JusTea's New Purple Leaf Tea Blends
As I learnt more about the tea and company at the expo from Suzette and Maryann, I fell in love with the company's mission to help small-scale Kenyan farmers have access to better education, water, food and sanitation be establishing Kenya's first ever farmer-ownered artisanal tea factory, and crafting teas that have never been made before. This week JusTea launches their new line of purple leaf tea blends, Purple Rain, Purple Jasmine, and Purple Mint. Each of these tins come with a hand-carved Kenyan tea spoon from an olive tree. The hand-carved spoons support multiple Kenyan co-ops where mainly men carve the spoons and women sand them. They purchase these spoons and herbs from the co-op to also create sustainable employment at fair wages for them.
On the right you can see 3 of the Artisan collection of tea tins for the Purple Leaf, Safari Oolong and Kenyan Earl Grey which are wrapped in Kenyan fabric. The fabric ones are sold at expos and in their online stores. The retail stores only carry the paper wrapped tins, but they're still beautifully designed!
Disclosure: I was invited to attend a tea tasting media event. All teas in this review was complimentary except for the Purple Leaf Tea and Kenya Earl Grey which I bought myself. I was not paid to write this review.
At the tea tasting we tried 16 teas. 8 were single leaf teas and other half were tea blends. It was my first tea cupping but the format is very similar to a coffee cupping. All the teas are laid out in a line with a bowl like cup. They are all steeped at the same time and strained at their optimal steeping time. Everyone grabs a cupping spoon and slurps away! You'll want to slurp as hard as you can if you want to extract the best flavours. It can be strange for someone new to cupping to make a loud slurping sound though!
Why Slurp Your Tea?
1) It cools down the tea very quickly when exposed to lots of air. You can taste more with cooler teas.
2) By oxygenating the tea you're softening the tannins and reducing the astringency making the tea smoother and more flavourful.
SINGLE LEAF TEAS WE TRIED:
Bulang Shan | O5 Tea
Mt. Kenya Black | JusTea
Darjeeling First Pluck | O5
Safari Oolong | JusTea
Frozen Summit Oolong | Dachi Tea
Purple Leaf Tea | JusTea
Sencha | Blue Ocean Tea Company
Kenya White Silver Tip Tea
TEA BLENDS WE TRIED:
Purple Jasmine | JusTea
Purple Mint | JusTea
Purple Rain | JusTea
Sunkissed Roobios | JusTea
Kenyan Earl Grey | JusTea
African Chai | JusTea
Peppermint Detox | JusTea
Chamomile Cleanse | JusTea
What is Purple Tea?
Purple Tea comes from a tea tree with purple leaves instead of jade green leaves. The tea leaves are purple because they contain anthocyanins which are the same antioxidants that make all purple plants have this colour such as blueberries and pomegranates. It is the only tea that changes colour. It doesn't steep purple but with a few drops of lemon will cause a colour reaction and change it to a purple or pink colour.The tea leaves are purple but it doesn't steep purple colour. When adding a few drops of lemon it does change to a purple colour. If you add too much it starts going pink.
This is the only tea that contains anthocyanins which have been found to lower cholesterol, improve immune health and help as a natural anti-inflammatory. The purple tea is crafted as an unoxidized leaf to retain the most health benefits.
Check out this intro to Purple Leaf Tea video from JusTea
How does it turn purple?
The tea steeps a light yellow-rose colour. It is recommended to steep for 3 minutes with 175°F water. I use a Bonavita water kettle which has precise temperature control for my test at home. I use an Acaia scale to measure out the tea leaves and water ratio. With the right amount of lemon droplets you should see a light purple colour appear. I did 3 test before I was able to get it the perfect purple hue that I wanted in the left photo below.
The shot on the left has some Photoshop trickery. Everything but the teapot was shot with 1 setting. Then the teapot was shot with a 30 second long exposure so the colours would be more vibrant and glowing. I cut out the teapot and placed it on top of other photo. If I had shot the whole photo with that setting it would have looked too bright! You most likely won't see it this purple with the naked eye.
Now if you add too much lemon, it starts to turn pink. The pink in the photo is how I saw it in real life. No Photoshop or camera tricks! It makes for a beautiful "Arnold Palmer" drink which is an iced tea + lemonade drink. I added a little bit of 7up and Ribena to give it an Asian twist. It makes for a refreshing iced summer drink!
I was told if I added baking soda it would turn blue but I didn't want to waste tea.
Purple Leaf Tea
Tasting Notes: Sweet Plum & Fresh Spring Greens
Steeping Instructions: 1 Teaspoon –175°F – 3 mins
100% Natural Ingredients: Kenyan Purple Tea
Tasting Notes: Light & Floral. Spring Jasmine & Honey
Steeping Instructions: 1 Teaspoon –175°F – 2 mins
100% Natural Ingredients: Jasmine Green Tea, Kenyan Purple Tea, Jasmine Blossoms, Cornflower Blossoms.
Tasting Notes: Bright & Lively. Tropical Fruit & Hibiscus
Steeping Instructions: 1 Teaspoon –190°F – 4 mins
100% Natural Ingredients: Organic Lemongrass, Kenyan Purple Tea, Hibiscus, Apple Pieces, Rosehips, Natural Passion Fruit Flavour.
Tasting Notes: Fresh & Soothing. Aromatic Mint & Rose
Steeping Instructions: 1 Teaspoon –190°F – 3 mins
100% Natural Ingredients: Kenyan Purple Tea, Peppermint Leaves, Spearmint Leaves, Rose Petals.
We all have different palettes so I would look at the tasting notes to see what interests you. I usually prefer drinking single whole leaf teas instead of blends but my personal favourite is the Purple Rain in the new blend line up. It would make for a delicious ice tea or arnold palmer.
For my readers,
- Free tea on your birthday if you sign up for their online newsletter. You'll also receive 20% off promo code for your first online order. For all orders over $50 there is free shipping but you can also opt to pick up at JusTea if you're in the area.
- Win a pair of John Fluevog Shoes and a year's supply of Purple Tea from JustTea. The contest period is from May 19th 2017 until June 1st 2017 and is available to all residents in North America. Click here to enter contest!
- Stay tuned to my Instagram account, I'll be partnering with JusTea and hosting a giveaway soon!