Teaology Fairtrade Kenyan Tea
Our Teaology Fairtrade certified tea is sourced directly from The Chinga Tea plantation at Nyeri in Kenya after forming an alliance with Global Tea who are based in Mombasa. The plantation is one of 57 small holder factories managed by the Kenyan Tea Development Agency K.T.D.A www.ktdateas.com
The tea is picked from gardens located at the base of Mount Kenya on the equator at an altitude of 2400m above sea level which has an average rainfall of 2200mm thus developing the vibrant green fields. The fertile soil complimented by the high altitude gives Teaology its dark, shiny appearance with bright, brisk and flavoured liquors.
Our tea is picked predominately from the Wangome Farm which has 144,000 bushes who is one of the 57 small holders within KTDA framework. They have around 15 pickers working on a daily basis who each cover an area of around an acre selecting two leaves and a bud from each bush. They each collect around two kilos of green tea enough to fill a woven bamboo basket and this takes them around two to three hours in heat often exceeding 30 degrees. Tea picking a very sustainable in that the bushes can be then repicked every nine days as the plane will have had time to regenerate.
Once collected they take their full baskets to a central area covered by canopies to protect the tea leaves keeping them cool and away from sunlight damage. At wangome farm they have around seven of these areas and it is here that the baskets are emptied into sacks to be weighed and await collection. The Chinga factory is approximately half a mile away and the tea is either loaded onto open sided lorries for transporting to taken by hand either carried on on top of heads or shoulders.
Once the green has arrived at the Chinga factory this is overseen by Stephen Kimru the factory unit manager. It is then sent to a cool drying area for two days and after this time the milling process commences, it passes through seven mills starting with a large blade which is then reduced to create the fine leaves changing the colour from green to brown. At the end of this process it is then slow roasted for 2.5 to 3 hours at around 120 degrees to produce the distinctive black tea. The black tea is then graded 1 -8 with grade 1 being the premium tea with only the finest grade 1 black tea selected for the Teaology blend.
The black tea is then sacked and stored at the Chinga factory awaiting a purchaser. The Global Tea company attends the weekly tea auction in Mombasa which takes place on a Monday and after this black tea is sent to The Global Tea Company for packing in Mombasa.
The black tea is then packed on a production line at Global Tea in Mombasa to ensure that the Tea retains freshness and its delicate flavours this operation is over seen via Fahim Ahmed who is the Managing Director. The factory is able to pack a case of tea being 2000 tea bags every 25 minutes. The tea then is exported from Mombasa and arrives in the UK at Felixstowe bound for a Teaology mug near you.