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I’ve tried brewing this tea 3 different ways: cold, western and gong fu. Dry leaf looks like a purple black tea and smells like tangy purple fruit – fruit snacks, chewable vitamins, grape flavor that’s not sickeningly sweet or has preservatives – spicy, earthy and dark green vegetal.

Cold brew: 4 tsp, 1L, overnight produces a very light purple-tinged liquid that tastes a little earthy and lightly purple-fruit. It’s refreshing.

Western: 2tsp, 8oz, various steep times starting at 60s. I’d say it’s good for 2 steeps. Immemorable, unnoteworthy. Lightly grassy and fruity.

Gong fu: This is where it’s at. 2.5g, 60mL gaiwan, 175F, no rinse, 10/15/20/25/30/40/50/60/75s. It’s a very consistent brew this way without much complexity. Very pretty light-colored liquor that’s a sparkling mix of lilac, peach and pink and green. Light scent wafts from the cup. The fruitiness of the dry leaf comes forward in the liquor which produces a light mouthfeel that gives a slight tongue-numbing astringency in later steeps. The taste is quite light with stonefruits, grape, tangy purple berry and floral and is most prominent when breathing out. There are also notes of grass that start light and turn darker as the steeps progress, ending on a spinach/seaweed note. Not much of an aftertaste. Reminds me a lot of a fruity, young sheng puer but not harsh on the stomach. I think eating a few small sweet champagne grapes would be complementary and enhance the fruitiness. The spent leaf smells very purple tangy.

I don’t know much yet about Kenyan teas or the growing conditions, but I think this tea has a lot of potential. Overall, it’s a very approachable green tea and I definitely recommend brewing it gong fu.

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Tea habits:

Among my favorites are all teas Nepali, sheng puerh, Wuyi yancha, Taiwanese oolong, a variety of black (red) teas from all over, herbal tisanes. I keep a few green and white teas on hand. Shou puerh is a cold weather brew. Tiny teapots and gaiwans are my usual brewing vessels when not preparing morning cups western style and pouring into my work thermos. Friend of teabags.

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Sonoma County, California, USA

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