Well, here we have a purple tea. To be honest, I am not the biggest fan of purple teas for the same reason that I am not a fan of scented or flavored teas – the “purple tea” flavors (the funky fruitiness it seems to have) is so strong that it overrides any other flavors. Don’t get me wrong, the funky fruit purple tea flavors are awesome, but they can start to get a little tiresome for me.
That said, Yunnan Sourcing has a great selection of purple teas to explore – different varietals, different styles (including green, oolong, white, black, pu’erh…). Personally, I have had a couple of purple pu’erhs, the moonlight white, and this. I’ll have to revisit the pu’erhs again, but I will say that I think this black tea is a more successful vehicle for the purple tea flavors than the white tea.
The black tea just has more body and stronger flavors that can compete with the in-your-face fruitiness. There is a strong caramel note that cuts through the fruit, and just enough bitterness that keeps things from being cloyingly sweet and one-note.
Finally, there were some really interesting spice notes that reminded me of the spiced oatmeal/streusel topping you would put on cobbler. Really nice.
Dry leaf – fruit (melon, papaya, peach), notes of malt, caramel, hint of milk chocolate, mint. In preheated vessel – funky fruitiness gets stronger, berry cobbler, spiced oatmeal, pecan nuttiness
Smell – berry cobbler, spiced oatmeal, melon, papaya, peach, bitter caramel
Taste – slightly burnt caramel, raw almond, funky fruit (cobbler, papaya, peach). Fruit flavors develop in aftertaste, but are tempered by malt and caramel undertones. Hints of cola as aftertaste develops.