99% Oxidized Purple Oolong

Tea type
Oolong Tea
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Butter, Roasted, Cacao, Coffee, Mushrooms, Tobacco, Baked Bread, Cinnamon, Wood
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Edit tea info Last updated by Mike
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190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 15 sec 4 g 9 oz / 278 ml

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17 Tasting Notes View all

From Art of Tea

99% oxidized purple oolong. Full rich brew that delivers a dark purple infusion with solid notes of cinnamon, musk, and amber. A rare treat from Sumatra, Indonesia. This tea can be steeped multiple times.

Water Temperature: 206 degrees
Caffeine Content: Medium Bold
Steep Time: 3-5 minutes
Ingredients: Oolong Tea
Origin: Sumatra, Indonesia

About Art of Tea View company

Art of Tea is a tea importer and wholesaler based in Los Angeles, California. We hand blend and custom craft the world’s finest organic teas and botanicals. Our teas are carefully selected directly from growers, each one offering a unique story.

17 Tasting Notes

2816 tasting notes

I had another purple oolong from a different vendor (Sereni-tea), but this is most likely similar, if not the very same.

The dry leaves, after steeping smell just like roasted coffee. I decided to steep this in the gaiwan this afternoon and did so for about 60 seconds. It’s definitely an interesting tea, has notes of buckwheat and cinnamon. It is a fairly unusual oolong and might be an acquired taste, I notice one of the other tasters hated it, but it reminds me a bit of a red robe.

The second steep is a bit more mellow and fruitier, has some notes of plum in it. If you’re into darker oolongs, you may want to check it out. I did get a full sized tin of it so I hope the oxidation means it will keep for a while. I may need to try cold brewing the leftovers.

185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 0 sec
Thomas Edward(Toad)

This sounds really good to me :)


Will be giving this one a try

Whispering Pines Tea Company

One of my favorite oolongs!

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1226 tasting notes

Purple Oolong? I like the colour purple! Lol, just the excuse to want to get this tea!

I found this oolong very different. It steeps up very dark reddy purple. It smells like bitter coffee. The taste? Smokey ash, cedar, malt, amber, cinnamon, and caramel. Later infusions the tea got chocolately!

99% OP Oolong resteeps very well, I was following the package for 3 minute steeps, and I got up to 8 runs with not bitter or dryness. I’m scared to try this in a gaiwan, it would be CRAZY NEVER ENDING OOLONG CHAOS!

This is an oolong for you black and pu’er drinkers that love a solid earthy cup without grassy or floral oolong fluff. However, I am a grassy floral oolong lover, I did enjoy this tea for the unique flavor notes.

Full review on my blog, The Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.wordpress.com/2013/05/28/99-oxidized-purple-oolong-from-art-of-tea-tea-review/

EDIT: it’s also Oolong Week at my blog. Yeah, it started late, busy with memorial day and all.

185 °F / 85 °C

This is great news. I really like darker. woody oolongs. I have some of this from a different company, but hadn’t gotten around to trying it yet. It has just gotten moved way up the list based on this review. Great review, looking forward to seeing more from your oolong week.


I am a great fan of oolongs and I must say the flavors described sound really unique. Of course, the purple is an awesome plus!


This stuff is really good!

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132 tasting notes

Have you ever had Sugar Smacks cereal as a kid? Well, if you haven’t try this tea because it tastes EXACTLY like it! This tastes of cinnamon, honey and sweet wheat… a plus in my book!


I loved sugar smacks.


Is the oolong really that color? I wasn’t a huge Sugar Smacks fan, but to this day purple makes me happy :)


@LiberTEAS – you’ll totally have to try this one then! If you do, let me know if you think it tastes just like Sugar Smacks! LOL

@Rabs – the leaves are a purple color, but once steeped the tea is an amber color…it would be pretty cool if the tea was also purple though! haha


Leaves being purple = awesome
Liquid not being purple = sound of disappointed trombone ;)

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511 tasting notes

Thanks Amy oh for this purple oolong sample.

At first I wondered if the bag was labeled wrong. The leaves do not have the slightest purple in them, though the picture here definitely displays a purple hue. I read some of the other reviews describing it’s complete lack of purple (dry and brewed), so that must be the way they are supposed to be.

It tastes like like an aged oolong, very dark and roasted but with a distinct sweetness that I haven’t yet found in other (non-aged) roasted oolongs.

It’s quite tasty and a good choice for coffee drinkers trying to make the switch to tea. I love the flavor of roasted, dark, and aged oolongs, but it sometimes bothers me wondering how much of the tea’s natural nutrients are lost in the processes that create these sweet and roasted flavors. Oh well, at least there’s nothing bad in it and its tasty so I shouldn’t complain :p

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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14 tasting notes

ACK! I don’t like to write negative reviews but this tea just tastes foul to me, nasty. Now that’s dreadful to say. I just wrote about an oolong last night that I adored and gave a score of 100. I love oolong teas and have many in my cupboard. But this was an expensive tea and reading about the notes of cinnamon and amber, well, as an oolong lover I knew I had to try it and I treated myself to it. Now I have a 3.5 oz tin that I won’t use and it is very disappointing! And the color is not purple, though it says so on the tin and in the description, but a deep brown like other brown teas. I keep wondering if they put the wrong tea in the tin but I know they didn’t because it looks just like the picture. I was careful not to over-steep because it said it was good for many infusions. That says to me “LOOK OUT, THIS TEA IS GOING TO GET STRONG FAST!” but it didn’t taste too strong nor bitter. I feel like I’m at a wine tasting for a new and highly regarded wine with rave reviews and I’m looking sheepishly around the room at everybody applauding it and I want to creep out because I dislike it so. Perhaps it is an acquired taste, but as I said I have and love many oolongs so an oolong taste is familiar to me even though of course they are all different. Here I go to trudge back into the kitchen, throw it out, and brew something else. I really need a good cup of tea. THIS isn’t it!

