Purple tea is a new category of tea from the Camellia Sinensis plant which gives us Black, Green, Oolong and White teas. Purple leafed tea plants were found growing wild in the Assam region of India and later taken to Kenya. For over 25 years, the Tea Research Foundation of Kenya worked to create a cultivar of this wild purple tea plant which would be ideal for commercial tea production. Kenya, the third largest producer of commercial tea after China and India, now leads as the largest producer of Purple tea. It thrives when grown at elevations over 6,000 feet along the equator, where it receives 12 hours a day of sunlight year round.
Although Purple tea has not been on the market long, its popularity is growing rapidly as seen in a HuffPost headline from January 2015 asking “Will Kenyan Purple Tea Replace The Green Brew As India’s New Health Drink?” Purple tea is rich in a type of antioxidant called anthocyanins which are thought to help protect cells from free radicals and support capillary strength. Anthocyanins give certain fruits and vegetables (such as blueberries, blackberries, purple grapes, and eggplants) their rich blue, purple or dark red color. This rich hue also gives Purple tea its name.
Purple tea’s flavor is most similar to oolong – lighter than Black tea and without the fresh grassy flavor of Green tea. And Purple Tea is very low in caffeine – lower than most Green teas with only slightly more caffeine than White tea. Flavor, health benefits and low caffeine are winning many fans of this newcomer tea. 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, while our Lychee Purple tea is a tropical tasting blend with apple, pineapple, lemon, currants and lychee. Like Green and Oolong teas, Purple tea leaves can be infused more than once, making it an ideal ‘on the go’ choice using our Urban Tea Tumbler!