Wanja Tea of Kenya
Popular Teas from Wanja Tea of KenyaSee All 5 Teas
Recent Tasting Notes
Yum. Black tea in the morning >>> coffee.
This is my third rewrite. That’s all you get.
(PS. I want more of this one, wow.)
I’m finishing this one off today. This about a year old. I thought I had enough for a cup but it turned out really light. I added cocoa nibs and apparently too many. It kind of tastes like drinking a melted chocolate bar – not that there is anything wrong with that. Just not what I was hoping for. Leaving the rating alone but today this was more of a 60.
This first steep is actually amazing in my travel mug with sweetened condensed milk. Omg. Rich caramel deliciousness.
I can hardly wait to get home later for more steeps of this tea. It might be one I have to have in my cupboard.
Another Sipdown! (316)
So, I’m digging through trades, looking for nearly tea packets, & came across this one. This is from a long ago trade with Rachel, who I haven’t seen on here of late, but just in case you’re lurking, thanks Rachel!!
This is the only Purple tea I’ve had so far. I steeped 1 tsp in my 16 oz Teapot at 160F for 4 minutes. The resulting tea is pale, with a flavor that is hard to describe. Kind of tart & fruity, in a way like slightly under-ripe fruit, if that makes sense. There is nothing bold & gutsy about this tea, it’s more of a refined kind of thing, but it does give my tongue a shiny tingle on the tip & sides, & I’m feeling some good energy as well. Time to go water my herb garden & dwarf citrus, followed by all of my house plants. I also need to pick some veggies. Communing with the plants, yeah that sounds good to me. :)
I REALLY wish the Steepster Gurus would add PURPLE Teas as an option for Tea Bases as they are becoming more and more popular now! Right now we have it just listed under ‘teas’.
Some of the purple teas I tried at first were REALLY WOODSY tasting. This one is REALLY REALLY appealing! It has a good amount of wood flavor but it also has other flavors popping in and out, too! It’s more complex than the other purple teas I have tried. It’s semi-sweet, semi-vegetal, but creamy and woodsy, too! YUM!
The post-infusion color is neat! It’s a light-brown/grey/purple color combo! Very unique!
Having some of this due to an impending migraine and general lack of energy.
I’ve been sipping on it for a while, just took a mouthful and went, “OMG! Is that CHOCOLATE?!?!” So yeah, apparently there are chocolate notes in this tea.
2 tsp per 16 oz, with a little honey and soy creamer, as usual. Delicious plain, too, but I like stuff in my teas!
This is One Strong Tea.
Delicious, though. I added a little more honey than usual to bring out the floral notes, and also just because. A little soy creamer as well. It’s a little bitey on the tongue, but nothing really unexpected from a Strong Black Tea.
So good. Sadly I made a giant mug of it without thinking about resteeping, and now I have 3 teas waiting second infusions. Should be an interesting evening.
Edit: Ooh, I need to send some of this to my mom.
Also, another thanks to CrowKettle. Enough for me to share! Whee!!!
Sipdown! There was a week where all I drank was this tea. I’m not bored of it yet; the whole mobile flowers equipped with astringent razor blades impression never ceases to amaze me. I strive to keep an ounce of this around in my theoretical perfect tea collection.
I finished my sample of this tea from Wanja Tea of Kenya today and thought it really deserved another note.
A friend stopped by this morning to pick up some tea and it so happened we both had time for a cuppa or two. I knew she was coming so youngest and I had started school extra early this morning so that I would be free.
I asked her if she had ever had a Ceylon Orange Pekoe, and she said she wasn’t sure, unless it was just the Lipton she had drunk as a child. But she was game to try! So we made two pots of tea – this one and Kenilworth Ceylon from Harney and Sons, one of my favorites.
As she lifted her cup, she exclaimed, “This smells so……RICH!” Exactly! It smells rich, and fat, and full, and thick. She was so proud of how far she has come in tea tasting, because she noticed a grain flavor. She searched for words….corn? Wheat? I said, “Malt?” And she said yes, malt was a good description!
