With a cold and dry summer the growth of the tea leafs in Tanzania stagnated a bit, but eventually things turned out fine. “But the influence of Covid on sales and export cannot be underestimated”, says Bente from Tanzanian Kilimanjaro Specialty Tea.
What was the summer like for growing tea in Tanzania?
It has been quite cold until September, which slowed down the leaf growth a bit. Our tea field is right near a well that never dries out, which is why the leaf kept on growing. We had no rain for the past 2,5 months, which caused the fire up here on Kilimanjaro. The fire was very near us, but it rained right at the moment when the fire was getting too near to the rainforest right above our farm. So thanks to the rain and many brave Tanzanians who went up there to put the fire out, we are all safe.
How is Covid influencing the tea business in Tanzania right now?
In terms of production we had no problem at all, as everyone is at work as usual. We are really past COVID with the maximum very few infections in the country. No one is concerned anymore over here. The influence of Covid on sales and export is bigger. Local sales are still really low, as only very few tourists are coming. Tourism has picked up, but not quite anywhere near where it has been before.
What tea would you like to recommend for this time of year and why?
At this time of the year I would recommend Oolong and Black Teas. My absolute favorites are my latest creations. Yes, my experimental phase continues! We fermented tea in fruits. We use fruits that are locally grown of course. I absolutely love the light hint of fruit especially in the Black and Oolong Teas. We used Papaya, Guava,Tree Tomatoes and Raisins to process out Oolong and Black tea. So it’s not like a Tea blended with fruits. Just processed with fruit and then the fruit is removed, so its just the pure leaf with a touch of of fruit taste. For the green Tea drinkers I suggest African Pot steamed and African Pot roasted green teas.
These teas are processed in African Earthen Wares, which gives the tea a smoother mouthfeel and body. These teas will be very soon available in Germany.
Read Bente’s previous blogs: