Wednesday, October 26, 2011

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, Purple Tea of Kenya, and Blueberry Purple Tea 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: http://www.butikiteas.com/Black.
 
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: http://www.butikiteas.com/White.html
 
Purple Tea of Kenya
While still from the camellia sinensis plant, Purple Tea of Kenya is different from other tea because it is propagated by grafting and cutting as opposed to seeding.  The leaves of the plant have a purple-ish hue because they contain high levels of anthocyanin (a flavonoid), which pigments the leaves a purplish color. This purple species has been in development for 25 years in Kenya and is more resistant to frost, disease, drought, and pests. Purple tea was mainly developed for health tea products.  Malvidin, Pelargonidin and Delphinidin are most prominent in Purple teas.  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).  Purple Tea of Kenya is a very rare tea that has sweet woodsy notes with a pleasant lingering astringency.  The recommended brewing time is 3 minutes which will produce a mellow flavor; however, this tea can be brewed as long as 5 minutes for a more flavorful and astringent brew.  Our purple teas can be found here: http://www.butikiteas.com/Purple.html  An extensive review of the Purple Tea of Kenya can be found on the SororiTEA Sisters website:  SororiTEA Sisters Website
 
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: http://www.butikiteas.com/Black.html

Our Explore Kenya Package can be found on our sale page: http://www.butikiteas.com/On%20Sale.html

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


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