Purple Rain Vietnamese green tea from tea vendor Hatvala got its name due to the color of the young tea leaves. Special color appears because of the territory where bushes grow.
Name: Purple Rain Green Tea
Tea Vendor: Hatvala (Vietnam)
Type: Vietnamese green tea
Purple Rain Vietnamese green tea – description
Purple Rain Vietnamese green tea is a really interesting tea that comes from Lao Cai, Vietnam and is picked from wild tea bushes. Price is 3.24 USD for 50 grams. It grows on the altitude of 1600 meters. It’s interesting that the plant used is Camellia sinensis var. assamica, which is typical for Indian black teas. You can smell the difference immediately after opening the bag. This tea is hand-picked and hand-made, which is really astonishing compared to the price. From all this it’s more than evident that living conditions of Vietnamese farmers are not that easy. Hatvala is proud to state that the a fair share is given to the farmers.
Tea leaves are beautiful, washed out green-grey color, curled, full and fleshy, some are covered with white hair. You can feel their fullness, and it is obvious that they will unfurl into something beautiful. Scent is very intense, smokey, it makes you almost unable to inhale with full lungs, but in a good way. There is incredible sweetness present in the background. The leaves were smoked over longan tree, which explains this beautiful smokey scent. In the photos that Hatvala provided on their site, they do not look even as half as beautiful like when you see them with your own eyes. Maybe the best comparison would be the one with Chinese chun mee (zhen mei) tea, even they are totally different teas with very different profiles.
Suggested brewing: 3.5 grams of tea, 200 ml of water, temperature 85 degrees Celsius, 2-3 minutes steepings (2 minutes, 3 minutes, 4 minutes, 5 minutes). It really is surprising how a little quantity of tea can make such great results. I was skeptical a bit and I thought that it’s because this tea can produce a lot of bitterness if brewed the wrong way. But, I did end up positively surprised. Two minutes steeping will result in tea that is full, rounded and so warm that I am still surprised. Leaves an incredibly long sweet aftertaste which could compete to the best Taiwanese gao shan teas. There is not even a trace of bitterness in it. Hatvala’s description is 100% true, taste of mushrooms and green vegetables like asparagus and artichokes. Second steeping will result in a bit weaker taste, but with still very intense sweet aftertaste. Third and fourth steepings are quite similar to the second one. Even though the taste gets weaker, it reminds me more and more to those hard milk candies. It literary fills your mouth with the feeling you want this tea to be always close to you. Only one more cup, and again, and again…
Liquor color is intense yellow-orange pretty dark and little murky which I usually find unattractive. However, this really is an exception. So simple and so full. A bit of bitterness can be felt after the second steeping, but only if the leaves are left in the water too long.
Used tea leaves are still very beautiful, olive-green, full and plump, they look incredibly fresh. They are mostly whole with stems. Stems are so full that they look almost rubbery. Word branches would definitely be the wrong words to use here. I really think that the photos cannot fully represent the beauty of this tea.
Purple Rain Vietnamese green tea would be the ideal tea of choice for cold winter days. I still cannot believe that something so good costs so little. I almost always give preference to green teas that taste fresh and green, like high quality sencha or mild, green and fresh taste of Chinese long jing, mao jian and bi luo chun. But this tea really won me over. I think that the enthusiasm is impossible to describe – so many aromas, scent, visually attractive leaves, almost everything goes in favor of this tea.