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East Africa is making strides in Speciality Tea

From Kilimanjaro to Mt. Kenya

tea farm in Tanzania. Tea leaves in a basket

November  saw  Cambridge Tea Consultancy traversing tea regions of E. Africa. From Rwanda, the land of a thousand hills and best CTC teas in the world, to Ethiopia – Africa’s unexploited tea potential and on to Tanzania and Kenya, well established tea countries. Supporting these regions in tea tasting and processing training was a truly rewarding activity. The eagerness to learn, understand global market requirements and to innovate is palpable.

Speciality – The African Way

Speciality tea producers in particular have made impressive steps in orthodox teas previously untasted from Africa. Oolong, silver needle, Pu-erh and purple tea are all on the menu – and they taste and look amazing! The full potential of premium teas from this region is far from realised. Combining these teas with African herbs and spices in new innovative ways is just one way to add value and uniqueness and I am looking forward to seeing more of this in the near future. With good research foundations and the Tea Institute at Karatina University I believe we will see some interesting teas. What is much needed is support from the markets – we in the trade all recognise the need to premiumise and make black tea hip and current – so let us support the producers.

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