She loved the Kenilworth Ceylon also, and it is a very good tea, but less full bodied and a little more lemony. Before she left, she had me email her a link to the website because she wants to order some, so I would have to say that it was a hit!
I received this sample for review from Wanja Tea a few days ago but saved it for tonight. Orange Pekoe is my hubby’s favorite tea, and since today is the 27th anniversary of the day we met I was making him one of his favorite dinners – pasta with home made garlic Alfredo sauce and vegetables, this time squash and zucchini. I melt a sprinkling of grated cheese on top as well.
The dry leaves are medium in size, dark, and twisty. The aroma of the dry leaf is a little sharp, like citrus, but when you steep the tea the aroma develops a beautiful round body that reminds me of golden raisins. As I drank this, I was reminded of my favorite Ceylon Orange Pekoe teas (I am not a fan of the minty or super lemony high grown ones) but with their citrus notes becoming a deeper tone (the golden raisins) and with the malty beauty of a nice Golden Monkey tea. There are other whispers of Fujian black teas in the cup as well.
This is full bodied, but not astringent. It feels…..thick! Very full and round. This was a very satisfying pot of tea and paired very nicely with the meal. The fruity aroma is very heady, and is haunting me even now, hours later. When my current stash of OP runs low, I would be happy to replace it with this!
Thank you, Wanja Tea!
Thank you to Wanja Tea for this lovely sample!
My friend Joe at Happy Lucky’s is the ‘tea guru’ who teaches classes on ‘Green Tea’, especially Japanese and Korean tea’s.
We were expecting snow a few days ago, so I made my last run to the store and took this tea by the tea house to share, knowing that around dinner time…the shop would be pretty empty.
Joe was a little surprised that I had a green tea from Kenya (his eyebrows went up!), but carefully read the instructions and followed them. (note: The tea was prepared in a Gaiwan, not in 8oz of water).
We both said, “OH!” and smiled when the top came off the Gaiwan and the scent began to waft up to our noses.
He poured the tea into a small pot, then placed the wet leaves in front of me so that I could smell the aroma.
The leaves smelled fruity and savory… like pear and buttered green beans (but not exactly).
Both of us were very surprised when we tasted the tea.
The flavor was smooth and refined, leading Joe to remark that he never would have guessed the tea was from Kenya. It was the as fine as any good Japanese tea he had tasted.
The flavor was very clean without being dry or harsh.
The savory taste developed into a gentle Umami with bitterness in the way that I desire in tea, and which makes the flavor linger.
The Bosc Pear in Butter scent was unusual and a delicious sensory balance.
There’s something special about this Green Tea that should not be overlooked! I’m not sure what it is, but the tea keeps drawing me back! This may be the best of ALL the Wanja Tea’s!
Just to reconfirm: milk does this tea no favours.It sucks up all the floral subtlety and hides the tea’s personality, making the whole thing rather bland. If the primary bite is a bother, it doesn’t stick around much for the second and third steeps (which are delicious).
This is exactly what I want when I say bold and brisk! Wow, this gets me going.
Astringent? Yes. Bitter? hmm.. kind of like an orange peel, or as with dark chocolate with dried up fruit bits. There is something almost sweet and soft to the cup, especially in beginning to mid sip, where it goes smooth in a creamy malty way. that smoothness coexists with the briskness in an appealing manner.
I added milk the first time I tried some a few days ago; it was pleasant, but I don’t feel the broth is thick enough to call for it. Also, that aforementioned softness balances out the potential harshness of the cup for me.
I second steeped it the other day as well, and it had all the strength of a Breakfast tea on first steep. It’s a potent cup! Today I’m going to see how long it can last. Edit- second steep today is definitely floral! Yum.
Thank you, Azzrian, for pointing me towards this! I can’t wait to try the purple tea next.
Special thanks to Azzrian* for this one!
Both Azz and Bonnie did a GREAT job describing this one! Seriously, I can’t top them! :) You girls, ROCK!!!!!
In short, for me, Bold, Sturdy, Malty, Dark Coco/Chocolate, Dried Fruit hints really step forward! Very nice! Strong, bold, and terrific!
Sunday Sample Sipdown #4 (? I think this is the 4th of the day).
