Mandala is a purple shou puerh! We aren’t sure how many such teas exist in the world, but it isn’t many. Purple-bud tea is a mutation caused by the pigment anthocyanin in the leaf, which is the same pigment that lends grapes and maple leaves their color. Typically, this pigment arises to protect the plant from high levels of UV, but it can also be passed on genetically. Most wild purple-bud tea in Yunnan is processed into red tea or sheng puerh. It is very rare to use it to make a shou tea, and frankly we weren’t sure how it was going to turn out. As you will taste, we think it was very successful.
Mandala is a very rare and experimental shou tea. The maocha was piled more deeply and longer than we typically do with our shou teas due to the nature of the leaf.
The reason most purple tea in Yunnan is processed as dian hong is that it is naturally sweet. This has worked out extraordinarily well for this shou tea. It is rich, creamy, thick with a very sweet aftertaste. The wild trees bring a depth and energy to this tea that makes it a very well-rounded shou.
Each cake is approximately 250 grams.