ABN – Kenyan tea growers have begun producing more unusual and higher-priced types of tea in order to increase their profits.
This includes planting a new variant with purple leaves, as well as changing their processing methods to produce white, green and orthodox tea instead of black.
Njeru Industries, in Kenya’s central Meru county, has planted 150 acres with purple bushes and is selling 60,000 kilograms of their tea to Japan per year for US$30 per kilogram.
This compares with a price of just $3.12 per kilogram offered for the top grade of conventional black tea.
The purple tea variety was developed by Kenya’s Tea Research Institute, which says it may hold medicinal properties.
Njeru’s customers in Japan report turning the leaves into capsules to be used in the beauty industry.