Where does the most delicious tea grow?

Where does the most delicious tea grow?

21.09.2021

The tea industry is an important agricultural industry in Kenya. Today, this country is recognized as one of the largest exporters of tea in the world (in 2018, 80% of the produced raw materials were exported). In addition, Kenyan tea is considered an environmentally friendly and safe product.

A little history

Growing tea has not always been Kenya's hallmark. Until the twentieth century, there was not a single tea bush in the country. In 1903, British colonizers planted the first Assamese tea plantation near the city of Lemuru. The plant took root and gave a good harvest, so the local population continued to develop tea business - so plantations appeared in the highlands of Nandi and Kericho.

During World War II, the British sought to expand production, but the national uprising that broke out prevented the plans of the British. In 1964, Kenya gained independence, and in the same year the Agency for the Development of the Tea Industry was created. The organization coordinates all processes related to the tea industry (tea cultivation, production and export).

Where tea is grown

In 1903, the first tea plantation was created in Kenya. In 1964, about 20 thousand small farms engaged in tea cultivation were created. Today, more than 270 thousand landowners are registered in the country who contain tea plantations.

Kenyan tea grows on plateaus at an altitude of 1,500 to 2,700 meters above sea level in "tea" regions. The largest of them are: Nandi, Kericho, Meru, Nyamira, Nyeri, Muranga. The Kericho area is the heart of plantations. Most farms and factories are concentrated there. The Kenyan Tea Research Institute is also located there.

Most plantations are located on the territory of the Great Rift Valley. Mountainous terrain and warm rains are the key to juicy and resilient tea leaves. The harvest is carried out all year round: farmers manually harvest young leaves and send them for processing every week.

Mineral-rich volcanic soil, tropical climate, high humidity are ideal conditions for growing tea. But not every variety takes root in any of the regions. Farmers therefore seek advice from the Tea Research Institute.

Tea Institute

The Tea Research Institute was established to develop innovative methods for growing tea. Employees of the Institute analyze soils, study the climatic features of the regions, develop recommendations for growing tea bushes, select and test new varieties. Thanks to the work of the Institute, there are 59 varieties of tea ready for distribution. The most unusual variety - purple - was bred relatively recently, about 10 years ago. In general, it takes 3 years to develop, test and prepare for the distribution of a new variety of tea bush.

Kenyan tea is not just a drink, it is a whole art (from cultivation and production to export). Before getting to our table, the tea leaf goes through many stages. Thanks to the painstaking work of farmers, factories and dozens of organizations, we have the opportunity to enjoy a tasty, aromatic drink every day.

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