Esmeralda (小葉紫茶, Xiǎo Yè Zǐ Chá, "Small-leaf Purple Tea") is a feral purple tea that grows freely in Mabian on the same land that produces our Huáng Yá and River Red. Unlike the Zǐ Juān “Purple Grace” varietal of purple tea more familiar to Pu'er drinkers, this naturally-occurring purple tea is from the small leaf breed of tea plant as opposed to the large leaf varietal that Pu'er is made from. This sweet green tea has a pleasant, soft berry sweetness and round mouthfeel characterized by a toasted brown rice element, a fragrance of buckwheat and gardenia and a mellow but clarifying Qi.
The first infusion was quite mild without a ton of flavor. When trying to brew hotter or longer to extract more flavor, it quickly becomes bitter. Love West China Tea but this one didn't quite hit the mark for me.