Tea has been grown commercially in Africa since the since the late 19th century. The Camellia Sinensis plant is not indigenous to Africa and was introduced from the far east by plantation companies such as Brooke Bond. East Africa is the main area with Malawi and Kenya being the first countries to start to manufacture.
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Today Tea is also grown in neighbouring Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda. Kenya is now the world’s fourth largest tea producer after China, India and Sri Lanka (Ceylon).
The climate of East Africa is perfect for growing tea. Good rainfall levels and cooler temperatures especially at higher altitudes result in good quality and consistent crop levels. Kenya has a lot of small estates controlled by the KTDA (Kenya Tea Development Agency) who oversee the factories, arrange and monitor the production, finally putting on their mark of quality.
We stock some of the finest quality tea gardens in the area including, Kambaa, Kaimosi, Emrok, Rukuriri, Lelsa, Kosabei and our favourite and most popular Milima Estate Tea. Malawi also produces some great teas and uniquely to East Africa they manufacture Oolong Teas, notably from the Thyolo estate. We stock Tanzanian Teas and Teas from Rwanda. The majority of production is Black Teas and the grade is predominantly CTC being used ultimately for tea bags. Most supermarket and branded teas are based on blends of African Teas.