Purple Rain tea in honor of the Purple One; New teas coming soon!

Tribute Tea for Prince!

Rare Needle-Style purple tea renamed Purple Rain 

This purple tea is from one of the three unique purple cultivars. Called variously “Purple Tea”, “Purple Bud”, or “Zi Cha”, it is a naturally occurring mutation of Camellia Sinensis Assamica. It grows all over the Yunnan Province but accounts for less than 1% of the cultivated Assamica produced there. The purple (or russet in my translation of Lü Yu) color is a result of the tea plants producing anthocyanin to combat the humid summers and high levels of ultraviolet light at the higher elevations.

This Zi Cha is a delicious tea and is another example of the wide variety of black teas from Yunnan. I simple can’t get enough of purple tea.

Named in honor of Prince, who tragically passed away at 57. The rarity of this cultivar reflects the rarity of musicians like him. And, of course, there is the whole purple thing. Have a sip and reflect on the artistry of the tea and the musician. Better yet, listen to some Purple Rain or 1999 or whatever Prince musical incarnation suits your fancy while sipping this tea.

So far 2016 has not been kind to my favorite musicians, having lost Bowie earlier in the year (hence the Golden Years Yunnan Black Tea I carry).


  • Origin: Mangjing Village, Jing Mai Mtn., Lancang county, Simao, Yunnan
  • Grower/Teamaster: Mangjing Village Coop
  • Elevation: 1600-1700 meters
  • Harvest Date: Autumn 2015
  • Cultivar: Purple Varietal of Camellia Yunnan pu-erh tea, aka Zi Cha
  • Plucking Standard: 1 leaf 1 bud
  • Processing Notes:  Fresh purple leaves processed into a flat needle style
  • Nickname: Purple Needle, Zi Cha. The “Purple Rain” nickname is a tribute to Prince, who crossed over on 4/21/2016.
  • History/Pedigree: Lü Yu, in his “Classic of Tea” says “Tea that grows wild is superior; garden tea takes second place. Whether grown on sunny slopes or in shady groves, the best leaves are russet.”

New Teas coming soon!

The Leaves of Cha Tea Chest is expanding 

As I restock the teas already in the LoC Tea Chest, I am constantly sampling new teas and looking for others that fit into my philosophy of carefully curated teas made with love and care by people. Look for new announcements coming soon, including exciting new black, green (matcha, yes!!!), and white teas.