Farmers have been asking me about purple tea and whether they should plant it or not. Well here is all you need to know about this variety.
Purple Tea of Kenya is a very rare tea that is sourced directly from small scale farmers. It has sweet woodsy notes with a pleasant lingering astringency. The new purple variety has higher medicinal properties than green and black tea and its seeds produce oil suitable for cooking, cosmetics and the pharmaceutical industries.
The variety was released in 2011 by Tea Research Foundation of Kenya after 25 Years of extensive research work.
The released varieties are TRFK 371/3 and TRFK 430/90. The advantages of this variety are:
√ suitable for mechanised harvesting.
√ Drought, frost, disease and pest resistant
√ Yield about 50 percent more and enhance profitability on better quality.
√ Fetches 4 times more in prices than ordinary Tea.
√ Wide adaptability and suitable for all designated tea growing regions and soils.
√Needs a separate processing unit installed.
√.Purple Tea market is not well established and there needs to be a lot of marketing on this product.3.
What is Special about Purple Tea? Why is it expensive?
√ The most special attribute of this variety is HEALTH ENHANCING found in Anthocyanin (purple pigmentation). This is an antioxidant that helps protect your heart health and boost CANCER particularly breast Cancer. .
√ Anthocyanins are also widely used as preservatives especially in the food industry.
√ This variety is also used in Manufacture of instant teas, Ready To Drink (RTD) tea, and other fast moving consumer goods such as health care products, foods and confectioneries.
Can Farmers for for purple tea?
The decision rests with the farmer. A processor is being set up in Nandi county and it will take time for it to be completed. For those planting now, it means that if the crop matures early you will harvest with the normal black tea and sell at normal price till such a time that the processor is ready. I farmers not to uproot the black tea in the farms but do a progressive shift because even if the processor is fully operational the challenge will be getting the right quantity for processing.