Anyone here ever had Purple tea?


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Anyone here ever had Purple tea?

Postby ClarG » Feb 8th, '14, 01:42

I am putting this into the black tea section but I'm not sure if it belongs here?

Anyone here ever have Kenyan purple tea?

I was searching google for Kenyan green teas and I found this type of tea. I am not going to be buying it since it's expensive but it does look interesting.

http://www.wanjateaofkenya.com/products ... purple-tea

Wanja Purple Tea

Wanja Purple Tea of Kenya is a very rare tea that has sweet woodsy notes with a pleasant lingering astringency. Our purple tea is sourced from small scale farmers in the fertile tea growing region of Mount Kenya and is grown free of agrochemicals.

While it is still derived from the same plant (Camellia Sinensis) that produces traditional Black and Green Tea, Wanja Purple Tea is rich in anthocyanin (a water soluble pigment that is found in red cranberries and grapes) which gives it the distinctive purple leaves.

Anthocyanins belong to a parent class of molecules called Flavonoids. Anthocyanins contribute to the astringent taste of Wanja Purple Tea while also acting as powerful antioxidants.

The new purple variety has higher medicinal properties than green and black tea and its seeds produce oil suitable for cooking, cosmetics and the pharmaceutical industries.
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Re: Anyone here ever had Purple tea?

Postby ClarG » Feb 8th, '14, 01:44

I also found this article.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/ ... 9M20110307

(Reuters) - Kenya hopes to launch a new variety of tea with high medicinal value in April, a researcher at the state-owned Tea Research Foundation of Kenya told Reuters on Monday.

The new purple variety, or clone, has higher medicinal properties than green and black tea and its seeds produce oil suitable for cooking, cosmetics and the pharmaceutical industries, the body said.

"We've already applied for registration of the purple tea variety with the ... Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services, and hopefully officially release the clone by April 2011," said Samson Kamunya, a plant breeder at the research body.

"The variety has been used to develop products on experimental basis whose value is four times that of the ordinary black teas."

Researchers at the foundation refer to hybrid tea varieties grown through vegetative propagation as clones, on the basis that cuttings from old tea bushes are grafted onto new plants with desirable genetic traits.

Kenya launched two new tea clones last year that are tougher in drought. The research foundation said the two, TRFK 371/3 and TRFK 430/90, yield about 50 percent more and enhance profitability on better quality.

A notable strength of the two hybrids is that they are suitable for mechanised harvesting, a plus for an industry hard-pressed by growing labour costs, researchers say.

Kamunya said the demand for TRFK 371/3 and TRFK 430/90 has picked up although at slower pace than earlier anticipated because of the perennial nature of tea and lack of new land for tea expansion.

"Farmers well endowed in resources have been uprooting the old low yielding and poor quality varieties to replace with improved clone teas that are high yielding, have uniform attributes and hence easy to manage," he said."

"Farmers constrained in resources are advised to uproot a few bushes at a time until they are able to replant their entire tea fields. As for the actual figures of uptake of the new clones."

Kenya said that though tea has been facing stiff competition from horticultural crops, recent good prices and improved earnings such as those realised in 2010 has renewed interest in the beverage.

Statistics by Tea Board of Kenya show that 2010's output leapt 27 percent to a record 399 million kgs and earnings rose 40 percent to 97 billion shillings, surging past horticulture which brought in 78 billion.

"The situation has resulted in an upsurge in demand for planting materials for replanting and expansion into areas that were traditionally not meant for tea growing. So, the challenge currently is ensuring tea is planted in suitable areas," he said.
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Re: Anyone here ever had Purple tea?

Postby ClarG » Feb 8th, '14, 01:54

Another article. I wonder if this tea is GMO free?

http://www.new-ag.info/en/news/newsitem.php?a=1567

New purple tea developed in Kenya

An anthocyanin purple tea variety that could earn farmers three to four times more than green tea has been developed by experts at the Tea Research Foundation of Kenya (TRFK). The new clone, TRFK306/1, is drought and frost resistant, high yielding and will grow in similar weather conditions as the green tea species. The purple species, the first of its kind in Kenya, has taken 25 years to develop. "The reason it has taken us this long is because we have been using old traditional scientific methods of research but we are now moving to more modern methods that will help us come up with new varieties in shorter periods," explains John Wanyoko, TRFK chief research officer.

