Fairtrade black and green tea grown in Kenya
Kenyan tea is some of the best quality black tea in the world. Tea from Kenya has won international praise for its taste and aroma. Kenya tea is so popular that it is the beverage of choice served in restaurants and cafés across Kenya and other parts of the world.
Kenya is one of the world’s top producers and exporters of tea. Kenyan tea is also the top foreign exchange earner for the Kenyan economy, followed by horticulture, tourism and Kenyan coffee. Because pure Kenyan tea is very superior in quality compared to other teas of the world, most tea exported from Kenya is sold in blended form – it’s used for blending with other teas to produce some of the popular blends available in grocery stores across the United States, Europe, Asia and other markets.
Tea growing areas in Kenya
Most Kenya tea is grown in the highlands west of the Rift Valley, Kericho region, in particular, is where most of the large-scale tea plantations are found. Other tea farming also takes place in the highlands east of the Rift Valley as well as in central Kenya.
Rich in Antioxidants
In its purest form, Kenyan tea has gained recognition in markets across the world because it has been proved to have higher levels of antioxidants compared to teas produced in other parts of the world.
Kenyan black tea is known to have higher levels of antioxidants compared to teas from other parts of the world. The quality of black tea depends on the number of top young leaves harvested, the mode of harvesting, and the care with which the green leaves are handled. Only the upper young leaves and a bud are handpicked and skillfully processed. Kenyan tea has a distinct bright color and aromatic flavor, thanks to the country’s tropical climate and rich volcanic soils.
Kenya black tea production process
Black tea is processed from young, soft leaves, buds and stems which are then fermented before being rolled and dried.
Tea processing is accomplished through the cut, twist and curl (CTC) process, where all the leaves, buds and stems are crushed/ground to equal sizes, mostly dust and fanning’s, yielding stronger, thicker and brighter teas and ensuring a higher number of cups of tea per unit measure. Most of the teas packaged in tea bags are produced using the CTC method.
On the other hand, the approved method of processing tea is a traditional method of Kenya tea production that involves rolling leaf into smaller particles, suitable for multiple infusions. It production uses only top quality leaves and buds that produce strong, robust flavor resulting in higher quality and better tasting tea.
Green tea from Kenya
Kenya is not only winning acclaim for its black tea, but its green tea is gaining an serious edge. Due to the anti-oxidants and health benefits derived from green tea, Kenya is now producing and packaging green tea, white tea for the health-conscious consumer.
Unlike the production process for black tea, green tea is processed without fermentation in order to preserve the nutrients that contain the health benefits. Freshly cut, young, downy leaves are steamed and then rolled and dried to make green tea. White tea, on the other hand, is made from tea buds.
The buying and selling process of Kenyan tea
About 60 percent of the tea in Kenya is produced by small-scale farmers. These farmers then sell their produce through the Kenya Tea Development Authority, the body in charge of collecting and processing the tea leaves, who in turn sell it to the outside market through the auction process or by direct sales and other private factory offers. Some small-scale farmers also sell their teas directly to consumers, private buyers and importers/exporters without necessarily going through the normal auction process.
The remaining 40 percent of Kenyan tea is grown on large, privately-owned farms. The owners of these farms process and then sell their tea through the Mombasa Tea Auction, the second largest tea auction in the world.
Tea from Kenya is bought and exported as straight-line – pure Kenyan tea blended, packaged, loose or as per specific market or customer requirement. All tea bought from the Mombasa Tea Auction or through direct sales and other private arrangements is then exported to Egypt, United Kingdom, Unites States, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sudan, India, China and many other international destinations for sale in those markets.
Where in the world
If you live in apart of the world where you can source Kenyan teas it would be worth a try.
In London for instance Marks and Spencer stock Pure Origin Mount Kenya Teabags well worth trying. You will not be disappointed in how nice a cup it produces. In fact it is hard to make a bad cup of tea with these teabags. I can’t say enough just how amazing the tea tastes. They are also Fairtrade which just makes the tea taste even better.
Just as amazing is Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Kenyan Fairtrade Fine Tea. Try Kenyan tea when you visit London on a short stay break or rent one of www.goholidaylets.com holiday apartments, Kenya is a country famed for its long distance runners…just look at this year’s London Marathon winners. But that’s not the only impressive export from this beautiful East African country. Did you know that thanks to Kenya’s perfect climate along the Rift Valley, the country provides nearly 53% of the tea leaves we Brits drink in our daily cuppa?
Kenyan Tea is at the heart of many of Britain’s favorite teas blends making up the 165 million cups of tea we drink each and every day in the UK.
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