Purple Tea (Kenya)
June 2016, with my first attendance of the annual World Tea Expo in Las Vegas, I came upon Kenya Purple Tea. There’s a first time for everything, this was one of them. What is it? Where’s it from? Hence the name. My sense of curiosity snared me to its booth a few times, just how this post is sparking your interest.
Martin Kabaki, founder and CEO of Kenya Purple Tea, was kind enough share this tea direct from Kenya. For this post I a tasting sample B from the Western Rift Valley of Kenya. Below were the tasting parameters:
- 5-6 grams
- 190f – 200f
- Spring water
- Quick rinse, 20 seconds to 1 minute infusions
When you’re new to loose leaf tea, the key to discovering tea is to learn the basics and experiment with various parameters, depending on the type of tea.
Dry Kenya Purple Leaf
- Candied peach and red grape aroma
- Long wiry and dark leaves
- White grape colored liquor, hue of aqua green
- Slight dryness with a hint of bergamot
- Leaves are of varied degrees of purple and green
It took multiple infusions and sessions to analyze this tea, but why? Never ending process of learning and curiosity. The liquor will not reveal itself with one cup or sitting, albeit its infused leaves and dried leaves are beautiful.
On this capture, the liquor transformed to purple-pink hue by adding lemon, chemical reaction and adds ooh affect, plus an additional depth in flavor.
Below are tidbit facts on the Kenyan Purple Tea, provided by Martin Kabaki:
1. The Kenyan purple tea harvesting seasons are pretty much all year round. January is the hottest month in Kenya and so that is when all the harvesting takes a break. February through December are the prime harvesting seasons, every single day.
2. The world-famous Kenyan Rift Valley provides the terroir. The soils are volcanic/mineral rich, red and very fertile. The Kenyan purple tea is grown in the Rift Valley on what is known as the White Highlands, which are regarded as having the most fertile areas in Kenya.
3. This sample B comes from Western Rift Valley, where an abundant of rain on the highlands is received.
4. The Kenyan purple tea concept is still new even to us the producers. So far we have figured out that to get the most purple color after steeping while maintaining all the said Kenyan purple tea health benefits, the best way to process the Kenyan purple tea is similar to the way green tea is processed.
Based on recent research the health benefits of Purple Tea is higher compared to existing loose leaf teas, hence with more scientific research the name “Purple Tea” will eventually pick up over the years. Hope you enjoyed this quick post and more to follow.
Slurp you tea…