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Kenya’s Purple Tea Finds Buyers, Popularity


Purple tea leaves are seen at the Gatura Greens purple tea plantation in Gatura settlement of Muranga county, Kenya January 30, 2021. (REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya)
Kenya’s Purple Tea Finds Buyers and Popularity
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Purple tea is starting to become popular in Kenya and in other countries although it is twice the price of traditional black tea.

Kenya is the largest producer of black tea in the world. But black tea prices are low right now. Kenyan researchers developed the purple tea and released it to farmers in 2011. Tea farming is one of the largest industries in the Kenyan economy. The farmers hope purple tea, and other new varieties, can help them make more money from their land.

Other new kinds of tea, like the purple tea, are getting popular. Some people believe the new kinds are healthier than black tea.

Karanja Kinyanjui farms eight hectares of purple tea, along with 40 hectares of black tea. Kinyanjui makes twice as much from the new kind of tea.

Bella Gwada likes purple tea. She traveled 42 kilometers from Nairobi to pick the tea. She said it tastes good. “You don’t even need to add sugar. It’s easily digestible, milder than black tea,” she said.

Purple tea contains a substance known as anthocyanin, which gives the leaves the purple color, and other substances. Some people think the tea helps with weight loss.

A representative from the Kenya Tea Research Foundation said purple tea can reduce inflammation in the body.

One tea company is planning to set up a special factory for other kinds of tea in Kenya. Up next? A Japanese green tea called sencha.

I’m Dan Friedell.

Donna Omulo wrote this story for Reuters. Dan Friedell adapted it for Learning English. Mario Ritter,Jr. was the editor.

What kind of tea do you like to drink? We want to hear from you. Tell us in the Comments Section and visit our Facebook page.

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Words in This Story

twice –adv. two times

variety –n. a particular kind of person or thing

digest –v. to change (food that you have eaten) by a biological process into simpler forms that can be used by the body

mild –adj. not strong or harsh in taste

inflammation –n. a condition in which a part of your body becomes red, swollen, and painful

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