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Purple Tea – this could be the next big thing for health

Jennifer Bliss
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Purple tea is giving green tea a run for its money, especially in India! It’s rich, healthy, and originated in India but is only available in Kenya.  (1) I have been fortunate enough to try purple tea and let me tell you I love it!

I’ve enjoyed teas of all sorts since I was a toddler and have been a tradition between my grandmother and me. My love for tea has not stopped growing since.  So every time I hear about a new tea that hits the market I get really excited!  It’s an added PLUS when the teas carry a plethora of health benefits too!

Will purple tea replace the very popular green tea in India?

It might. Kenya is the 3rd largest producer of tea after China and India – and the leading exporter in the world. (1,2) Purple tea could be added to the list.  The export price of this Kenyan tea is higher than the usual black and green teas. Aside from its delightful color it has many health benefits including anthocyanin, which helps fight cardiovascular diseases. (1)

Research has shown that purple tea has high antioxidant effects providing anticancer benefits, improving vision, cholesterol and blood sugar metabolism. (1) Anthocyanin are also used as preservatives in the food industry and this newer purple tea variety that is already rich in anthocyanin will provide an alternative raw material from which flavonoids can be extracted. (3)

A slow start but it’s on the rise again!

It has been said that purple tea has been facing stiff competition from horticultural crops, however, recent good prices and improved earnings in 2010 has renewed interest in the beverage. The Tea Board of Kenya shows that the 2010 output jumped 27 percent to a record 399 million kilograms and earnings rose 40 percent to 97 billion shillings, surging past horticulture that brought in 78 billion. (2)

What part of Kenya is purple tea found?

Purple Tea of Kenya was originally found in Assam and wild bushes have been found in the hilly/forested areas of Karbi Anglong district. It has also been found in the Longai area of Cachar district in Barak Valley and possibility in some areas of Upper Assam. (4)

So if you are a tea drinker or just someone looking for a beverage with newly found health benefits, then you just might want to try purple tea. It’s on the rise and could just be the next ‘big thing’ in the wonderful world of tea!

Sources for this article include:
(1) www.huffingtonpost.in
(2) www.reuters.com
(3) www.tearesearch.or.ke
(4) food.ndtv.com

Image source: flic.kr

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