Uchawi Zambarau Purple Tea


$ 3.00




I’ve been to Kenya twice on photo safari but never saw any tea plantations. In honor of the beauty of Kenya, its magnificent (and fragile) wildlife, and the amazing people I met there, I wanted a Swahili name for this tea. Uchawi Zambarau means Magic Purple. The magic comes from the rarity of finding purple cultivars outside of the Yunnan area in China. I love the unique flavors and characteristics of purple tea cultivars but primarily find them processed to black or pu-erh tea. This is only the second purple leaf cultivar I’ve found processed to a green tea and the first outside of Yunnan.

The purple characteristic in the leaf and sometimes in the liquor is a result of the plant producing anthocyanin flavonoids, as a natural reaction to the high UV light at higher altitudes or due to genetic mutation. Anthocyanins are the color pigments that are found in red-purple plants like grapes (wine) and blueberries. These anthocyanins are considered super-antioxidants. So as you might expect, there are studies out there that claim that purple tea leaves contain a higher antioxidant count than other teas but I’ll reserve judgment on that until more research is done. However, there is no denying that tea is good for you, so focus on the beautiful taste of this tea knowing that your health will be the better for it. Oh, and for a bit more magic, add a bit squeeze of lemon (or similar acidic food) to turn the tea liquor bright pink/purple!

Provenance:

  • Origin: Nandi Hills, Nandi County, Kenya Africa
  • Grower/Teamaster: Jacob & Boaz Katah
  • Elevation: 6,700ft
  • Harvest Date: Spring 2016
  • Cultivar: TRFK 306, a clone derived from a natural genetic mutation to camellia sinensis assamica
  • Cultivation: NPK fertilizer twice yearly, no pesticides
  • Plucking Standard: Hand-plucked, 2 leaves & a bud
  • Processing Notes:  Steamed-fired green tea processing
  • Nickname: Magic Purple Tea, Kenyan Purple Leaf Tea
  • History/Pedigree: Cross-bred and grafted from different cuttings of purple tea bushes over 25 years, TRFK306 was released to farmers in 2011

Brewing Suggestions1:

  • Water: 170˚-180˚F
  • Tea: 2g per 4oz of water (about a level 2 tsp2)
  • Infusion: 3 minutes with 2-3 infusions.

Tasting Notes:

  • Floral notes. Slight green sea grass undertones. Very smooth with no astringency and a lingering finish. The dried leaves have an aroma reminiscent of ripe mangos!

1 Brewing suggestions are just that. Try it the suggested way then experiment. Some tea drinkers like to use slightly hotter and longer times for each subsequent infusion. The 3rd steeping will definitely benefit from a longer steep time.

2 Weighing your tea is always the best way to control your dosage. I provide approximate volume measures for convenience but they can be problematic due to the variance in tea leaf shape and size. It’s best to use the single appropriate volume measure for the tea, i.e., don’t try to measure 1.5TB using two spoons meant to measure 1 TB and a ½ TB. Use an actual 1.5 TB measuring spoon. Yes, they make them! I like the oblong ones to handle longer leaf styles.


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