Purple tea has been 25 years in the making. Kenyan farmers found
their tea was becoming less competitive on the market because of the saturation
of CTC (crush, tear, curl) tea on the market. First discovered in the gardens
of Assam, India, the wild purple plant was given to the Tea Research Foundation
of Kenya (TRFK) who spent 25 years studying and creating a genetic clone of the
plant. This new purple cultivar was successfully developed by naturally crossbreeding camellia sinensis with its anthocyanin-rich cousin, camellia
irrawadiensis. Thus, purple tea was born! It grows in cooler conditions at
high elevations between 4,500 to 7,500 feet and sustains more intense sun rays
which cause the plant to produce higher levels of anthocyanins and polyphenols.
The leaves are generally left unoxidized but are slightly withered to create a cup that
is delicate and woodsy. It is similar in taste to a green but does not have any
grassy notes, astringency, or tannin bitterness.