I intend to drink it with my two sons."
"You'll need a lot more sons to drink all of that tea!" comes the reply...
This Yiwu must surely be gushu as claimed, given its strength, purity, solidity, and penetrating qualities. It is more in every sense. It remains undiminished as the infusions pass, and there is no sign of roughness.
Heaven knows what or where this tea is available, if it is, but I loved it.