Review: Purpose Purple Tea
Covers Products: Blood Orange, Grapefruit, Lime & Sea Salt, Simply Purpose, Watermelon Mint
Purpose Purple Tea is a line of ready to drink purple tea beverages that are Non-GMO verified and, as the name subtly suggests, is built around a social mission that focuses on female tea pickers in Kenya, where the product is sourced.
The product line currently features four flavors, which includes two sweetened varieties (Watermelon Mint and Grapefruit, Lime, & Sea Salt) and two unsweetened varieties (Blood Orange and Simple Purple). The products are packaged in tall and slightly slim looking 16 oz. bottles and have either 70 calories (sweetened varieties) or zero calories (unsweetened varieties) per bottle.
When it comes to taste, the base of purple tea is mild and smooth and it drinks like and, just for a point of reference, it tastes like a blend of black tea and rooibos tea. Its finish is slightly tannic but less so than black tea.
The unsweetened varieties don’t have much flavor beyond the tea and a slight bite from the citric acid. Unfortunately, blood orange flavoring doesn’t work all that well, as it largely makes the citric acid more pronounced. The Simply Purple variety is straightforward and clean, although we question how much potential there is for unadulterated purple tea.
For the sweetened offerings, Grapefruit, Lime, and Sea Salt works quite well and is, in our opinion, the best executed flavor of the bunch. It would certainly be better if it used fruit juice rather than flavorings, but we think they’ve done a pretty nice job working with the ingredients that they did. Finally, there’s Watermelon Mint, which is a good concept and uses the tried and true summer pairing of watermelon and spearmint. However, we think there’s still more work required to balance out the flavors.
On the outside, Purpose uses a purple label featuring a text heavy design. There’s a small callout at the top for “unsweetened” or “hint of sweet”, a large front-and-center callout for the product’s higher antioxidant content (“50% more”), a lower band that features the flavor name written in a script font, and finally you’ll find Non-GMO Project and Direct Impact badges along the bottom. In addition, it uses a stock gold colored cap.
From our perspective, this product feels a bit too sterile and not overly inviting. The “purple” aspect of the product has been incorporated a bit too literally and we think that they need to work on creating a better (and easier to read) hierarchy of elements. Ultimately, we think there’s another direction that they could probably take that would make the brand feel more appealing and would better develop the Purpose brand.
Finally, we think the brand will need to improve how it communicates its social cause. So many brands have offered callouts for social causes that there’s an uphill battle for any newcomer to make their efforts seem genuine rather than just noise. We honestly had a somewhat hard time figuring out exactly what Purpose is supporting and how. Clarifying this would be helpful.
Overall, we think Purpose has a good concept and it’s great to see more brands trying to create some buzz around purple tea. However, there’s definitely some work left to do here, in the flavors, formulations and the brand overall.