Purple Tea of Kenya

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Edit tea info Last updated by Kittenna
Average preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 30 sec 10 oz / 283 ml

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26 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Brewed this as recommended today, and am definitely getting green tea-like flavours. I love how the liquor isn’t a typical tea colour though, kind of a strange purpley-greenish tone. Very unique. I...” Read full tasting note
  • “I don’t recall trying a purple tea before so I have no means for comparison but I’m looking forward to a new experience. The closest thing I have tried is Kenyan black tea which I remember to be...” Read full tasting note
  • “I’m a little puzzled, this was a great tea but I’m not getting much of what anybody else is noticing. It’s a bit claylike, with that drying sensation I get with wines sometimes. Reminds me of...” Read full tasting note
  • “I mostly purchased this tea for the novelty factor as this is the first I’ve heard of purple tea. It sounds vaguely gimicky to me, but whatever. I may have used too much leaf as it was only after...” Read full tasting note

From Butiki Teas

While still Camellia sinensis, purple tea is a new varietal that is propagated by grafting and cutting as opposed to seeding. This particular varietal is known as TRFK 306/1 and is rich in anthocyanin (a flavonoid), which pigments the leaves a purplish color. Purple tea was primarily developed for tea health products and is rich in antioxidants. Malvidin, Pelargonidin and Delphinidin are prominent in purple tea. The purple species has been in development for 25 years in Kenya and is more resistant to frost, disease, drought, and pests. Our Purple Tea of Kenya is processed similar to green tea; however, when experimenting with different temperatures and times it can take on qualities similar to a green, oolong or black tea and can range from very mellow vegetal notes to astringent red wine-like qualities. We highly recommend experimenting with 160F, 180F, and boiling water temperatures and recommend steeping the tea between 3 and 5 minutes.

Recommended Brew Time: 3 to 5 minutes
Recommended Amount: 1/2 teaspoon of tea for 8oz of water
Recommended Temperature: 160 F, 180 F, or 212 F

For more information, please visit http://www.butikiteas.com

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26 Tasting Notes

6106 tasting notes

Brewed this as recommended today, and am definitely getting green tea-like flavours. I love how the liquor isn’t a typical tea colour though, kind of a strange purpley-greenish tone. Very unique. I apparently have more of this left than I thought, as I forgot that it only requires 1/2 a teaspoon per cup… so I guess I have about 8 cups left. So much tea!

160 °F / 71 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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1379 tasting notes

I don’t recall trying a purple tea before so I have no means for comparison but I’m looking forward to a new experience. The closest thing I have tried is Kenyan black tea which I remember to be very dark and smoky.

The leaves are dark brown and extremely dark purple/burgundy in colour with a few golden tips which are all finely chopped. It has a strong smoked wood scent with hints of malt and prunes. Very reminiscent of a mature dark Oolong.

I shall be steeping 5g (roughly 1.5 tsp) of tea in my 8oz Gongfu teapot using just under boiling water. I’m treating it like a black tea to see the similar characteristics between the two as black teas are one of my favourites.

WOAH! The tea is black..not dark brown but actually black. Sort of looks like dirty paint water. Sorry I know that’s not really selling it but that’s what first came to mind. When it came to pouring the tea into my bowl it changed to colour to burgundy right before my very eyes as if my magic. The leaves themselves are now dark green and look completely different from before the steep. Aroma is sweet, wooden and malted with a touch of maple.

Flavour is very full bodied and rich. I can taste smoky wood, sweet yet subtle flowers, thick malt and currants. It tastes like a highly oxidized Oolong but with more magic about it. It also has a slight astringent tang and dryness which reminds me of green tea such as Dragon Well.

If I was to taste this without knowing what it was I would have said Oolong with little doubt in my mind of it being anything else. It’s the strangest tea I have ever tried but I love it! I need more purple tea in my life.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

Thanks for the detailed note on this one!


This sounds really good!

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1759 tasting notes

I’m a little puzzled, this was a great tea but I’m not getting much of what anybody else is noticing.
It’s a bit claylike, with that drying sensation I get with wines sometimes. Reminds me of grapes in some ways! but certainly not of an oolong.
There is also a hard hitting bitter note towards the end of the sip, and a mild honey sweetness. All of this is overshadowed by the essence of something smokey, though I don’t actually taste any smoke, its more of a texture thing.
The second infusion really picks up on the honey aspect and balances out the clay. Light Pu-erh meets Dragonwell. Yum :)
Many thanks to Raritea for this sample, I quite enjoyed my cup!


strange as this sounds…try a ‘pour over’ technique….if you don’t have a pour over and a paper filter but do have a fine mesh strainer (like from a tetsubin or Asian market), just add the same amount you would expect for the serving (3g per 6-8oz) and pour the water through the strainer with the tea in it allowing only for the time it takes to pour through….visit here for an example of a Sri Lankan version of the idea https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=436697979744696&set=a.436697746411386.1073741831.435275026553658&type=3&theater


ah if I had more than a sample I might have tried that! ah well. Thx for the idea!

