Wanja Tea of Kenya

Recent Tasting Notes

95

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.)

Indigobloom

Missed you round here Bonnie!! I love Kenyan teas with milk

Terri HarpLady

Me too! I haven’t been reading reviews as much recently, & finally had time to sit around & read yesterday & I was like, “Where the hell is Bonnie?” :D
Anyway, by coincidence, I’m sipping down samples again today, & this tea just happens to be in my cup as we speak!

Bonnie

Hi guys, you can understand that someone who is highly scent sensitive just can’t drink tea and review honestly with onions and garlic and vinegar etc. all over the place! Every time I opened the frig my pickles POW! were aging overnight but now I can bottle um up! Oh and I made French Onion Soup too. (May as well since onions were being cut up BY HAND!!! (No processor!). The results are great though!

Indigobloom

Of course! I hope you still had a cup of tea though :)

Bonnie

Yes but it was called choco pu…puerh with chocolate hulls from Happy Luckys that you can taste no matter what you’re cooking.

Indigobloom

Oh chocolate tea!! I’ve been looking for a good one. Here’s hoping Happy Luckys goes online soon!

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96

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!

Sil

Ill have to check it out. Sounds like a nice start up company at the moment.

Azzrian

It is – he is adding teas slowly but I respect that he is not just trying to put anything and everything up there and is honing in on what he thinks is the best from Kenya and fair trade. :)

CrowKettle

Do you know what shipping costs are or if they ship to Canada? That does look like a nice start up. :)

Azzrian

I am sorry I sure don’t know but I would do a mock order and just see what happens! That is what I usually do when I don’t know :)

CrowKettle

I did that and it didn’t seem to add any shipping costs which seems too good to be true. I sent him a tweet about it. Otherwise I may go ahead with the order and see what happens!

Azzrian

There really may not be any. I would not doubt it! He is such a fair guy. He may have to add some later as his business grows but for now I really feel he just wants to make a name for himself and get his tea in our hands! :)

CrowKettle

• Ah.. I tried to complete the transaction and then it told me there was no shipping to Canada. Oh, well! Maybe I should take advantage of my aunt’s place in The States. I’ll keep my eyes on this company though! :)

Azzrian

Ah bummer – Im sorry. Well I am always happy to ship to Canada if you need a place to have it mailed. That is if you don’t want to have it sent to your Aunt’s regardless sorry that is a bummer to find out after the fact.

CrowKettle

Thank you for the offer! I think I may take you up on it; I don’t know when I would be able to get in contact with my Aunt. It was a bummer but not unexpected- it was too cheap to be real (at least in Canada). XD

Azzrian

Just PM me if you decide you want to go for it. I have tried both of his teas and they are both really good. Oh and I do NOT work for him lol just like seeing someone get started up in a good biz.
Happy to help if you decide you want to go for it.

CrowKettle

I’ll let you know tomorrow! I’m determined to get my hands on both of those teas now. Thanks again- I trust you completely and also like seeing people start up. :)

Azzrian

Sounds good! I think I am going to watch a movie and try to get some sleep – movies usually put me to sleep haha. :) talk to you tomorrow.

Wanja Tea of Kenya

I am working on including shipping to Canada.

Sil

wanja – thank you for that! I’d love it if you could post on steepster in the tea companies/promotions thread when you have this figured out. I’d love to be able to help support you in your journey :)

Wanja Tea of Kenya

We now offer shipping to Canada on wwww.wanjateaofkenya.com

Azzrian

Excellent!!! :)

CrowKettle

Yes!!!! Thank you :)

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91
drank Wanja Purple Tea by Wanja Tea of Kenya
1408 tasting notes

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.

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91
drank Wanja Purple Tea by Wanja Tea of Kenya
1408 tasting notes

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.

Bonnie

WOW HOORAY 500!!! Dang, you beat me! I just drank #500 too!
Oh well, you are deserving. I had this a couple of weeks ago and liked it! AND A JOB INTERVIEW! Prayers for success!!!

K S

Thanks Bonnie. I just realized I can’t tell how many notes others have written. Congrats on your 500th as well.

Scharp

Congratulations on the number!

gmathis

Yay for Monday! Praying.

Bonnie

KS when you click on someones icon you can see how many reviews they’ve written.

K S

@Bonnie – Doh! I looked write at the number and didn’t see it.

K S

gmathis thanks – and 500 is like just starting to you!

Claire

Congratulations KS on your 500th review and praying for a great job interview for you!

LiberTEAS

I wish you the best for your job interview, and congrats on 500 tasting notes!

Sil

Yay! Congrats on the 500 reviews! I’m sure you’re interview will go amazing!

Ninavampi

Congrats on 500!:)

ashmanra

Happy 500, Happy Thanksgiving, and Happy Interview! You don’t know how often you have come to mind lately, and we are keeping you in prayer!

canadianadia

So many great things!…wishing you many many more :)

mrmopar

good luck on monday and happy thanksgiving!!

Londo Mollari

Congrats and best wishes for Monday!

Nik

Congratulations, K S, and best of luck!

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91
drank Wanja Purple Tea by Wanja Tea of Kenya
1408 tasting notes

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

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90

Thank you Martin Sankale of Wanja Tea of Kenya for this sample tea!