While purple tea is a first for Kenya, the country is the world's third largest producer of black tea after India and Sri Lanka. But a combination of bad weather, characterised by frequent drought and low prices, have been threatening production. According to Wanyoko, the new variety was developed to diversify the country's tea products and increase farmers' income. "Kenyan tea is sold to the world market in bulk and is used to blend low quality teas from other countries. It fetches low prices resulting in less income for farmers, hence the need to keep developing high value varieties," he says. Researchers at TRFK also hope that with anthocyananin's anti-oxidant properties, TRFK 306/1 will go beyond the traditional uses of tea and penetrate the international health care and pharmaceutical industries.

Currently undergoing "stability, adaptability and uniformity" trials in TRFK's field stations and on select farms owned by smallscale growers, the purple tea is awaiting to be awarded plant breeders rights by government authorities before it can be released for commercial cultivation.
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Re: Anyone here ever had Purple tea?

Postby miig » Feb 8th, '14, 13:30

Sounds interesting!
Theres not too much information, and I'm a bit sceptical concerning the "medicinal properties". First of all, if I'm correct, the health benefits of Black Tea are less pronounced than of Green or Pu. Second, that is such a complex subject that depends so much on the drinker, the tea and so on, that its a bit dubious to generally advertize the tea so much.

But still! New tea is always a good thing :) And I would be happy if another continent would enter the competition, this could bring a lot of fresh air into the market!
I wonder if the new variety is related to Purple leaf Pu'Er..
Example 1 - Iceni Tea;
Example 2 - JK tea shop;
Example 3 - Yunnan sourcing

I'd really like to try this new tea, thats certain :) :)
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Re: Anyone here ever had Purple tea?

Postby ClarG » Feb 9th, '14, 00:20

miig wrote:Sounds interesting!
Theres not too much information, and I'm a bit sceptical concerning the "medicinal properties". First of all, if I'm correct, the health benefits of Black Tea are less pronounced than of Green or Pu. Second, that is such a complex subject that depends so much on the drinker, the tea and so on, that its a bit dubious to generally advertize the tea so much.

But still! New tea is always a good thing :) And I would be happy if another continent would enter the competition, this could bring a lot of fresh air into the market!
I wonder if the new variety is related to Purple leaf Pu'Er..
Example 1 - Iceni Tea;
Example 2 - JK tea shop;
Example 3 - Yunnan sourcing

I'd really like to try this new tea, thats certain :) :)


I'm not sure, I have never had that pu-erh. I did find reviews of it on this blog and the tea company says it's purple, yellow, and green.

http://sororiteasisters.com/category/purple-tea/
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Re: Anyone here ever had Purple tea?

Postby Evan Draper » Feb 9th, '14, 13:01

Remember, black and green tea are processing methods. The underlying leaf variety is a different--albeit related--variable. This Kenyan purple is a leaf variety. (I can only imagine that the Kenyan companies are using this variety to produce black teas.) My recollection is that it's genetically modified to produce more anthocyanins, which are blue-colored compounds that plants create to minimize solar radiation damage. I think the jury's still out on the health benefits of anthocyanins--supposedly they're good for you, but they may not actually be "bioavailable" in all forms--but I am not one to drink tea for the health benefits. There are other "purple" varieties--I bought one from Yunnan Sourcing a couple years ago.
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Re: Anyone here ever had Purple tea?

Postby Joel Byron » Feb 9th, '14, 18:36

I haven't had the Kenyan purple tea, but I have had this one from Yunnan Sourcing:

http://yunnansourcing.com/en/yunnan-bla ... -2013.html

It could get a little bitter if I wasn't careful with steep times, but it was pretty tasty when I got it right. I'm assuming the purple color is from the anthocyanins that Evan mentioned. The description on the YS website says its a "naturally occuring non-hybridized varietal."
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