This is another sample from Rachel. Thanks!
Tony & I are sitting around, watching episodes of the X files, waiting for the superbowl.
I have to admit, I’m not a real fan of this tea. It does have an interesting flavor, but it kind of burns my throat a little.
Thank you Wanya Tea for this sample!
The only small scale Kenyan tea’s I’ve tasted have come from Butiki, Ajiri and Wanja Tea’s.
Each have been different and delightful.
My friends who have spent some time in Kenya have winced and groaned describing the super, hyper-strong brewed tea. (I would have joined in with glee since the Ajiri Strong Tea tasted quite normal to me, but seems far too strong to many others.)
I haven’t reviewed tea on Steepster in DAYS! I’ve been making Asian Pickles (sweet and savory) and Vadouvan Indian Spice Blend (Curried onions and garlic which is slowly baked in a mixture of spices until almost dry. Stored in freezer bags I’ll have a good supply for adding to recipes!).
There is no way I could review tea with onion, garlic and vinegar scenting my house!
As a first tea after my cooking projects were completed, I chose this tea from Kenya, figuring that it was probably suitable for accompanying flavorful, spicy foods. (Kenyan Cuisine uses lot’s of curries!).
The flavor was bright and clean with fruit and citrus, a sweetness that was light and smooth. I didn’t taste any malt and there was no nasty astringency.
You could very well drink this tea plain (which you can’t say about many black tea’s) and I found that a little sweetening brought out the fruitiness in a way that I liked best. Adding milk seemed too heavy. The body of the tea was light and in my opinion, milk isn’t needed.
There was an aftertaste of black pepper pound cake. This made me think further of what the tea would taste good alongside. I imagined a Denver Omlette, Chips and Salsa, Curry or Spicy Sausages. It can handle flavor packed food without getting lost!
Although the tea isn’t heavy, it’s sturdy enough and holds it’s own.
One of those indispensable tea’s when you can’t decide what to serve with a meal.
Very enjoyable tea!
(Although I haven’t been rating tea’s, it’s my choice to do so now and then. Since this company has 2 tea’s…I chose to rate the tea.)
Full Review on www.SororiTeaSisters.com on the 20th but here are the snippits:
Wanja OP Black Tea from Wanja Tea of Kenya provides a strong, bold, wonderful experience. Early infusions taste of hints of cocoa, malt, and fruits, while later infusions bring forth notes of leather, cigar smoke, and woods. Truly a delicious cup!
While Martin currently only has two teas in stock I am watching his online business grow over time, and he selects his teas with the upmost care and concern for his customers! Truly a respectable man!
Absolutely not one bit of astringency or bitterness. Rather, malt, caramel, cocoa, and fruit notes abound! The floral note is difficult to determine for me, I taste it, its present, but I have had a difficult time deciding exactly what floral aspect it is, perhaps violet. The floral note seems to be more on the after taste rather than in the sip itself.
I hope that more people take advantage of this really affordable price point as well! At four dollars per ounce there really isn’t any reason not to try this tea!
This was a gift from K S – a Christmas surprise in the mail! I waited to try this one until I was drinking tea alone because A. I wanted to pay attention to it, and B. everyone is picky about their black tea, though hubby likes oolongs and such.
The trouble was that I was having brain freezes all morning. I was too lazy to look up the instructions and somehow had it in my head that Purple tea is black tea. But something was telling me not to treat it like black tea. I still set the kettle for 194F which is way higher than they recommend.
The liquor is pale for a black tea, because remember I wasn’t registering yet that it isn’t black tea. I poured it up and set it by my breakfast plate. Thanks to Ysaurella telling me about Bonne Maman preserves, I grabbed some when I saw them in the grocery last night and had the most delicious raspberry preserves on toast this morning, with a glass of milk. The tea is for afters. :)
When my meal was gone I picked up the cup. I didn’t what to expect with the liquor being an odd color and me having made it “flying blind” as to proper instructions. But I can say this…IT WAS DELICIOUS! The high temp didn’t hurt it somehow, the lackadaisical steep time (hmm, looks like it stopped getting darker I think I will pour this up) didn’t make it bitter, and it was a thoroughly enjoyable cup.