Kenya!
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.

Tea Tasting
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.

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Indigobloom

sounds unique!! Wouldn’t it be fun to visit Kenya…

Bonnie

Yes it would. Let’s go. Fr. Evan is going back to visit the schools in the north in 23 months for anyone who wants to work building bricks! (I think I’m too old for that part) I could probably carry water from the pump for a little while or cook though. I’ve got it….I can make tea and sit with the old women!

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62

This tea deserves better than the quickie service I just gave it. I am at work and had to microwave water, so I think the water temperature (whatever temp this is) is too high. Fortunately I received a great sample and I have enough left over to try again at home. I brought it to work with me thinking I would enjoy something new today. I do, but it is … odd.

The leaves are mostly fine shred, they have a deep brown dark earthy color that I like, somewhere between coffee and good soil. When I first opened the bag for some reason I smelled cocoa and burning leaves but somehow that has changed. Not sure why/how that would happen, I might be insane. Now when I smell the dry leaves or the bag it smells mostly of cedar pepper and salt water. Strange. Oh, and the wet leaves smelled like steamed shellfish a minute ago and now that they are cooled they smell like something else completely. It does keep me guessing, though. I am gonna have to try this again at home when I have my thinking nose on. It is possible that I am going crazy. I like this tea, though. It tastes a little astringent, and a little dusty. It won’t hold still. Strange stuff. Will edit when I get a chance to try it at home.

Preparation
5 min, 0 sec

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82

I just got my free sample today – thank you Martin! I was really intrigued by the brewing instructions. It called for 160 degrees for ~4 minutes. Also, the liquor was very light when I brewed it up. The leaves also surprised me because they were so small and only .5tsp were called for per cup.
The tea itself smells fantastic however, allaying my trepidation. A little smokey, a little buttery, a little creamy, and a little… like it would feel astringent.
This has one of the thickest mouth feels of any of the tea I’ve had. The flavor is just as puzzling as the scent and instructions. I think I like it. It is a lot like walking through cedar woods in the rain. It is woody, a little astringent, reminds me of wine being aged in barrels, and it went perfectly with the rainy day.
I groomed a gorgeous Bedlington Terrier today, in my nice little studio with the rain storm out the windows. This was a nice way to relax, mirroring the weather.
I think I like it…

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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77
drank Wanja Purple Tea by Wanja Tea of Kenya
124 tasting notes

I’ve never had a purple tea before, but this served as a pleasant introduction to them. Like other reviewers have noted, there is a bit of an earthiness to it, along with a slightly bitter aftertaste which doesn’t seem to resemble other bitter aftertastes I’ve experienced with other teas.

I’m pretty groggy at the moment, since I only recently got off a 12 hour night shift for the campus EMS program, so I’ll probably add more to this note later when I try this when I’m more awake.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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90

This is a very interesting tea! I want to have it again later or another day when I can focus more closely on it as today I am a bit under the weather. However with that said – this has a lot of pu-erh qualities to it with earthy deep notes!
I think I am going to like this one!
I have enough left for another steeping session on another day – for now I have done three steeps and its still going strong for this session.
I so would love to share more info on this tea and leave more notes but I have the head spins right now.
Going to doctor tomorrow.
BAH.

Wanja Tea of Kenya

Thank you and get well soon. Add a slice of lemon and honey to your Wanja Purple Tea :)

ashmanra

I hope you feel better quickly!

Azzrian

Thank you both!
That sounds really good and I know this rich wonderful tea could handle it as well :)
Thank you for the suggestion!

LiberTEAS

Aww… feel better soon! :)

Azzrian

Thanks LiberTEAS :)

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100

I was very satisfied with this tea and would gladly take it over your average Darjeeling or Assam. The purple tea was decidedly less malty than most of the dark teas that I’ve encountered. At the forefront, the tea is incredibly smooth and tasty. That’s followed by a pleasantly bitter aftertaste that was very different from your average black tea. The buzz wasn’t too shabby either. ;) I highly recommend this tea. * HEY TEA PEOPLE!!! WHY NOT GIVE THEM A FOLLOW ON TWITTER? @WanjaTeaofKenya LOOKS LIKE THEY NEED SOME FRIENDS! :) *

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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89

This is splendid. I haven’t tried a lot of purple teas, only fewer than a handful, really, but, I’ve really liked what I’ve tried.

This tea has a lovely consistency to it: brothy and smooth. It has so many layers of flavor too. At the start, I noticed the wood tones and the earthy notes right up front… and as I continued to sip, the wood tones began to emerge stronger than the earthy notes. There were also hints of vegetative notes and fruit notes, and toward mid-to-end of the cup I found that the fruit notes sort of wandered off into the distance, while some of the vegetative notes began to creep forward only slightly. The vegetative notes are very mild, reminding me of white beans… and the creaminess to the tea evoked thoughts of a white bean soup (no, it doesn’t taste quite like white bean soup, but there are notes that sort of remind me of the flavors of a white bean soup) … it is very comforting and calming.

A really lovely purple tea! I am excited for this new company!

Veronica

I love learning about new companies! And tea… I’ve never heard of purple tea, but it sounds really good.

Wanja Tea of Kenya

Thank you for the review. Please visit our website www.wanjateaofkenya.com for more information.

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