Butiki Teas

Indigobloom-I think it depends on how you prepared it. This tea can handle a variety of different brewing parameters. I’ve noticed green qualities at 160F, oolong at 180F, and black tea qualities at boiling. The tea also seems to have different notes at each temperature.


aha, that makes more sense. I went with boiling on the third infusion and that was a trip! some sips it was almost black, others definitely green

Butiki Teas

Interesting. Its a very flexible tea.

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1908 tasting notes

I mostly purchased this tea for the novelty factor as this is the first I’ve heard of purple tea. It sounds vaguely gimicky to me, but whatever.

I may have used too much leaf as it was only after I added the water that I noticed that the steeping instruction on the bag said to use 1/2 tsp rather than a whole teaspoon. Oops. The leaf was very fine – teabag-sized basically – and had a sweet, cured-hay scent. Dry it looked like a black tea but when it got wet the leaves turned distinctly greenish. The tea itself was quite astringent – too much so for my tastes, I’m afraid, but that might be my fault so I’ll hold off rating this tea until I try it again using a smaller amount of tea (and maybe a shorter steep).

170 °F / 76 °C 4 min, 0 sec

The color isn’t in the tea but refers to the special trees that the tea comes from.This tea is harder to come by and Butiki is one of the few vendor’s to carry it.

Butiki Teas

I highly recommend experimenting with this tea. It can handle a variety of temperatures and produces different tastes at each temperature. At 160 it is similar to a green, at 180 it is similar to an oolong, and at 212 it is similar to a black and has a wine like quality.

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676 tasting notes

Sample from Butiki thanks to owner Stacy. Naturally Purple Tea! Of course I had to try this! For me it’s like going bunjee jumping but less dangerous! Tea Adventure!
Not knowing what to expect when I followed directions for 8oz. steep 4min. 160F. the liquor turned out to be a pale yellowish lavander. The scent isn’t very strong and reminds me of a hint of wine…like someone has left a few drops in the wine glass but my glass pot and the cup have not been used for tea recently and are sterile. My first sip proved a little sweet and astringent in a pleasent way. I didn’t want to make a comparison to my recent tasting of muscat tea but kept coming back to that flavor. It tastes faintly like mulberry and muscat wine. I know, I know…it could be a phantom…but as much as I try to force the flavor away, it comes back as a yes to those flavors. Since this is a new varietal, I hope it is successful and that Butiki continues to carry it. I’d like to try some more!


This is tempting!

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6768 tasting notes

I have been waiting to try this tea because I sent an email to both Jason and Ricky hoping they would add a PURPLE TEA Category to the Category List. I haven’t heard back from either one of them regarding this.


I have LOTS of stuff going thru my head right now about this tea so I am just going to virtually BLAB about it…

At first glance it looks like a finely slivered black tea but after infusion I inspected the leaves and they were reminiscent of a darker green! Very interesting!

At first sniff I could pick up on a savory or food like aroma prior to infusing. After infusing it reminded me of a green and black blend!

It ‘brews’ dark much like a black tea with a bit of a cloud texture to the color…NOT an actual texture to the liquid (like some greens) but the color if that makes sense.

At first taste it reminded me of a few grassier senchas I have tried…but then it changed up to a slightly astringent black tea taste. There is an interesting maltiness to it too – not your stereotypical maltiness like you would find in a black tea tho. The aftertaste has more stereotypical traits of a green tho.

I love the conflicts here. I love the change-up. I like how it morphs back and forth.

The aftertaste of the aftertaste is more of a combo between the woodsy and the grassy but it’s a neat happy-medium that I am appreciating!

I’m excited to try more PURPLE TEAS and am looking forward to their popularity growing!!!! I like this!

Butiki Teas

I love your description of this tea. I was having a hard time describing it because the difference in taste between 3 minute steepings and 5 minute steepings was huge. What time did you prefer to steep this tea at? Recently, I’ve been describing this tea as a black, green, oolong rolled into one tea.


