Wuliangshan - getting acquainted

Recently I have stumbled over quite a variety of leaves from Wuliangshan. Over the last few years there have been a few sessions with Sheng Puer from that mountain range and recently I have been lucky at work: our tea tasters have established a relationship to a producer on Wuliangshan who is supplying us with fine green teas and Dian Hong. Though our company will not dive into the Puer craze anytime soon (yes, Puercha is purely recreational for me), that terrific supplier sent some samples of Maocha to us. Guess who finished off those samples...

Yet still it is hard for me to understand that-typical-wuliang-character (if any such thing can be defined). Some teas I could have mistaken for Jingmai products, others resembled Ailaoshan teas. Strange enough- Wuliangshan's western neighbour the Jinggu area always appeared to me to be absolutely unmistakeable.

If you are searching for something like a tea area's signature character, perhaps it might be a good idea to immerse yourself fully in that area. As I don't have the opportunity to go there in person, my Wuliangshan expedition will take place at my teatable here in boring old Germany. A variety of teas from Wuliang is on its way to me from Yunnan Sourcing, but before the grand scale comparison commences, I am easing into the topic by tasting samples given to me by tea friends.

Luke's Wuliangshan Tea

A few days back Luke and I spent an evening enjoying some teas. Luke unwrapped a sample of a Wuliang 2010 sheng which is unfortunately sold out at all the online shops we searched. Believe me, we searched THOROUGHLY as befits such a satisfying tea. Surprisingly dark for a 2010 harvest, the leaves had a warm, full and sweet fragrance. In the cup the tea performed marvellously: it had so much body, you might even call it chewy. The taste was a vast blend of sweet memories. Luke was reminded of fruit compote he had in his childhood and I found flavours of my favourite pipe tobacco back from my smoking days. There was also the slightly smoky and fruity sweetness of grilled bellpeppers - a trait I find in both Ailao and Wuliang teas. What a fantastic tea! Luke implored me to let him know if my Wuliang-expedition discovered something similar.

Well Luke, better brace yourself for some bad news: I found just what we are looking for.

Today I am having a little session with a sample of "Wuliang Wild Purple 2009" from Essence of Tea (thanks a million, Miig!)

Looking at the dark leaves I was instantly reminded of the above mentioned 2010 Wuliang. Was that tea a purple leaf variety too? Then sniffing the dry leaves I was nearly knocked out by a fruity sweetness interwoven in a full tobacco body. To make a long story short: this tea is at least as good as the one Luke and I shared. Add a healthy helping of muscat grape aroma to all my enthusiasm about the 2010 Wuliang and you will only be halfways to the pleasure I get from this tea.
seems the photograph's quality is reciprocal to the teas perormance - sorry!

Luke, it is time to brave the bad news: this tea, the Tea you have been looking for, is sold out, too. I will keep the second half of my sample so we can share it next month.

Note to myself: don't shy away from purple teas, though they are   ...  purple (yuck).


  1. Das hört sich vielversprechend an. Ich bin definitiv angefixt :)

  2. Ah its great to see that you liked the tea, t still is one of my favorites.

    I had ordered quite a bunch of samples from EoT almost a year ago, and when I, uncertain which one to drink, just randomly opened bags and sniffed the leaves, this one's intense smell really stood out. When I prepared it, a true coup de foudre struck me and I've been in love ever since :)

    P.S.: What a crazy idea to make hongcha out of these leaves - i wonder how you'll like these.