40
drank Kenyan Purple Leaf Tea by Justea
54 tasting notes

I bought this at the SF Int’ Tea Festival because I’ve heard of Kenyan tea but not have had a chance to sample. I tried their jasmine flavored version and thought it was good. A friend tried the chocolate or mint and also found it tasty. However, I really just wanted to try JUST the Kenyan purple tea without any flavors. I had to ask them if I could taste JUST the purple tea without any flavoring, but they didn’t have it brewed, so I bought this untasted.

The tea leaves are small and have a purple tinge to them.
The dry leaves smell faintly of plum.
The warm (not wet) leaves smell more of plum and a light roast.

I brewed this in two different ways.
- Western
- GongFu

TL;DR — Western Style: Hardly any flavor
GongFu style — MUCH too bitter, even at a low temp/short steep times.

WESTERN:
I brewed this per their recommendation on the bag: Western Style 1tsp (3g) for 1cup water @ 175F for 3 minutes. (NOTE: Their website suggests 3g at BOILING WATER for 3-5 minutes)

Steep 1 : Tea broth: a very pale dirty yellow
Flavor: Extremely mild flavor. There’s hardly any initial flavors, only hints of toasted flavors, but nothing discernible. There’s an extremely mild astringency as my whole tongue dries out just ever so slightly. The water at 175 deg F isn’t helping leach out any of the flavors. (This is when I check their website and find that they recommend BOILING WATER)

Steep 2: 4 minutes @ 208degF
Leaf aroma: there’s a vegetal / roasted scent
Liquid aroma: A very mild fruity (not plum, no stone fruit) scent.
Flavor: There’s an extremely mild sweet vegetal notes. And a bit more astringency than the first steep. It’s not really all that much flavorful than the first steep

Conclusion for Western: When brewed to their recommendation, this tea has hardly any flavor, which is why they probably mix it with other things.

GongFu
Tea: 5grams / Water: 150ml

30 seconds @ 203F
The tea broth looks like a dirty rose wine. It looks rather unappealing, but has a underlying hints of sweetness in its aroma

Flavor: First thing that hits your mouth is BITTER. I can’t even finish drinking it as it’s so bitter.

20 sec @ 175F — I dropped the steep time down as well as the water temperature, hoping that this will help. It’s not as bitter as the first steep, but still bitter enough to be undrinkable.

Conclusion: Won’t drink this stuff as GF. A higher tea to water ratio does not necessarily make this tea flavorful.

Bluegreen

I keep hearing about all those wonderful Kenyan teas as well but those few that I tried were similarly disappointing, or, at best, nothing special. Either my luck is lousy or the hype is a bit excessive.

Jade

I think the hype is excessive. It seems to be okay as a blended tea, but on its own? Meh…

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Bluegreen

I keep hearing about all those wonderful Kenyan teas as well but those few that I tried were similarly disappointing, or, at best, nothing special. Either my luck is lousy or the hype is a bit excessive.

Jade

I think the hype is excessive. It seems to be okay as a blended tea, but on its own? Meh…

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Bio

General: A crafty geek girl who has a love for tea, cats, writing, books, as well as learning a multitude of post-apocalyptic skills…just in case.

Tea: I’ve been drinking tea all my life. My grandfather was half-Chinese, but I was always too lazy to brew anything other than Western style. In the past 5 years I’ve been changing that; trying to develop my tea-tasting chops and still a lot to learn! I prefer oolongs, blacks, and greens (in that order), and I’m trying to expand my knowledge of tea from all over the world (and not just China & Japan). I do tend to stay away from herbal tisanes or overly flavored teas as I find them much too sweet and overpowering.

My ratings explained.
90-100: Exceptional tea. The tea I want with me on that desert island. It is the tea I’ll take time to relish and enjoy.

80-89: Very Good Tea. It fits my flavor profile and I enjoy drinking it.

70-79: Good. I like it, but might not be one I reach for on a regular basis..

60-69: Solid. Better than average, and something I’ll grab when I need to “run-out-the-door” and can’t take time to really appreciate the tea I’m drinking.

50-59: Decent/Average. Not my preferred flavor profile or something I won’t purposefully go out to buy. It might lack that “Something” in its aroma/flavor/mouthfeel/finish.

40-49: Below average. I don’t really care for this tea and likely won’t have it again.

39 and lower: Gross. Didn’t finish it or refused to drink anymore.

Location

San Francisco Bay Area

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