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.
TL;DR — Western Style: Hardly any flavor
GongFu style — MUCH too bitter, even at a low temp/short steep times.
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.
Tea: 5grams / Water: 150ml
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.