Friday, October 5, 2012

Wanja Tea of Kenya Purple Tea

Country of Origin: Kenya
Leaf Appearance: small, dark with some golden bits
Ingredients: purple tea
Steep time: 3 minutes
Water Temperature: 160 degrees
Preparation Method: ceramic teapot and mesh strainer
Liquor: reddish brown

I've seen talk of purple tea on Twitter and a few forums but never had the opportunity to try some for myself until now. Purple tea is made from the Camellia Sinensis plant but the particular variety used is high in anthocyanin, giving the leaves a purple appearance. It was developed 25 years ago and is purported to be more resistant to frost, disease, drought, and pests than other varieties.The dry leaves of this tea resembled a typical black tea but they became quite green post-steeping. I found the flavor really hard to describe. Darjeeling without the muscatel, perhaps? It was earthy with woodsy and somewhat fruity notes. There was quite a bit of astringency but it wasn't unpleasant. Overall this was a really nice tea. Given the explosion of the high end tea market, there has been a lot of exciting things going on in Kenya and other tea growing countries in Africa. I can't wait to see what else they will come up with.

You can find out more about this tea here.

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