Kenya Purple Leaf
Tasting Notes: subtle grape, pear, apricot, juniper
Description: A purple-hued and hand-rolled tea that is made by small scale tea farmers in Kenya. A very unique tea that is fairly new to the global tea market. While it’s classified as a black tea it is more similar to a light-bodied green or white tea in its flavor.
This tea has a pleasant balance of dry astringency with a touch of sweetness. A light-bodied tea with mild flavor notes of grape, apricot, pear, walnut, and juniper. If you enjoy the taste of white and green teas, we think you’ll love this refreshing tea that has a slight purple-hued color in the cup. A crisp tea with a wonderful aroma and subtle flavor.
The purple-hued color of the leaf and brew of this tea is due to a high level of antioxidants called anthocyanins. Anthocyanins give certain fruits and vegetables, such as blueberries, grapes, and eggplants, their rich blue/purple/dark red color. Studies of foods with anthocyanin antioxidants indicate that they support cardiovascular health, fight inflammation, improve cognition, and help to reverse the effects of UV damage.
The Tea Research Foundation of Kenya (TRFK) developed this Purple Leaf cultivar and planted the first seedlings in 2011. This rare tea is named after its distinctive purple leaf pigmentation associated with very high presence of anthocyanin antioxidants. The presence of these purple antioxidants is due to this tea being grown at elevations between 4,500 and 7,500 feet above sea level near the equator. The high altitude near the equator results in higher levels of UV sunlight which causes the plants to produce very high levels of antioxidants to protect the leaves from sun damage. This unique genetic mutation, which is the result of the plant trying to prevent sun damage, in turn produces these anthocyanin antioxidants which are the same powerful antioxidant found in blueberries. In fact, Purple Leaf Tea contains more anthocyanins compared to blueberries.
Purple Tea is a new cultivar of the tea family that is only found in the highlands of the Great Rift Valley in Kenya where it thrives growing near the equator at a high elevation. This particular harvest of Purple Leaf Tea was grown in the Nandi Hills which are located in a highland area of lush green rolling hills at the edge of the Rift Valley in the southwestern part of Kenya.
Ingredients: purple leaf black tea from Kenya
Steep Directions: steep 1 heaping teaspoon of tea per 8 oz below boiling water, 175-195°F, for 3-4 minutes
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