Exploring Kenya

Recently, I have been absolutely in love with Kenyan teas and I wanted to share a little more information about Kenya and our Kenyan teas.

Overview of Kenya
Kenya is a country in East Africa. The Indian Ocean, Somalia, Uganda, South Sudan, Ethiopia, and Tanzania all border Kenya. Home to a little more than 41 million people, Kenya is slightly larger than twice the size of Nevada. The capital of and largest city in Kenya is Nairobi. Kenya's unique terrain has low plains and highlands, which is ideal for a variety of wildlife. The climate ranges from tropical to arid to cool. There are even glaciers on Mount Kenya. (cia.gov)

Overview of Our Kenyan Teas
Our Royal Golden Safari, White Whisper, Royal Highland Kenyan Green, Purple Tea of Kenya, Blueberry Purple Tea, and Kamba Berry teas are grown on a tea farm located on the southern slopes of Mount Kenya, neighboring the Mount Kenya Forest at an altitude of 2,036 meters above sea level. The gardens are located between the Rundu and Mukengeria rivers. These rivers supply the local community, farms, and factories with clean water. The area is farmed by approximately 3,700 small scale tea farmers with 2,092 combined acres. Most of the farmers are related and farm ancestral pieces of land that have been passed down from generation to generation. Most of the pluckers are women who farm tea farms that belong to their husbands or fathers. Land is usually inherited patrilineally, though recently women have begun to inherit and purchase their own tea farms. The teas are also grown on deep well-drained brown to dark brown nitrosols and andisols with acidic humid topsoil.

The climate is conducive for tea production with a double maxima rainfall of 1500-1800 millimeters an average between March through April and October through December and has relatively cool tropical temperatures. Favorable weather and high altitudes are well suited for high quality orthodox tea production and ensures the teas are less prone to disease and pests. Our Royal Golden Safari, Purple Tea of Kenya, and White Whisper teas are naturally pesticide and herbicide free. (Joy Njuguna)

Royal Golden Safari
Our truly exceptional Royal Golden Safari originates from a small scale farm in Kenya and has long golden leaves that mingle with milk chocolate and cacao colored leaves. Toasted walnut and oaky notes are prominent with a light pear undertone. Cocoa notes are also present. Here is what noted tea specialist, historian, writer, and consultant Jane Pettigrew has to say about our Royal Golden Safari, "The handsome tippy dry leaf of this orthodox black tea is full of large golden buds and lightly rolled russet-brown leaves. The aroma of the wet leaf is sweet with the fruitiness of ripening plums and the liquor is light, fragrant and delicate." Our Royal Golden Safari is part of the "Teas 4 Trees" line of teas that pays tribute to Professor Wangari Muta Maathai by donating a portion of profits to environmental initiatives of small-scale tea farmers. More information about Teas 4 Trees can be found HERE. Our Royal Golden Safari can be found HERE

White Whisper
White Whisper's long downy silvery green buds have a delicate buttery flavor with light floral and peach notes. Jane Pettigrew had this to say about White Whisper, "The infused leaf breathes honey, sweet plums and damsons. The aroma and taste of the straw-coloured liquor hints at ripening apricots and plums with just a hint of madeira cake and buttered toast." Our White Whisper can be found HERE

Royal Highland Kenyan Green
Our Royal Highland Kenyan Green originates from the southern slopes of Mount Kenya between the Rundu and Mukengeria rivers and is pesticide-free. This juicy green tea has grassy, white corn, kale, creamed spinach, and macadamia notes. Sweet undertones and a buttery quality are present in this delicious tea. While Royal Highland Kenyan Green has a thick mouth feel, it is also quite refreshing. Be cautious not to over steep this tea because it could become bitter.

Purple Tea of Kenya
While still Camellia sinensis, purple tea is a new varietal that is propagated by grafting and cutting as opposed to seeding. This particular varietal is known as TRFK 306/1 and is rich in anthocyanin (a flavonoid), which pigments the leaves a purplish color. Purple tea was primarily developed for tea health products and is rich in antioxidants. Malvidin, Pelargonidin and Delphinidin are prominent in purple tea. Malvidin is one of the many anthocyanins that can be found in plant based foods and is part of the phytonutrient family (a group of chemical compounds that occur naturally in plants and have multiple health benefits but are not considered essential to human health). The purple species has been in development for 25 years in Kenya and is more resistant to frost, disease, drought, and pests.

Our Purple Tea of Kenya is processed similar to green tea; however, when experimenting with different temperatures and times it can take on qualities similar to a green, oolong or black tea and can range from very mellow vegetal notes to astringent red wine-like qualities. We highly recommend experimenting with 160F, 180F, and boiling water temperatures and recommend steeping the tea between 3 and 5 minutes. Our purple teas can be found HERE. An extensive review of the Purple Tea of Kenya can be found on the SororiTEA Sisters WEBSITE. One reviewer experimented with our Purple Tea of Kenya. His review and experiment can be found on his Lazy Litera"Tea" BLOG.

Blueberry Purple Tea
Made with a base of Purple Tea of Kenya, this mellow tea has an earthy blueberry flavor that lingers. Add a little brown crystal sugar for an intense sweet blueberry flavor.

Kamba Berry
The Kamba Berry blend comes from Royal Tea of Kenya and was named after the Kamba Tribe, which is one of the largest tribal groups in Kenya. The Akamba people live primarily in the arid eastern part of the country and are skilled in basketry and wood carving. Kamba Berry pairs purple tea from the southern slopes of Mount Kenya with antioxidant rich berries, hibiscus, ginger, and basil. This tea has a wonderful herbal, berry taste with a gentle pucker and an underlying sweetness and produces a gorgeous pink liquor. While delicious with a little bit of sugar, this tea is equally enjoyable plain.

Kenya Kangaita
Kenya Kangaita is a high elevation Orange Pekoe grade orthodox black tea. Originating from Kangaita, a settlement in Kenya's Central Province, this tea is full-bodied and complex. Kenya Kangaita has apricot, citrus, and biscuity notes and finishes with sweet roasted notes. Most tea in Kenya is cultivated with machinery; however, this tea is hand picked. Our Kenya Kangaita can be found HERE
Our Explore Kenya Package can be found on our sale page HERE

We hope you enjoyed learning a little bit about Kenyan teas and will consider exploring them.