Wednesday, June 7, 2017

JusTea: A Pair of Purples, Purple Leaf Tea and Purple Jasmine, A Tea Review

I am feeling a bit better today! My back is still just a mess, but I can sit at my desk for more than a few minutes and that is really all I want. I am excited as my TENS unit is arriving tomorrow and I hope it helps with pain, I know it is controversial, but since conventional medical practices have more or less failed me, time to get experimental! One thing I really like about this, compared to the horrible (and at times I swear outright malicious) side effects I have gotten from medication, the biggest risk I take is losing $30 and possibly getting a small jolt of electricity...I will take that over the last medication kerfuffles that gave me seizures and severe tachycardia! I swear, sometimes I think I am the worst X-Men member, my primary mutation is sickness and my secondary mutation is side-effects...but at least I get to wear a cool yellow suit (and be a host to the Pheonix Force...wait...)

Ok that intro went to a weird place, let us return to the world of tea. Specifically Kenyan Purple Tea from JusTea, their Purple Jasmine ,and Purple Leaf Tea. It is probably well known to long time readers (or people who follow me on Instagram) that I am more than a little obsessed with purple tea, my love of anthocyanins is as vast as my love for the color purple. I go out of my way to get my hands on any purple teas I can find and have a dedicated drawer in my tower 'o tea for just the purples. So let us start with the basics, the Purple Leaf Tea, a beautiful dark leaf processed similarly to a green tea meaning you get to see the color change. One of the things that Purple Tea is famous for (and I think might be part of its popularity) is how if you add citrus (usually lemon) it goes from being purple to pink...similar to that fun science experiment using red cabbage to act as an acid detector. The aroma of the dried leaves is light, reminding me of cooked cabbage, lettuce, a touch of dried berries, and a finish of apple blossoms. This is not one of those super aromatic teas, you really need to work to get the aroma notes...until you steep it. Once it is steeped it becomes much stronger, with notes of cooked cabbage and dried cherries with an underlying nuttiness. I admit it is a little peculiar if you were to compare it to other greens, but if you are well versed in the art of purple it smells great!

The tea brews up a light purple, at the bottom of the gaiwan where the wet leaves are sitting it is much stronger purple (like crushed blueberry purple, not vibrant lilac) and when you add a drop of lemon juice it changes into a lovely magenta. For the photo, I admit I steeped it very incorrectly since I really wanted to show that color change...when I tasted it I used my usual green tea gongfoolery. The taste with lemon is strong, very citrus and green with an herbaceous undertone, I am not a huge fan of it with the lemon, but without I really enjoyed it. Notes of cabbage, lettuce, cherries, and a slightly tart finish made for a very fascinating session. I really liked how it blends the earthier side of the vegetal spectrum (or am I the only one that reads cabbage as earthy?) and blends it with vibrant cherries.

On to the next tea, Purple Jasmine, a blend of Jasmine Green, Kenyan Purple, Cornflowers and Jasmine Flowers. I am always a tiny bit apprehensive with Jasmine teas, often I find them way too overbearing and perfumy (granted that is because they are often blended with oils rather than scented and I loathe blended flower teas, but even scented teas are too much for me at times) so I was very happy when I popped the seal and gave the tea a sniff it smelled like a blooming jasmine bush rather than a bar of soap. Obviously, the dominant note is jasmine, but I swear there is an undertone of fresh juicy strawberries which I thought smelled so good...and have given me really devious culinary ideas.

This is a lovely tea, the jasmine is light and one of those teas you taste more with the nose (yay!) and the focus is on fresh grapes and vegetal notes of leafy lettuce and cherry tree leaves. One thing I really liked is how it tasted like in the way tea leaves straight from the plant taste before being processed, it is not something I run into that often in tea, but I do find it quite fun when I do. I did try to cold steep this tea with really rubbish success, but I think that is related to the fact that I have never gotten a jasmine tea to taste good cold, other flowers sure, but never jasmine and it is mildly frustrating. I really want to get my hands on their Purple Mint, because that has perfect summer iced tea written all over it!

This tea was sent for review purposes by the company.


  1. I have some purple mint if you'd like it. Blends aren't my thing so you are welcome to it :)

    1. Sadly I have heard that it is super duper minty, and I like my mint mild, thank you for the offer though!