Leaf Type: Aged Oolong
Where to Buy: Butiki Teas (However it is no longer for sale)
Tea Description: Our 1991 Da Ye Aged Oolong is a 22 year old spring harvested tea from Nantou, Taiwan. This rare tea is oxidized between 20-30% and charcoal roasted. Da Ye Oolong is uncommon today since this tea has a lower production volume. Our 1991 Da Ye Aged Oolong is sweeter and creamier than our 2003 Reserve Four Season Oolong. Notes of roasted chestnut, bark, fresh butter, honey suckle, and cinnamon can be detected. Due to the age of this tea, some mineral notes may also be detected. This tea has a silky mouth feel and is sweet and buttery.
Learn more about this tea on Steepster.
This isn’t a new Butiki blend (really there aren’t any new Butiki blends anymore since the owner’s retirement and the store closed); but it is new to me. I’ve been curious about it for a long time, but I think that without Butiki closing I would have been stuck in a permanent state of “window shopping”, which is a shame because I definitely would have been missing out.
So, this tea is actually older than I am by four years! There’s something inheritantly fascinating about that, and it’s hard to wrap my head around it. Many reviews I’ve seen for this tea feature the reviewer remarking “where they were” or “what they were doing” back in 1991, but I wasn’t doing anything! My parents weren’t even married in 1991.
Lately I’ve been trying to explore straight oolongs a little more thoroughly so it’s appropriate I’m trying this one. I’ve enjoyed the straight oolong I’ve had, especially the darker/roastier ones, but my exposure has been relatively limited and it’s time to change that. The dry leaf for this one already smells quite different than oolong I’m familiar with; it has a really distinct dill smell to it! And then nuttier notes emerge as well. It’s the dill that gets me though; I’ve never heard of dill being a present flavour notes in a straight oolong before – maybe a green tea though that’s probably a bit of a stretch too. I’m already learning things!
Wow; this is surprisingly more complex than I was expecting. Even upon my first few initial sips I was registering such a large variety of flavours it was almost a little overwhelming; they all tie in quite well to one another though. It seems like the general backdrop of flavours is a combination of soaked/damp wood and moss. Very earthy, and very natural. On top of the general taste, which carries throughout the sip, was a lovely arrangement of roasty and nutty flavours, with a very slight and enjoyable dryness. The combination of all of these things is coming together to remind me of petrichor.
For those who don’t know; petrichor is the smell of rain on dry earth. It’s my absolute favourite smell in the world and I’ve been looking for a tea that accurately conveys it for as long as I can remember; this does the job better than anything else I’ve tried. Lastly, this tea finishes with a sweet dill note that tickles at back of my throat. I’m liking how the dill plays into all of this by adding a bit of a different feeling as well as a unique taste!
My second steep was good too; many of the flavours I observed with the first cup were still there but in different levels. I found the wood flavour was less pronounced as well as the dry nuttiness, but the moss was a little more accentuated. The dill was also a lot more strong; instead of just tasting it in the finish I was tasting it in the body of the sip as well. I also registered a very subtle floral note and some richer mineral notes.
Unfortunately because of a prior commitment in the day I didn’t have time to continue with additional steeps; but I’d love to find a day to dedicate solely to this tea because it’s strange, and wonderful and very complex and I’m so smitten with it!
It’ll be hard to get your hands on this tea now; but if you find yourself with the chance to try it I definitely recommend doing so!
Where To Buy:
Purple tea is rich in anthocyanin (a flavonoid), which pigments the leaves a purplish color. This purple species has been in development for 25 years in Kenya and is more resistant to frost, disease, drought, and pests. Purple Tea of Kenya is a very rare tea that has sweet woodsy notes with a pleasant lingering astringency. The recommended brewing time is 3 minutes which will produce a mellow flavor; however, this tea can be brewed as long as 5 minutes for a more flavorful and astringent brew. One ounce makes approximately 24 servings.
Recommended Brew Time: 3 to 5 minutes
Recommended Amount: 1/2 teaspoon of tea for 8oz of water
Recommended Temperature: 160 F
The Sororitea Sisters are STOKED to be one of the first Tea Review Websites to review PURPLE TEA! Yes! Purple Tea!
We thank Stacy from Butiki Teas for the samples and the Tea Farmers in Kenya for Purple Tea, itself!
Purple Tea has higher medicinal properties than green and black tea and its seeds produce oil suitable for cooking, cosmetics and the pharmaceutical industries. The variety has been used to develop products on experimental basis whose value is four times that of the ordinary black teas. For more info on Purple Tea please visit The Tea Research Foundation of Kenya HERE.
I’m very excited to see the popularity of this tea grow! I’m hoping many tea companies will start supporting this as well as their customer base. Kudos to Butiki Teas for leading the way!
As for this specific Purple Tea…
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!
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!