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Friday, July 17, 2009

Kenya Tea

Tea drinkers are nice. Lowcountry Bloggers are generous. How fortunate it is that I know a tea drinker who also happens to be a fellow Lowcountry Blogger! Yes, my friend Joan is a nice and generous person!


Joan, from Charleston Daily Photo, recently went on a Water Missions International trip to Kenya and can you believe it - while she was there, she thought about me (and my tea addiction) and very kindly brought me back two bags of wonderfully fresh, loose leaf Kenya tea. She gave me the teas at lunch last week, and I couldn't wait to get home to try them out! Joan, again ~ thank you!

First, a little bit about Kenya tea.

They have been growing tea in Kenya since about 1900, and the country is one of Africa's leading tea producers. Over 200,000 tons of tea a year are sold (for export) at the tea auctions in Mombasa, ranking Kenya with the world's top suppliers.

While most of Kenya is really just too darn dry to grow tea, conditions in the Kenya Highlands - elevations of 5,000-9,000 feet and loads of rainfall - are perfect for it. The highlands also benefit from the high humidity rising from Lake Victoria that eventually falls as rain. Kenya tea bushes "flush" (put out new growth) all year but the best crops are harvested from late January to July.

Small-leafed Kenya teas are often used to give strength and color to breakfast blends but they also drink well alone. They are especially good with rich chocolate foods (an added-plus!).

Fahari Ya Kenya Tea (right)

One of the teas Joan gifted me with is FAHARI YA KENYA tea, the most popular brand of loose tea in Kenya today. I have had several pots of this tea so far, and it is delicious - full-bodied, very smooth, and holds up well to milk. It's a lovely, lovely tea and I am thoroughly enjoying it. (Will review the New Merin's Kenya Chai another time.)

A tasty Kenya Cuppa

Here are some photographs of the KENYA TEA PACKERS LIMITED (KETEPA) tea factory where my tea was blended, packed, and distributed:

(Photographs from the KETEPA website)


Angela McRae said...

What a thoughtful gift! That Joan must be a sweetheart. And I love the photos from the tea factory. Great post!

Maria said...

I'm so envious of you... would so love to try this tea. Great writing, it evokes such vivid images!

Bernideen said...

What great information!

Laura said...

What a wonderful gift!! :)

Joan said...

Fun! I am glad you enjoyed it!

Marilyn Miller said...

What a special friend to bring you tea. I could use a full bodied Kenyan Tea this morning.

parTea lady said...

What a great gift from your friend Joan - sounds like a great tea. I drink a lot of strong black tea with milk. Thanks for all the interesting info on Kenya tea.

Anonymous said...

I met someone at a kenyan dating site who drank this! It was cool to chat about.

Anonymous said...

See the tea being picked here

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