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Purple Tea

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Purple Tea

This month, we will be introducing a unique and relatively new variety of tea that is grown predominantly in the highlands of Kenya. This tea derives its name from the distinctly purple colour of its leaves, which is due to the presence of anthocyanins, the same natural pigments that give blueberries, raspberries, and red cabbage their characteristic hues. Not only do these pigments provide the leaves with their vibrant colour, but they also offer a range of health benefits, making this tea a popular choice among health-conscious consumers.

Anthocyanins are powerful antioxidants, and research suggests they may help protect cells from damage, reduce inflammation, and lower the risk of heart disease and other chronic conditions. Such tea contains higher levels of anthocyanins and polyphenols than most black and green teas, which enhances its antioxidant properties. Furthermore, it has a lower caffeine content than more traditional teas, which makes it a suitable option for those who are sensitive to caffeine.

Cultivation of purple tea is primarily in Kenya, where the climate and soil conditions are ideal for this tea variant. It thrives in the cool, high-altitude areas of the Kenyan mountains, where the intense ultraviolet light stimulates the production of anthocyanins. The tea plants used for this tea are specifically bred to enhance their purple colouration and health properties.

In terms of flavour, purple tea offers a unique taste profile. It is subtler than black tea and has a pleasant, sweet-woody flavour, sometimes described as having notes of fresh plums. When brewed, the tea itself is not purple but instead yields a light pink or pale violet hue, depending on the preparation method.

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