Saturday, November 15, 2014

Kenya Hand Rolled Purple Varietal Oolong Tea by What-Cha: Tea Redefined

Seller Description: "A unique oolong unlike any other we have tasted before, made from the purple varietal tea plant which gives the tea a unique plum taste and purple tint. A rare and unusual tea which is not to be missed."
WebsiteKenya Hand Rolled Purple Varietal Oolong Tea by What-Cha: Tea Redefined
Sample source: Provided

Teaware: 16oz glass infuser mug
Measured dry: 3 teaspoons
Water Temperature: 175º F
Steeping Time: 3 minutes
Additives: 3 teaspoons of raw sugar

This was a lovely way to start the morning. The leaves are a pretty, slightly purplish color and brew up into a gorgeous golden orange tea, like sunshine in a cup. The flavor is malty, smooth, and sweet... just what I was looking for to start the day.

I made up a cup of this lovely brew before I had a chance to sate my curiosity about the purple tea variety. I've never tried it before, and hadn't come across much information about it.

As it turns out, it's a lot more difficult to pin down than I initially thought. Websites abound about more traditional varieties, but purple? There's a distinct lack. The vendor's website only lists where it was grown (the Mount Kenya Region of Kenya) but doesn't go into how this tea was actually developed. And from what I was able to find online, developed is the right word. Articles are laced with words like "clone" and "hybrid", and it seems to have been designed to help diversify tea variety in Kenya. It also lays claim to additional hardiness and improved medicinal and practical benefits, but these claims are difficult to substantiate.

Looking at the cup now, I don't see the purplish color that the articles said may result from this variety, but it doesn't detract at all from the experience at all, nor the taste!

Prominent Notes: Malty with a slightly fruity element
Aftertaste: Maltiness
Overall: An interesting and tasty tea


Denge, Mark. "Kenya's New Purple Tea Will Be Good For You." Reuters. Reuters, 7 March 2011. Web. 15 November 2014.  <>

"Purple Tea." Tea Research Institute. Web. 15 November 2014. <>

Waruru, Maina. "New Purple Tea Developed in Kenya." New Agriculturist. April 2010. Web. 15 November 2014. <>

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