Interesting facts about tea
Since its introduction in 1903 when the British GWL Caine introduced the tea to Kenya, the tea has never left the East African country. Caine imported the Indian tea bushes because of their beautiful appearance and planted them on the hills of Limuru, purely for decoration. He would never have thought that this would make tea one of Kenya's most important export goods.
Production in the highlands of Kericho and Nandi increased slowly but steadily until small farmers began to grow tea on a trial basis in the 1950s. It was then that it became clear that tea had become an important part of the Kenyan economy. The Tea Board of Kenya was established to regulate the tea trade. With a constant focus on quality, Kenya has become one of the leading tea producers in the world. Today Kenya is not only the largest African tea producer, but also the fifth largest tea producing country in the world.
Climate and tea production
The country is divided by the equator and has a predominantly tropical climate. The climate is largely influenced by the Indian Ocean and the equator. In addition to a tropical climate, Kenya also has steppes, relatively small deserts in the lower regions and mountain forests in the higher regions. Large parts of Kenya are climatically too dry to grow tea. In contrast to the large arid regions, the tea plantations are located at great heights, with extremely high rainfall, even daily without periods of drought, and where it is cooler. The climate and the altitude offer ideal conditions. The region is home to a large part of the Kenyan tea industry.
Tea regions in Kenya
The main growing areas for tea (including Kericho, Limuru, Nandi, ...) are in the Kenyan highlands, an area at an altitude of 1,665 to 3,000 meters where the bushes produce high quality leaves due to excessive rainfall. Although Kenya is generally too dry to grow crops, the mountains benefit from the warm, humid air that rises from Lake Victoria and falls as rain at higher altitudes. Tea can be picked all year round, but the best tea is harvested in late January through early February and in July.
Crush tear and curl
Mainly black teas are produced, but Kenya also makes beautiful green, yellow and white teas. Most of the tea is processed using the Crush Tear and Curl (CTC) method. In the CTC method, the tea is first cut and then squeezed (crush), torn (tear) and rolled (curl) between two cylinders. The result is a very small-cut leaf that gives off a lot of paint.
The tea processed in this way is often used for blends and is mainly exported to India. Great Britain and North America. Higher quality leaves are processed using traditional methods and are often popular single origin leaf teas.
Maasai love sweets. Sweet tea means: Welcome, and: I'm fine. You boil the tea leaves or the tea powder with a little water and a lot of milk and a little sugar. Of course, you can also leave out the sugar and drink the tea with water.