84
drank Purple Tea of Kenya by Butiki Teas
2244 tasting notes

Darn… computer died and I lost the tasting note I’d written up.

Anyways, I picked this tea up as part of the ‘Explore Kenya’ sampler pack, which I bought on a whim – my Masters project is focused on health-beneficial phytochemicals in asparagus, which include flavonoids (which is what the anthocyanins that make this tea purple are a subset of), so ever since I began my project my interest in foods containing such things has been piqued.

Visually, this tea didn’t look particularly purple to me – it looked more blackish. I’ll have to look more closely under better lighting though. The steep temperature seemed awfully low, but I went with it, and stuck to the lower end of the time range, which gave me a cup of lightish yellow/amber liquor (that’s the best I can do – it’s in a green cup!).

It tastes much like green tea to me, with a bit of an mild astringency showing up briefly (but it’s very mild). It’s a touch sweet, and has a definite tea aftertaste, kind of green/oolongy (like I said in a previous post – perhaps they’re actually all the same, and I just associate it with the tea I’m drinking at the time!) Good, certainly, but nothing particularly special. I would have been more intrigued if the liquor had come out purple :D However, I would love to know if there’s a greater health benefit associated with drinking this tea… one of the professors on my advisory committee did some research on antioxidants in green tea; maybe I should look things up/ask him!

ETA: 175F/way too long, for the second infusion. Tastes… rather like a black tea, actually. Can’t believe that it’s so lacking in astringency though, given that it seriously must have steeped for about 10 minutes or more. There’s some but it’s quite bearable. I will have to try a proper second (third, fourth?) infusion the next time.

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 3 min, 15 sec
Butiki Teas

Krystalen-Give this tea a try at boiling water and a 5 minute steep (still 1/2 teaspoon). Completely different notes but very interesting. I find at the 160 F temp it tastes like a green, at 180 F tastes more like an oolong and at the 212 F range it tastes more like a black tea. Pretty versatile. I’ve heard claims that there is a much higher count of antioxidants in this tea but have not seen any test results yet.

Bonnie

I noticed that there is a rim hue…like something you see with wine. The tea is not colored (the leaves might be why the tea is called purple…I have no idea) but there was a blush at the edge that I noticed with mine that reminded me of what you see in older and newer wines being browner or pink/purpler.

Kittenna

Stacy – I will definitely try that! Always curious :D And I have lots to play with. I definitely was getting both oolong and green “vibes” from it earlier, and the re-steep leaned towards a black, so I’m quite intrigued!

Bonnie – I didn’t see that, but my cup was green. I’ll have to use a white one next time and look.

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Butiki Teas

Krystalen-Give this tea a try at boiling water and a 5 minute steep (still 1/2 teaspoon). Completely different notes but very interesting. I find at the 160 F temp it tastes like a green, at 180 F tastes more like an oolong and at the 212 F range it tastes more like a black tea. Pretty versatile. I’ve heard claims that there is a much higher count of antioxidants in this tea but have not seen any test results yet.

Bonnie

I noticed that there is a rim hue…like something you see with wine. The tea is not colored (the leaves might be why the tea is called purple…I have no idea) but there was a blush at the edge that I noticed with mine that reminded me of what you see in older and newer wines being browner or pink/purpler.

Kittenna

Stacy – I will definitely try that! Always curious :D And I have lots to play with. I definitely was getting both oolong and green “vibes” from it earlier, and the re-steep leaned towards a black, so I’m quite intrigued!

Bonnie – I didn’t see that, but my cup was green. I’ll have to use a white one next time and look.

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I have always been a tea fan (primarily herbals and Japanese greens/oolongs) but in the last year or so, tea has become increasingly more appealing as not only a delicious, calming drink, but as a relatively cheap, healthy reward or treat to give myself when I deserve something. I should clarify that, however; the reward is expanding my tea cupboard, not drinking tea – I place no restrictions on myself in terms of drinking anything from my cupboard as that would defeat my many goals!

My DavidsTea addiction was born in late 2011, despite having spent nearly a year intentionally avoiding their local mall location (but apparently it was just avoiding the inevitable!). I seem to have some desire to try every tea they’ve ever had, so much of my stash is from there, although I’ve recently branched out and ordered from numerous other companies.

I like to try and drink all my teas unaltered, as one of the main reasons I’m drinking tea other than for the flavour is to be healthy and increase my water intake without adding too many calories! I’ve found that the trick in this regard is to be very careful about steeping time, as most teas are quite pleasant to drink straight as long as they haven’t been oversteeped. However, I tend to be forgetful (particularly at work) when I don’t set a timer, resulting in a few horrors (The Earl’s Garden is not so pleasant after, say, 7+ minutes of steeping).

I’m currently trying to figure out which types of teas are my favourites. Herbals are no longer at the top; oolongs have thoroughly taken over that spot, with greens a reasonably close second. My preference is for straight versions of both, but I do love a good flavoured oolong (flavoured greens are really hit or miss for me). Herbals I do love iced/cold-brewed, but I drink few routinely (Mulberry Magic from DavidsTea being a notable exception). I’m learning to like straight black teas thanks to the chocolatey, malty, delicious Laoshan Black from Verdant Tea, and malty, caramelly flavoured blacks work for me, but I’m pretty picky about anything with astringency. Lately I’ve found red rooibos to be rather medicinal, which I dislike, but green rooibos and honeybush blends are tolerable. I haven’t explored pu’erh, mate, or guayasa a great deal (although I have a few options in my cupboard).

I’ve decided to institute a rating system so my ratings will be more consistent. Following the smiley/frowny faces Steepster gives us:

100: This tea is amazing and I will go out of my way to keep it in stock.

85-99: My core collection (or a tea that would be, if I was allowing myself to restock everything!) Teas I get cravings for, and drink often.

75-84: Good but not amazing; I might keep these in stock sparingly depending on current preferences.

67-74: Not bad, I’ll happily finish what I have but probably won’t ever buy it again as there’s likely something rated more highly that I prefer.

51-66: Drinkable and maybe has some aspect that I like, but not really worth picking up again.

34-50: Not for me, but I can see why others might like it. I’ll make it through the cup and maybe experiment with the rest to get rid of it.

0-33: It’s a struggle to get through the cup, if I do at all. I will not willingly consume this one again, and will attempt to get rid of the rest of the tea if I have any left.

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