Native to China’s remote Yunnan province, this natural mutation of Camellia sinensis has a purple pigmentation due to its high content of anthocyanins‬ – phenolic compounds in the group of flavonoids (a different subclass of which includes the more well-known catechins, theaflavins and thearubigins).

Relatively new as a cultivar, purple tea is more resilient to extreme weather conditions, which is why it has been increasingly grown in Kenya. Increasing the production output of local small-scale farmers, purple tea can potentially strengthen their position in the context of the global tea market.