Purple tea is a new category of tea! Produced from the camellia sinensis tea plant, and is a cousin to black, green, white, and oolong teas and represents a unique, newly discovered variety of tea.
From India to Kenya
Purple leafed tea plants were found growing wild in the Assam region of India, and were later taken to Kenya, where the Tea Research Foundation of Kenya worked to create a cultivar of this wild plant which would be ideal for commercial tea production. The third largest producer of commercial tea after China and India, Kenya now leads as the largest producer of purple tea. This unique tea thrives when grown at high elevations along the equator, where it receives twelve hours of sunlight a day year round.
Although purple leaf tea has not been on the market long, its popularity is growing as more people find out about the unique history, flavor profile, and health benefits of the tea. Since this tea has become commercially available, more and more tea distributors and venues are carrying it.
The flavor is most similar to oolong – lighter than black tea and without the fresh grassy flavor of green tea. It is also very low in caffeine, somewhere in between green and white teas, making it a great choice for those looking for all the benefits of tea in a less-caffeinated cup.
Health Benefits of Purple Tea
Purple tea is rich in a type of antioxidant called anthocyanins, which are thought to help protect against cancer and neurodegenerative diseases by reducing free radicals. Anthocyanins give certain fruits and vegetables, such as blueberries, blackberries, purple grapes, and eggplants, their rich blue, purple or dark red color. In general, purple leaf tea has been found to have almost twice the antioxidants of other teas, making it a great choice for those looking to include healthy foods and drinks in their daily routine!
Our Purple Teas
Both of our purple teas come from the Tumoi Tea Garden in the Nandi Hills of Kenya. Our Kenyan Purple Tea is a classic unflavored cup, brews up a light purple color, and has a mild taste similar to that of oolong. Our Lychee Purple Leaf blends purple tea with lychee, apple, pineapple, lemon peel, currants, and blue cornflower for a fruit-forward tropical tasting blend. Whether you’ve just learned about purple tea or have been thinking of trying it for a while, this unique new tea is sure to become a favorite!