Our purple tea is the result of a special tea varietal developed and grown uniquely in Kenya. This rare and unique Kenyan tea is said to have both black and green tea characteristics while boasting nearly twice the antioxidants of other teas.
The purple tea itself is a dark colour, however, when brewed the leaves look almost green, with a slightly purplish tinge to the liquor. It is delicately sweet and woodsy with an astringency similar to unripe blackberries or plums.
Although some purple tea exists in India and China, Kenyan Tea Research Institute has officially named the varietal TRFK 306. It was developed to carve out a new niche for Kenyan tea farmers to help invigorate the economy. Purple tea production is still not widespread and it is known colloquially as purple tea due to the purple-reddish leaves which are caused due to high levels of anthocyanins.
The same antioxidants that give colour to foods like blackberries, blueberries, grapes, red cabbage and other red/purple foods their colour. The anthocyanins in purple tea are around 1.5% and to compare that to something we do know in blueberries it is around 0.1%
Because of their ability to track down free radicals in the body and reduce inflammation in the cells, anthocyanins are believed to be a mighty health-boosting antioxidant. At the same time, caffeine content is lower than that of black or green tea.
Purple tea also contains higher amounts of polyphenols than black or green teas (16.5% versus 10.1% for black and 9.1% for green). Like green tea, purple tea also has high levels of catechins. These neuroprotective antioxidants permeate the blood-brain barrier, which significantly boosted brain antioxidant capacity.
A little-known tea varietal from the slopes of Mt. Kenya is the latest addition to the N&S limited collection, a rare black tea that we’ve called Kenyan Purple.
Brew this at 90˚c for a sweeter brew. Best without milk and for a bit extra try a squeeze of lemon.