Ujamaa Spice has new African Speciality Teas!
When most people think of quality or speciality tea, they most likely think of Darjeeling or Assam. Some tea aficionados might prefer wild puerh teas from Yunnan or high mountain oolong teas from Taiwan.
But what if I tell you that they also grow some amazing teas in East-Africa? Many people are not familiar with African teas, although most of us will likely have drank it in our breakfast blend tea. Majority of African teas are used to create black tea blends, and until very recently these teas have been mainly produced for the commodity market.
We have been searching long and hard to find an African, more specifically a Tanzanian tea that is organically produced and of the highest possible quality. We were about to give up on our search, until we stumbled upon a teamaster high in the mountains of the last remaining tropical rainforest in Tanzania.
Mr. Bhatti comes from a line of Indian tea masters, where they acquire intimate knowledge in tea production over many generations passed down from father to son. Mr. Bhatti felt it was time to explore the boundaries of African speciality tea and took over management of a farm in the Usambara mountains, where he has radically transformed its tea factory in producing the highest possible quality of tea possible.
He has works together with numerous neighbouring small hold farmers and educates them in how to improve the quality of their teas and grow them without any pesticides. While the tea estate is mainly famous for its high quality Tanzanian CTC black tea which we use in our Bibi’s Chai and Mchaichai Chai, it recently produced some specialty orthodox teas for the very first time. We were lucky enough to acquire small amounts of these truly unique teas, a premier for Tanzania!
Their wonderful Tanzanian Baimudan white tea is inspired by the famous teas of China but with true African terroir. These tea plants grow in pristine conditions without any pollution or chemicals, and this white tea is the most pure expression of these truly wild mountains in the rainforest. Of the whole 230ha of the estate, just a few kg of this tea is produced and we are super excited to be able to introduce this tea to the UK.
Expect buttery notes of peach and citrus with a long lasting floral aftertaste.
Teamaste Mr. Bhatti also created a more oxidised and traditionally rolled Tanzanian oolong tea, and to great success. He presented the first batch of this tea to the tea board of Tanzania. They were so impressed, they even instructed him to produce a second batch of this magnificent tea which we were lucky enough to procure. To produce a tea like this, takes years and years of experience and knowhow which not many people in Africa have, but Mr. Bhatti is ensuring that his skills are passed down to the future generations of African tea growers.
This Tanzanian Oolong is from the 2022 winter harvest, which means quantities are super limited but the leaves are packed with flavour and a big powerful body. If you are a tea connoisseur or Gong Fu Cha lover, this Tanzanian oolong one is definitely a tea you must try. The tea packs an incredible full body Qi and has flavours of stewed dark fruits with a strong minerality. It really showcases the Tanzanian high mountain terroir, and it almost tastes like you are in the rainforest itself.
While speciality teas are still rare in Africa, we are at the forefront of a revolution in the tea world. A new world is opening up for us tea connoisseurs, a whole new world that can be explored and where there is room for experimentation with different tea varieties, terroirs and processing methods. We for one are very excited for this, and are honoured to be pioneering these African Loose Leaf Speciality Teas into the UK market. We hope to bring in many more speciality teas in the near future, so keep an eye out and make sure to sign up for our newsletter HERE to stay in the loop and get 10% of your first order as well!