PROFILE: MUSHROOM, ASPARAGUS, FOREST FLOOR
ORIGIN: MUONG KHUONG, LAO CAI, VIETNAM
HARVEST: OCTOBER 2023
Purple Rain is a wild green tea with very bold and distinctive vegetal characteristics. Stand-out flavours are asparagus, mushrooms and aromas which are evocative of damp, subtropical forest. Purple Rain is sweet on the tongue but with a background bitterness that is expected in wild green teas. A feature of this tea is that many of the fresh leaves used to make it are purple in colour rather than green due to the presence of anthocyanin – the same pigment that colours fruits such as blueberries.
Purple Rain is produced entirely by H'Mong ethnic minority families. Leaves are harvested from trees that grow in a mixed environment in forested areas of Muong Khuong, Lao Cai province. Leaves are harvested during the morning by climbing trees that have grown particularly tall in this region while the tea is largely hand-made in a small workshop on the edge of the village.
Muong Khuong is a district of Lao Cai province located on the Vietnam - China border. The wild tea tree area where the leaves to make Purple Rain are harvested is situated at an altitude of 1500 metres. As well as tea, Muong Khuong is known for producing plums, pears, cardamons and various medicinal herbs.
This is, by far, my favorite tea in the world. Seriously. It's sort of a dry, grassy tea that has some similar notes to leafy greens... and while that might sound odd or gross in a tea, it's AMAZING.