Tea in Kenya

The first Kenyan tea was grown in 1903 by a European settler named Caine. Since then, Kenya has become Africa’s largest tea producer and one of the world’s most significant exporters.

Kenya has a tea history dating back to 1903 when tea seeds from India were first planted on a two acre farm.

It is the world’s third largest producer of tea and is the world’s biggest exporter. The country specialises in the CTC (crush, tear, curl) method of production, where the tea leaves pass through counter-rotating rollers and the tea is very finely cut. This process has been designed to make tea for teabags.

Year-round production

Kenya is on the Equator, which means it can grow tea all-year-round. The country is split  into two by the Great Rift Valley so the tea growing areas are divided between the East of the Rift, and the West of the Rift.

To the East is the area that traditionally produces slightly better quality tea, where there are dedicated factories that are supplied by surrounding small-holder farmers. To the West is where larger private plantation companies operate.

Bright, colourful & fresh

Generally Kenyan teas are very bright, colourful, with a reddish coppery tint and a pleasant brisk flavour. They are particularly suitable for teabags and are used in several blends, most notably English Breakfast.

Because Kenyan tea is grown all-year-round it is especially valued for its freshness.

Watch the video

Here’s Ahmad Tea’s Tea Taster, Dominic Marriott who explains a little about the tea production business in Kenya.

Learn more from Dominic, such has how to brew the perfect cup of tea, on our Youtube page>>