Kenya Hand-Rolled Purple Varietal Oolong Tea

Tea type
Oolong Tea
Ingredients
Oolong Tea Leaves
Flavors
Chocolate, Cinnamon, Malt, Plums, Butter, Coriander Seed, Floral, Nutty, Spices, Tea, Baked Bread, Blood orange, Cherry, Chestnut, Cream, Fig, Ginger, Lemon Zest, Mineral, Pear, Raisins, Roasted nuts, Rose, Violet, Wood, Drying, Lemon, Bitter, Lavender, Smoke, Roasted, Caramel, Honey, Fruity, Sweet, Tangy
Sold in
Loose Leaf
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by eastkyteaguy
Average preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 0 sec 5 g 6 oz / 167 ml

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From Our Community

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22 Tasting Notes View all

  • “I don’t often drink roasted oolongs, but I was curious about the plum notes that some people mentioned about this tea. Oolongs with any non-citrus fruit notes are my weakness! I ended up being able...” Read full tasting note
    80
  • “I am not really surprised by the mixed reception of this tea, but personally I like it a lot. It is subtle and complex in both smell and taste, it has a long and evolving aftertaste and great...” Read full tasting note
    91
  • “Here is yet another review from my slowly shrinking backlog. I finished a sample pouch of this tea sometime around the end of May. Prior to trying it, I had never tried a purple oolong, but came...” Read full tasting note
    91
  • “I didn’t care for this tea gong fu or western brewed to be drunk hot. With that, I give the tea a 70ish rating. But iced, this tea become very tasty to me, would give it a 85. I feel this way with...” Read full tasting note

From What-Cha

A unique oolong produced from the purple varietal tea plant, giving the tea a unique plum taste and purple tint.

Kangaita Tea Factory is a Fairtrade certified tea factory specialising in producing high quality orthodox teas including the processing of purple teas. It is located at a high elevation just above 2,000m and processes the leaves collected from 6,594 small-scale tea growers whose farms have a total tea acreage of 1,077 hectares. It is the farmers themselves who are the shareholders of Kangaita Tea Factory and elect the directors of the factory.

Tasting Notes:
- Sweet aroma
- Smooth plum taste with hints of fruit

Cultivar: TRFK 306/1
Altitude: 1,500-2,200m
Origin: Kangaita Tea Factory, Mount Kenya Region, Kenya
Sourced: Direct from Kangaita Tea Factory

Brewing Advice:
- Heat water to roughly 90°C/194°F
- Use 2 teaspoons per cup/small teapot
- Brew for 2-3 minutes

Packaging: Resealable ziplock bag

Kenyan Purple Tea
Kenyan scientists have spent the past 25 years developing a new tea plant cultivar designed to revolutionise the Kenyan tea industry with TRFK306/1 being the fruition of their work. The most significant feature of TRFK306/1 is that the tea leaves are purple rather than green which gives the processed tea unique characteristics allowing it to stand out in a crowded and over-saturated tea market, and thus command a higher price compared to other Kenyan cultivars. In addition to purple leaves commanding a higher price, TRFK306/1 has been developed to be higher yielding and more drought resistant, which is very important for Kenyan farmers who are subject to harsh unpredictable weather patterns. Further details can be found here on TRFK’s website.

About What-Cha View company

Company description not available.

22 Tasting Notes

80
2 tasting notes

I don’t often drink roasted oolongs, but I was curious about the plum notes that some people mentioned about this tea. Oolongs with any non-citrus fruit notes are my weakness! I ended up being able to taste light plum notes in my first three gongfu steeps, so I’m happy with this tea.

Dominant flavor notes: plum, chocolate, cinnamon
Secondary flavor notes: malt
Roastiness: medium

This is pretty good for a roasted tea, good for days when I just want a strong oolong. I don’t know if I’d buy it again since I’m not a heavy roasted oolong drinker, but if I wanted a roasted oolong, I’d buy this first.

Flavors: Chocolate, Cinnamon, Malt, Plums

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 5 OZ / 150 ML

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91
346 tasting notes

I am not really surprised by the mixed reception of this tea, but personally I like it a lot. It is subtle and complex in both smell and taste, it has a long and evolving aftertaste and great mouthfeel. What’s more, it also increases my awareness without any caffeine rush. I am really in love with the purple varietals.

Throughout the session the leaves turn from brown with a purple hue to a mix of brown and dark green. They seem like a good quality and firm leaves.

I didn’t really pay close attention to the aromas and flavours, maybe I will add a more complete account of those from another session. The flavours that I did notice include butter and a surprising coriander (seed) bitterness in the finish. Early infusions were more floral, while the latter ones rather nutty and somewhat sheng-like. The aftertaste was slightly sour, spicy and warming with a strong fragrance.

The mouthfeel of initial infusions was mouth-watering, creamy and developed into a little astringent in the mouth. In later infusions, from about the fourth one, the mouthfeel became thick and oily, further deepening the resemblance of raw pu-erh.

