Purple Lychee

Tea type
Fruit Tea
Apple, Blue Cornflowers, Currants, Lemon Peel, Lychee, Pineapple
Candy, Floral, Fruity, Pineapple
Sold in
Bulk, Loose Leaf, Sachet
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Gillyflower
Average preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec 14 oz / 414 ml

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  • “First, this is NOT the Butterfly Pea tea that brews up purpley-violet or blue. This is camellia sinensis, but apparently a variety grown in Kenya that looks purple in leaf, and brews slightly...” Read full tasting note

From Artful Tea

Purple tea is an entirely new category of tea! Just like black or green tea, it is from the Camellia Sinensis plant, but the leaves of these tea bushes are purple instead of green. It was first discovered growing wild in the Assam region of India, and is now grown commercially in Kenya, Africa. Ours is from the Tumoi Tea Garden in the Nandi Hills of Kenya.

This purple leaf tea is blended with lychee, apple and pineapple for a tropical taste in a medium bodied tea. It’s also very high in anthocyanins – the beneficial compounds found in blueberries, eggplant, purple grapes and other blue, purple or dark red foods.

Low in caffeine (less than green tea, slightly more than white tea).

About Artful Tea View company

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1 Tasting Note

66 tasting notes

First, this is NOT the Butterfly Pea tea that brews up purpley-violet or blue. This is camellia sinensis, but apparently a variety grown in Kenya that looks purple in leaf, and brews slightly purple.

Secondly, about the store: Artful Tea’s new space in Santa Fe is big and white and lovely. The woman who helped me was friendly and answered my questions. And the sheer variety of tea they have is great. However, if you want more than one of their ONE CUP samples, which are all I bought for reasons that will become clear, the smallest amount they sell is 4oz. I’ve bought as little as 1 oz at my favorite tea place at home in Wisconsin; 2oz is for something I know I will want to have many times. I just don’t consume tea that fast! So when I found this out, I gravitated to the samples.

If I’m recalling correctly: the samples were $2.50 each, in folded bulk teabags, each in a small wax-paper bag and stapled inside a thick paper label with info about the tea. I saw that they were selling 6-bag sampler sets (e.g., green, organic, black, herbal…these are on their website too) for $11.95, and asked, “If I pick six samples, can I have them for $11.95?” Somehow THAT wasn’t okay. The deal only worked if I bought a pre-selected sampler set. So…I bought five samples. ‘Cause I’m unemployed.

In short: chalk this tea shop up to Santa Fe tourist theory, that the more expensive something is, the more likely bored rich middle-aged and older women will spend a LOT of money on it assuming it’s special. The $405 rainbow-dyed cashmere shawl I tried on later the same day I bought this tea: that’s special. (Bookmarked it online to let my parents know closer to my December birthday!) This particular tea is not (see below). I look forward to trying the other four samples I bought.

They didn’t give a brewing temp for this, just “until steaming briskly, not boiling”, so I guessed on my Cuisinart tea setting and picked Oolong (180 F). I don’t know if this was too cool, because the resulting brew doesn’t smell or taste like much of anything. Hot water with a couple of Pez dissolved in it? It smells very, very vaguely floral and fruity; not at all like c. sinensis. The brew is purplish-tan and just sits there in my mouth, quietly waiting for me to swallow. I dumped about 2 tsp. of sugar into it just to coax some flavor out, and that at least made it drinkable, but I wouldn’t buy any more of this than I already have, and I’m really happy that I didn’t spend $18 for four ounces, the next size up. (The tin is apparently $3 extra.)

Flavors: Candy, Floral, Fruity, Pineapple

180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML

That’s disappointing! This sounds like it should have been a tasty tea. I’ve had purple tea before, and it was similar to an oolong; I doubt your brewing temperature was the problem. It sounds like maybe their tea samples were older than they should have been, or badly stored?


It’s possible some samples were older (I did see some in the sample rack with the old store address, and they told me they had been in the new store for only 3 months). Also the waxed paper envelope, folded and stapled shut, may not have done the best job of keeping the tea fresh, I don’t know. Or they just may not re-stock much, who knows? They wouldn’t be the first tea place with a gorgeous shop and tea that’s been in the canisters for years…! The five samples have been in a sealed ziplock since I got home from the Santa Fe trip in May, so it’s not my fault!

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