I did this at about 3 mins :)

Butiki Teas

Thanks :)

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836 tasting notes

1 tablespoon for 375 ml

Lightly buttery vegetal flavour. Very delicate taste. Light broth-y mouth-feel. Crisp finish. Only the slightest hint of an astringent note near the end of the sip which is well balanced with the flavour profile. The overall flavour profile tastes like mix of green tea notes and the delicacy of white tea (about 65% green tea traits and 35% white tea traits). Fruity grape-like notes in the lingering aftertaste.

Second infusion using 82 degrees Celsius water, 300 ml, for 4 minutes. The taste of the tea reminds me a lot of the Gyokuro Imperial from Teavana (Creamy, vegetal spinach). There’s more of a smoothness in the flavour and a very buttery finish. The aftertaste is very sweet grape-y. The grape flavour reminds me a bit of an artificial grape taste but there is a astringent quality to it near the end of it that makes the taste bloom into something much more refined. I’m detecting the grapefruit-y hint that I sometimes find in the aftertaste of oolongs. This second infusion is incredibly flavourful- the best tasting second infusion that I have experienced.

Third infusion using 100 degrees Celsius water, 248 ml, 5 minutes. There is a corn-like aroma from the brewed tea. Mild, brothy green tea taste. Very faint hint of a leathery, astringent black tea note near the end of the sip. Grape-like flavour develops close to aftertaste as the tea cools.

165 °F / 73 °C 3 min, 0 sec

grape in an oolong, neat! I though it’d be more floral


This is closer to a green than an oolong, I think. Although Stacy says that depending on brewing temp, different profiles can be achieved. I’ve only tried my bag of it once though, and to me, it tasted like a green… I think.

Butiki Teas

The anthocyanin, which gives the leaves their purple hue is a little on the astringent side and to me gives a more wine-like flavor.

Kittenna-Absolutely, this tea can take on different forms when brewed differently. My favorite way to make this is to boil the water and steep for 5 minutes. It has a strong wine-like taste that is more unique than the other brewing methods but is more similar to a black tea.

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2816 tasting notes

I was pretty excited to try this unique tea and I do like supporting small local vendors who bring us offerings like this so that was definitely a great reason to try it.

I steeped mine with 180 F water for around 3.5 minutes in a glass infuser mug. This is such a curious tea with very interesting properties. I agree with TeaEqualsBliss that at first it reminds me of a sencha both in flavor and consistency but the color and strength are more like a dark oolong and it definitely has an astringent finish. That’s the only thing that bugs me a bit so I am going to try doing a few other things with it including steeping at a lower temp. and cold brewing so my rating may go up a bit soon. I am leery of astringent teas due to my issues with acid reflux but it doesn’t seem to bother other people. This is pretty unique so if you aren’t afraid of something unusual I suggest you give it a try!

180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 30 sec

Amy, are there any qualities you do like in astringent teas (say in a Darjeeling)? I completely understand the astringency factor, and how it affects your acid reflux. I’m asking b/c sometimes, say my Cranberry Tea, gives me heartburn. Yet I do like the fact, that it is tart and yet sweet, with a good base tea.

Also, I really enjoy Darjeelings, yet if they are oversteeped, astringency does become a factor-but there usually are other dimensions in these teas I still enjoy.


I like the flavor of darjeelings but since they usually make me kind of ill it’s difficult to separate the two, know what I mean?


yeah….too bad. I was gonna try to send you a lighter Darj, but I don’t think its a good idea if they make you feel ill. Do you have reflux really bad?


I’m fine as long as I stay away from things that make my stomach hurt… ;-)


what about spicy things?


let’s take this discussion to DM… :)

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2145 tasting notes

This is actually one of the samples that came with my previous order. I forgot it was in my tea drawer and discovered it looking for hot chocolate last night. Before I discovered Butiki I had never heard of purple tea, which is why I requested it as a sample. At boiling, this tea took on some floral notes that reminded me somewhat of an oolong, yet it had a slight astringency reminding me of a black tea.

I think I’ll have to order some more of this at some point and play around with the different temperatures and the flavor profiles they produce. It really is an interesting tea.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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1629 tasting notes

I never rated this tea?! Crazy! I had a nice amount of this tea also. The leaves are finely ground up. There is barely any bitterness to this, which is good. I like this tea. It is like black tea, but somehow different. This tea is light tasting and perhaps it is because I hadn’t touched it in quite some time. There is a hint of fruitiness and sweetness to it. I can’t really pin it down.

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