Purple spots on green tea?

Made from leaves that have not been oxidized.


Jan 19th, '12, 22:16
Posts: 20
Joined: Nov 13th, '09, 17:07

Purple spots on green tea?

by Shihali » Jan 19th, '12, 22:16

A few weeks ago, I bought a can of Red Mansion brand "Dragonwell" from my local Chinese market. ("Dragonwell" in quotes because, at US$9/210g retail, I'm not sure that tea has ever been in Zhejiang Province.) It smells pleasant enough, but when brewing it today I saw a leaf with distinct purple patches and some dark spots. The tea is otherwise poorly prepared (I think), with plenty of stems and broken leaves, so I wouldn't be surprised if the leaf itself was diseased or insect-attacked. However, is it safe to drink? (Sorry the picture is a little fuzzy; it's at the limit of my smartphone camera's magnification.)

Image

Jan 22nd, '12, 20:43
Posts: 124
Joined: Jun 30th, '09, 18:15

Re: Purple spots on green tea?

by verus » Jan 22nd, '12, 20:43

I think that's fine. Darker spots on a Dragonwell isn't necessarily a sign of bad quality, i think it results from the roasting process.

Jan 22nd, '12, 21:24
Posts: 37
Joined: Jan 16th, '12, 17:34

Re: Purple spots on green tea?

by intelligen_tea_a » Jan 22nd, '12, 21:24

verus wrote:I think that's fine. Darker spots on a Dragonwell isn't necessarily a sign of bad quality, i think it results from the roasting process.
I agree. To me, it looks like this leaf got stuck on the bottom of the firing pan for a little too long. Then again, I could be wrong.

Jan 29th, '12, 02:15
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Joined: Nov 13th, '09, 17:07

Re: Purple spots on green tea?

by Shihali » Jan 29th, '12, 02:15

Thank you. I hadn't seen that before and have no idea what to expect in grocery store tea. (I know everyone says to buy better tea, but on a student budget better tea means a lot less real tea and a lot more "white tea".)

Jan 29th, '12, 12:22
Posts: 276
Joined: Jul 23rd, '09, 07:54

Re: Purple spots on green tea?

by beecrofter » Jan 29th, '12, 12:22

Purple is more or less a color present in all leaves naturally.
To make it visible all you need to do is supress the production of chlorophyll.
Exposure to cool temperatures favor the other plant pigments while suppressing chlorophyll.
This is why you see fall colors in leaves.
One can also select for plants that exhibit this characteristic at warmer temperatures through careful breeding.

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Jan 30th, '12, 07:03
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Location: Yixing

Re: Purple spots on green tea?

by chrl42 » Jan 30th, '12, 07:03

There are 2 reasons to be considered I think.

First is it's pan-fried to over temperature, scorching or something

Second is it's natural from gene or over-exposure to sunshine. Like Guzhu Zisun or Puerh Ziyacha

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