4 min, 0 sec
Sarah Ruthven

I appreciate the honesty…bummer that it was expensive. I totally know how you feel looking around trying to figure our why everyone else likes it, I have that trouble with super fruity teas that others just go crazy for :)


You know, I’m not a fan of real fruity teas although there are some rooibos teas with a lot of fruits in them that I love. I’m particularly fond of rooibos teas. I usually don’t drink plain black teas except oolongs, and one of my favorites, Lapsang Souchong, and Ti Kuan Yin and those of that ilk. I have a big latte in the morning and then tea for the rest of the day. It seems I saw some kind of exchange program here. I wondered if it was safe, you know, getting open teas from someone you don’t know, but I sure hate to waste an expensive tin of tea and there are others I’ve purchased that I don’t care for and others might enjoy. Among my favorites are flavored black teas, like Earl Grey de la Creme, and good peach or vanilla teas. I want so to find a chocolate tea that I love and I’ve just got some new ones but I usually find them disappointing. Onward and upward and a very good cup of tea to you!

Sarah Ruthven

I am new to this so I have never swapped a tea either but I agree it seems like a good idea.

Whispering Pines Tea Company

I’m in love with this stuff…too bad you probably don’t still have it :(

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5 tasting notes

This is indeed a peculiar tea. The dry leaf is very very pretty, though to describe it as purple would require some imagination. The aroma is both earthy and spicy, smelling of tobacco and cinnamon. The flavor is full and complex; at first biscuity, almost tasting of potato, also peppery and musky. (I found that a shorter steeping time – say 2 1/2 minutes or so – gave a less potato-y brew.) The cinnamon-raisin note comes as an aftertaste, which is at the same time almost vegetal. I’ve never tasted a tea quite like this one, and was not initially turned on to it. After a few cups, however, I’ve grown to really like it. I think it would make a good breakfast tea.

200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 45 sec

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1 tasting notes

I believe it would be a bit of a mistake to only try this tea solo…sort of like certain Scotch selections. I strongly recommend trying this purple (or not really purple) oolong with some decent chocolate…something above 70%, OR a mild cigar (yes, I said a cigar…get over it if you don’t like it). Chocolate will bring out the cinnamon and floral in the tea much better (at least the stuff I was eating with it did), and a Cigar or some decent straight pipe tobacco in a pipe actually sweetens the tea quit a bit since you’re not noticing the smoky/tobacco/musky flavors that are in there as much.

Secondary note. I find it useful with teas like this to run a brief rinse, or actually if I’m feeling in an interested mood on this one I’ve cold brewed it for a while on the first steep and then used “standard” temperatures.

200 °F / 93 °C

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564 tasting notes

Seeing as how purple teas are somewhat rare… I had to try this. It’s very smooth. Has a woodsy start with very interesting tones to it. Some I’m not quite able to describe. Though I’m not usually a fan of the darker oolongs even I can appreciate how good this one is.

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26 tasting notes

This tea definitely is very similar to the aged Oolongs I’ve tried from Butiki (particularly the 1991 Da Ye Aged and 2003 Reserve Four Season). Its roasted woody charcoal notes are complimented nicely by a smooth feel and hint of butter. Very robust and deep in flavor and depth. Though not as strong as, say a Lapsang for example, these bold flavors seem to be not everyone’s favorite (as evidenced by some other reviews here..), but if you enjoy a dark Oolong once in a while then I’d definitely recommend this. . Thx Liquid Proust for the sample.. planning to order more of this in my next AoT order!


Flavors: Butter, Roasted

Liquid Proust

These are good. Did I include AOT’s formosa champagne oolong as well?

Zack S.

No, I haven’t tried the Formosa Champagne.. sounds interesting though.

Liquid Proust

Dang… I must of been slacking if I didn’t include it :(

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431 tasting notes

Thank you Andrew for this wonderful sample!

I asked to receive this solely because it said purple. I am sucker for the unique, regardless of flavor or quality. I opened my package and took a peek at my purple nuggets. My first thought is that purple must be a very loosely used term. These small glossed pebbles are a deep crimson in my eyes. I had just under the amount I usually use in my mini gaiwan for gong fu, but I decided to brew it anyways. I washed them once and allowed them to open up. The aroma was of roasted coffee and smoke. This had a very bold and mudded scent to it. The initial flavor was truly unique. It carried the same bold message but softened it with some fungal tones. The leaves did not fully unfurl until well into multiple steeping. The flavor become more fungal and sweet as the session went on. However, it continued to have a coffee grinds aftertaste each brewing. This was an interesting tea. Would I purchase it? No, I dont think its for me. I really dislike when a company shows something different than what they are actually selling, however good the product may be. I appreciate an honest image, and the image they had up would have me buy this tea in a heartbeat. Its a unique tea, and I could see myself trading other teas for this.


Flavors: Cacao, Coffee, Mushrooms

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 45 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 90 ML
Liquid Proust

It is a very bold and dark oolong huh? Re-steeping shows the taste buds some mercy though. I found it to be a good experience. Next shall be an aged oolong!


I agree, it was very durable with steeping. I was able to get 10 maybe 12 steepings (it was such a long session I don’t remember). I enjoyed the flavor quite a bit :)

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