As they say, it is the tea of the future. Purple tea has become the latest obsession, especially in Kenya, as people abandon the green teas to consume this unique blend which promises a myriad of health benefits.
This years’ Nairobi National Showcase at ACK grounds had so many brands and products to showcase, I however couldn’t help noticing how crowded the Kenya Tea Board booth was, both young and old seemed fascinated by the products on this booth, I had to ask, what was so interesting?
Probably the best way to stay healthy and live longer. Speaking to one of the consultants, I realized that purple tea wasn’t just about flavor (forgive my ignorance), but a combination of components that could save your life.
Just like other teas, Purple tea, originates from the Camellia Sinensis plant. Purple tea is mainly marketed and sold by Kenya- based tea growers. It’s grown at elevations between 4,500 and 7,500 feet. This high altitude near the equator results in higher levels of UV bombardment, and causes the plants to produce very high levels of anti-oxidants to protect the leaves from damage.
The purple appearance of the tea is caused by a unique genetic mutation which produces anthocyanin, the same powerful anti-oxidant found in blueberries, grapes, apples and purple cabbages. Anthocyanin has many medicinal properties and is particularly known to be beneficial against cardiovascular diseases.
It also contains naturally occurring anti-oxidants. These anti-oxidants are known to provide anti-cancer benefits, by getting rid of cancer causing cells in the body, they also improve vision, and aid in cholesterol and blood sugar metabolism.
Purple tea also contains a special type of polyphonel called GHG. Initial research has shown that it can decrease fat mass & thickness while increasing lean body mass. Researchers think this is caused by GHG affecting lipase, the enzyme that breaks down fats so the body can easily digest them.
Although it has an acquired taste, purple tea is enjoyable, especially when you think of it’s health benefits. The hospitality industry has a mandate, especially the hotels and restaurants, to ensure they include this tea as part of their menu.