Tea, Black Tea

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Tea, Black Tea

***** Location: Worldwide
***** Season: Non-seasonal Topic
***** Category: Plant / Humanity


Today I found some black tea from Kenya in my small local Japanese village store!

kaori no mukoo ni Kenya no kaze

at the other side of the fragrance,
there is the wind of Kenya




Hishiwa, Tea from Kenya

Kenya is the world's largest tea exporter.


Rich and robust, Kenyan tea take milk very well and is also quite nice when drunk plain. Try this tea with a heaping spoonful of sugar to have it "African style."

More Black Tea from Kenya


Introduction To Tea Production In Kenya

Tea was introduced to Kenya as early as 1903, a european settler whose name was G.W. Caine was the first to grow tea in a shamba in Kenya, he had imported tea seedlings from India. Today Kenya is the oldest tea producer in Africa and scince 1995, has been the largest exporter of tea in the world. Tea production in Kenya has expanded dramatically in the last 10-12 years and it has replaced coffee as the highest foreign exchange earner.

Tea Production
Tea in Kenya is grown at 1500- 2700 metres above seal level. This conditions are evident in the Kenyan rift valley. The rift valley runs from north to south with the Mau escarpment which includes Mt Elgon, Kisii and Nandi hills in the west. The eastern part of the rift valley is defined by the Aberdare highlands.

Tropical climates and volcanic soils rich in nutrients give Kenya tea a unique flavour and character.

Tea bushes are cultivated by first obtaining cuttings from mature trees, they are then tended in special nurseries until they are 12- 15 mths.
The cuttings are then planted 1 metre to 1.5 metres apart in the fields. The tea is planted along the contours of the landscape, on special terraces which helps reduce soil errosion, and allows for Irrigation in low rainfall seasons or in cases of drought.

Tea Picking
Tea is picked manually by plucking the two leaves and the bud, this is then placed in a basket usually carried on the pickers back, after picking the tree bush takes another two weeks for it to grow fresh two leaves and a bud for picking.

Transportation To Factory
The next stage is transportation to the factory, the factories are co-op run, the co-op sends a truck to its members where the tea is weighed and the members given a chit indicating how much they have given to the co-op.
Care is taken while transporting the tea to the factory to ensure that wilting and bruising due to exposure to elements does not occur.

The tea is then placed in withering troughs at the factory or processing center. withering allows the leaves to become more pliable and easy to cut, this is a time consuming process and care has to be taken not to destroy the tea.

Maceration Or Shredding
This is done by using a rotovane and three crush, tear and curling(CTC )machines. The end result is a fine mush or drool.

In this stage the drool is placed in custom built fermentation rooms and fermented. Its during this stage that Kenya black tea acquires its strong flavours and makes it uniquely different from other teas.
A coppery colour and a feremented tea aroma which takes place after 45 min to 3 hours means or indicates that fermentation is complete.

The tea is then dried and prepared for tasting. Tea tasters asses smell colour and uniformity of the dried leaves. From here tea is transported to the port city of mombasa where there is the only tea auction in central and eastern Africa, auctions are held every Monday except on public holidays.

Tea production varies from month to month, total annual production of tea in Kenya is now over 300 million KGs.

© Batian Peak

Our Tea Farms

The pictures on this page are pictures taken of our Tea farm the surrounding villages and the local tea processing facility. Our farm is located about 60 km from the capital Nairobi, the main varities of Tea grown here are the Assam, clone 6/8 and 31/8.
© Batian Peak : Tea Farm with Photos

Worldwide use

Tea is the national drink in Egypt, it holds a special position that even coffee can't rival. Tea packed and sold in Egypt is almost exclusively imported from Kenya and Sri Lanka.

As in India, tea is popular all over Pakistan. During British Rule tea became so popular in the subcontinent that it is now a common breakfast and all-day drink. Most of the tea consumed in Pakistan is imported from Kenya.

Tea Culture
© Wikipedia



there are three popular tea varieties hailing from different regions of india, viz. Darjeeling (West Bengal), Assam, and from Nilgiri hills-blue mountains- (Kerala/Tamil Nadu region).
whereas they have their distinctive taste, aroma and colour, for a common user it is
sufficient to know that the darjeeling tea is the most delicate having a very subtle aroma, very dear to connoisseurs; it is difficult to prepare, by the way-
assam tea is known for its strong colour and the nilgiri has very distinctive taste. in north
India people mix darjeelig and assam to have the best of both.
South India generally prefers coffee to tea, though there may be found dozens of tea brands in their malls and departmental stores.

autumn morning-
a cup of assam tea
on my tea-bush table

( tea- bush is a sturdy plant having a very long life. a table made of a tea-bush is a prize possession since it is not easy to come by )

darjeeling tea-
now i can make
she loved to have

autumn variety-
grandpa dunks biscuit
to eat tea

winter rain:
blue mountain aroma rising
she pours tea

vishnu kapoor, India


Light golden leaf tea
titillate the tongue
Darjeeling flavour.

© Aju Mukhopadhyay, 2006



Tea (Swahili : chai)

Things found on the way


cold winter day -
hot tea from Kenya
in my cup

Gabi Greve in Japan, November 2006


drinking tea
from my bamboo cup -
bamboo cha fun !

Gabi Greve, January 2006

Related words

***** Tea from Kenya (Swahili : chai)

***** Coffee from Kenya

This is a complex and aromatic coffee with zesty notes of orange and hints of coriander seeds. It has an outstanding acidity and a lingering sweetness.

Coffee From Kenya



a cup of tea
in my small room -
insects of autumn

clear mind
viewing the garden
drinking tea

Gabi Greve .. Zen Garden ..

WKD : Tea Ceremony Saijiki 茶道の歳時記
Japan and the Way of Tea, Green Tea

..... New Year's Tea, Good Luck Tea, lucky tea (fukucha) Japan

Please send your contributions to
Gabi Greve / Isabelle Prondzynski
worldkigo .....

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1 comment:

. Gabi Greve said...

Beautiful ku, Gabi san.
I'm a tea drinker, too.
May I try a version, please?

cold day -
I can't choose between
Kenyan tea and Indian tea...

With best wishes,

In that case, try Indian chai for breakfast and Kenyan after lunch !