My headache is clearing, I am waking up, and it is going to be a good day!
I never drank a purple tea,
I never even sipped one.
But thanks to K S now I have
And it defies description!
Yeah, I know…groan, but that’s been toodling around my brain all afternoon.
But after two steeps, I’m stumped. It’s lightish, but not exactly greenish, but isn’t purplish, and not exactly darjeeling-y. I saw “cranberry” in one tasting note; I can understand where that vibe comes from.
Fortunately, at only 1/2 teaspoon a cup, I’ve got enough to do some more taste testing.
This is such an interesting tea. Today it tastes like a Chinese green tea with light milk chocolate notes. Yum!
My 500th tasting note!
AND I have a job interview Monday!
Happy Turkey Day America, and blessings to the rest of you.
Thank you to Rachel for this tea sample!
This is an interesting tea! First off, the aroma of the dry leaf is unlike any other tea I’ve smelled: tart, a little sweet, & something I just can’t quite pinpoint.
The flavor is tart, sweet, somewhat astringent, and a little bitter. It brings to mind cranberries, and reminds me of some of the grapey wine-like Darjeelings out there, in a way.
I love reading the reviews on this one. Every one interprets this differently. Some of the reviews say I like this, I think. Me, I love it. To me, dry it smells like Bailin Gongfu. Steeped its scent is Bi Luo Chun, yet its taste reminds me of Chun Mei. The brew is a funky green in the press but changes color depending on the light. It looks like black currant tea in the mug. I got three steeps all of them different. Awesome tea but pricey. A worthy splurge. Sample supplied by Wanja Tea Of Kenya.
A longer review here: http://theeverdayteablog.blogspot.com/2012/10/wanja-teas-of-kenya-purple-tea.html
Thank you Martin Sankale of Wanja Tea of Kenya for this sample tea!
All of my life I’ve met people who have been to Kenya with fantastic stories to tell. Stories of the Great Rift Valley, with herds of exotic animals and vast lush vista’s.
I bought objects made in Kenya for my home, fabrics and small wood animals, musical instruments. I even had some magazines from Nairobi that a friend brought back from a trip that I would read over and over again, especially loving the Kenyan version of ‘Dear Abby’. One particular letter was from a young woman who was in love with a young man who had ‘tribal scar’s’ on his face. She was concerned that he wasn’t modern enough now that she had a job as a secretary. (remember this was in the 1970’s)
Being a mixed race family, I filled my home with items from Kenya especially, because they were the easiest to find.
I bought small wooden animals, musical instruments and fabrics. I prepared exotic meals and then we danced around to music I found at the library.
The Scot’s side of our heritage wasn’t left out. That side allowed us to have tea time in the afternoon’s, scones and Scot’s eggs, and go to the Highland Games (which we still do and yes, my son has a kilt!).
In my well blended family, we celebrate with bagpipes, drums and an American Flag…the African-American, Scot’s way!
Today I also listen to Kenyan Chant.
I’ve had purple tea before but not often. Sometimes I forget how it tastes, different than other tea’s. Even the steeping is different.
You must use less leaf (.5 tsp) and lower temp. (160f) for 4min.
otherwise you won’t have a happy cup.
The first thing I thought when I took my first sip was Oolong.
The savory, floral flavor were a familiar recent tasting memory I suppose. That might give you an idea of where my brain began it’s journey of discovery with this unique Kenyan Purple Tea.
I mentally shook that thought off and began again.
The flavor was sweet and savory in the same way artichoke hearts effect me, I thought, and then I remembered…oh yes…this is one of my rare Umami moments. A deep Umami because the flavor lingers for a long time.
The flavor was at the back of my palate and went up into the nose more like tasting wine would do. I love tea that does this. If you make a little huff, like a nose sigh you get more sense of flavor. Try it some time.
I wouldn’t call this tea woodsy but a little dry as it cools due to faint astringency. Don’t be afraid of it though. The presentation is a dry feel and not a bite.
This is really good tea. Not heavy but really good.