Flavors: Butter, Coriander Seed, Floral, Nutty, Spices, Tea

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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91
835 tasting notes

Here is yet another review from my slowly shrinking backlog. I finished a sample pouch of this tea sometime around the end of May. Prior to trying it, I had never tried a purple oolong, but came away quite impressed. Though I found it to be a somewhat temperamental tea, I enjoyed trying it and would most likely be willing to buy more of it in the future.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 194 F water for 8 seconds. This infusion was chased by 14 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 10 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, and 5 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves emitted aromas of chocolate, plum, and malt. After the rinse, new aromas of blood orange, raisin, and fig emerged. The first infusion saw the plum aroma strengthen while subtle aromas of butter and cream also emerged. In the mouth, the tea liquor started off with a pronounced plum note before transitioning to reveal chocolate, butter, cream, malt, fig, and golden raisin flavors. Plum notes then reappeared on the swallow. Subsequent infusions saw the nose develop some bready, floral, and nutty characteristics. New flavors of wood, cinnamon, ginger, lemon zest, minerals, roasted beechnut, tart cherry, pear, baked bread, and roasted chestnut appeared in the mouth. Notes of blood orange belatedly emerged as well, and I even noted some floral impressions reminiscent of a combination of rose and violet on several infusions. The last infusions presented mineral, cream, butter, and pear impressions balanced by subtler wood, golden raisin, and plum notes.

A seemingly rustic tea with surprising depth and complexity, this made for a nice drinking experience. It certainly made me want to try some more Kenyan purple teas because, if this one is any indication, they have plenty to offer. I know I am the most extreme outlier with regard to my rating of this tea, but I really did find it to be that good. It reminded me of a lighter, sweeter Chinese purple black tea, but without the astringency and bitterness that those teas seem to frequently display. Definitely give this one a shot if you are open-minded and looking for something new and different.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Blood orange, Butter, Cherry, Chestnut, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Cream, Fig, Ginger, Lemon Zest, Malt, Mineral, Pear, Plums, Raisins, Roasted nuts, Rose, Violet, Wood

Preparation
6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML
Daylon R Thomas

Blood orange was a note? Dang that is specific, and also a taste I love.

Daylon R Thomas

And I might try that one. The other purple varieties are usually too bitter for me, even if they are a moonlight variety.

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335 tasting notes

I didn’t care for this tea gong fu or western brewed to be drunk hot. With that, I give the tea a 70ish rating. But iced, this tea become very tasty to me, would give it a 85. I feel this way with Darjeeling. I only like it iced.

It’s just so much sweeter and much more flavorful.

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78
48 tasting notes

An interesting tea that is defiantly not for everyone. It starts off with a strong taste of cinnamon and as the steeps go on a lemon flavor takes over.

1st & 2nd Steep: The tea has a roasted smell. My taste buds find both cinnamon and a hint of lemon in the flavor. An interesting combination. The aftertaste is on the nutty side.

3rd & 4th Steep: The lemon flavor gets stronger and lingers with a bitter-like after taste.

5th & beyond: Bitterness gets laid on harder and dry mouth sets in after the sips.

Was a very interesting tea I will return to again in the right moods.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Drying, Lemon, Nutty

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec 6 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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86
2870 tasting notes

Here’s Hoping Teabox – Round Seven- Tea #26
A very light brew in flavor, though the brew is darker in color than a typical oolong. There is more flavor here than other purple teas I tried before. The note is definitely of plums that I like to find in teas. PLUM The second cup was probably steeped at too hot a temp and the plum was gone, more earthy in flavor, though still light. Going to journal this, I noticed it was on my wish list! Cool, a wish list tea in the teabox!

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80
33 tasting notes

The dry leaves of this tea smelled strongly of lavender and refined sugar so I was extremely excited to brew this up. First steep had quite a few notes that I have more commonly found in black teas. There was a lot of lavender in this tea and with what seemed like a bit of lemon juice with a sweetness at the end. As I continued steeping there was a certain amount of bitterness and astringency and lemon flavor cooled down. There was a lot more maltiness on the later steeps as well. The sweetness of this tea died down to 0 sweetness. This tea had a nice mouthfeel and coats the tongue nicely. Definitely and interesting tea considering that it is from Kenya and most of the teas that I have seen from Kenya are CTC black teas.

Flavors: Bitter, Lavender, Lemon, Malt, Smoke

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 2 OZ / 70 ML

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356 tasting notes

99C/99C/99C/99C/99C
20s/20s/25s/25s/30s

The dry leaves are dark and have a nice, deep, mineral-y aroma that gets even nicer once the leaves are wet.

Medium liquor that is just a bit on the lighter side.
First steep is quite mineral-y and has some bitterness. The SO describes it as being like drinking perfume, but I don’t get that sense from it. Not particularly flavorful for me, and not too much of an aftertaste, just a hint of mineral and that sensation of having consumed something salty. I would say the bitterness wanes off a bit in the second and third steeps, but the flavor is more or less the same.

It’s a busy day, so the leaves end up sitting for probably more than an hour after this before I come back to them. They don’t really seem to be evolving into anything else for me, so I’m going to call this session done and I’ll have to try brewing this tea another way next time so I can get a better feel for it!

Flavors: Bitter, Mineral

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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75
484 tasting notes

100ml gaiwan, 195F, 5gish
Tastes of plum/prunes for 5 or 6 steeps. Good consistent tea, but flavor layers aren’t there for me. Very plummy, but one note.

Edit: sometimes my phone keyboard ugh

Flavors: Plums

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70
11 tasting notes

This is a very delicate tea but not very flavory. After all, though, quite interesting.

Flavors: Caramel, Plums

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 90 ML

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