One of the oldest of the African producers, Kenya has a history of tea dating back to 1903, when tea seeds from India were first planted on a two acre farm. Today, Kenya has 69000 hectares under cultivation by smallholders (shambas), under the protection of the Kenya Tea Development Authority, and tea producing companies in the public and private sector.
Kenya exports over 349,000 tonnes of tea per year (22% of world exports). Kenya's equatorial climate allows tea growing all year round. The tea is picked every 17 days and the best Kenyan tea is picked in February and March. The teas are very bright, colourful, with a reddish coppery tint and a pleasant brisk flavour. Kenyan teas are particularly suitable for teabags and are used in several blends, most notably, English Breakfast.