Our Kenyan Purple Leaf Tea, featured in our Masters & Pioneers collection, is made in Kangaita, a small settlement in Kenya’s central province, at a tea research station where new cultivars are being developed. Kenyan tea is naturally pesticide-free. It grows in the vast and beautiful region at the base of Mt Kenya.
Named for its dark reddish-purple leaves, it carries a high concentration of anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are naturally very high in antioxidants, and the leaves of this tea plant are loaded with more antioxidants than any other tea including the well-known green and black tea. Anthocyanins develop in the tea leaves to protect them from the sun and are what give the leaves their purple hue. They are the same flavenoids responsible for giving superfoods like blueberries, acai berries, and pomegranates their purple color.
For this reason, the medicinal value of purple tea is endless! In fact, this particular tea leaf is being studied for its application in medicine since it is so high in antioxidants. The leaves have anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties and they are known to reduce cholesterol, boost cognitive function and prevent colds and flu.
Most tea in Kenya is CTC (cut tear curl) black tea for tea bags and Kangaita makes beautiful and flavorful long-leaf golden, white, oolong, green, and purple-leaf teas. Purple leaf tea is a relatively new crop for local farmers who have only started growing it in the last 10 years. Demand has dramatically increased as consumers discover the healthful benefits and joy found in a cup of purple tea.
Easy to brew, you’d prepare it just like black tea. Steep the leaves for about 3 minutes in boiling water. Watch your water slowly turn a lovely shade of purple. You can expect a delicate floral-fruity flavor.
One aspect of Kenyan Purple Leaf Tea that people love is that, when you add citrus (or vinegar, or any acid) to it, it turns from colors - from purple to pink. As fun to drink as it is healthy, pairing it with lemon, lime or orange enhances the flavor and provides a great base for iced cocktails. Plus, you can watch it turn a beautiful shade of pink.