REVIEW: Canton Tea Co – Haiwan Purple Bud Raw (2007)


Tea: Raw puerh purple tea from Menghai, Xishuangbanna, China (produced in 2007)
Purchased at: Canton Tea Co website

This tea has been on my tea wishlist for months (yes, tea nerds have wishlists). I regularly drooled over it on Canton’s website and probably inflated their web traffic numbers, but it wasn’t until fellow blogger @CardiffTeaCup mentioned how great it was that I had to put in an order. Once precious, I mean the cake, arrived, I needed a few days to admire it and take in its sweet, woody aroma. From first taste, I knew I definitely would not regret my purchase, and I’ve already thought I might need to order another cake for ageing (if I can wait to break it open).

Dry leaf:

– The cake has a pronounced aroma that is sweet and woody

– While the dry leaf doesn’t look much different from a cooked puerh, the infused tea leaves have a slight green tinge to them

Infused tea:

– The infused tea is a rich, golden liquor

– With both the aroma of the liquor and the flavour of the tea, I pick up cider, woody notes that are rounded out with a subtle sweetness

– It is a medium-bodied liquor that is not overly astringent (after four or five infusions, I found the astringency a bit stronger, but this levels off with infusions after that)


– Infuse this tea gong fu style tea with 95C water. My gaiwan and Yixing teapot cupped out a beautiful liquor and countless infusions. I think you can get at least eight infusions

– Puerh lovers won’t be disappointed with this tea. This is the first time I’ve tried a purple tea, and I think it cupped out a unique liquor that is rich and satisfying. What is really nice about this tea is that its medium body falls between the bold flavour of cooked puerhs but provides a slightly heartier cup than many raw puerhs. My selfish side wants to say that you shouldn’t buy this tea so I can hoard it all, but I reluctantly have to highly recommend it



Retail price: 357 gram cake for £20.00



Wrapped cake

Wrapped cake


About teaxplorer

I grew up in the Midwest of the US and was introduced to tea at a very young age - unsweetened iced tea, that is! It was not until my early 20s, when I was seeking a lighter alternative to coffee, that I took tea drinking to a new level. I still remember my mother suggesting that I try putting milk in a cup of black tea (something that actually sounded a bit repulsive at the time, but I gave it a go). I quickly became tired of supermarket tea and started ordering teas from shops and companies all over the US. Throughout my 20s and now into my early 30s, pursuits in higher education studies, work opportunities and marriage have given me opportunities to live in the UK, Canada and Germany and travel around the world, which has sparked an even greater interest in tea and the culture of tea. This blog is my outlet to discuss my love of tea and show off some of my photos. All images and opinions on this blog are my own, unless stated otherwise. I retain copyright on all photographs, but please do not hesitate to contact me at if you wish to reproduce any of my images. Likewise, if you would like me to review and photograph any teas for you, please get in touch. I would be happy to hear from you. Thank you for stopping by my blog, and I hope you return many times! Happy drinking! Drew B (@teaxplorer)
Image | This entry was posted in Canton Tea Co, Purple tea, Raw Puerh (Sheng) and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to REVIEW: Canton Tea Co – Haiwan Purple Bud Raw (2007)

  1. The slightly heartier flavour compared with other raw puerhs is one reason I really like this tea. I think I need another for ageing too!

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