African tea ? 50 years ago it was a drop in the ocean. Today? It exports more than China, India or Ceylon.
And the African star? Rwanda.
High grown tea. Altitude of 2,300 metres plus. Sunny days. Cool nights. Regular rains. Two moderate dry periods. Top pedigree tea bushes. Very careful selective plucking of the leaf. All the stars are aligned. And the result is amazing.
Superb teas. Golden liquors. Thick bodied. Full mouth feel. Flavoury. And clean - no pesticide worries as they don't use any.
Pic 1.To make great tea one needs to start with great green leaf from the tea bushes. "Green leaf" refers to the leaf plucked from the bushes - the raw material that is processed at the factory into black tea (or green tea, or oolong, or white tea). Charles and his team from RMT managing the field operations - making great green leaf.
Pic 2. Skilled manual plucking - carefully ensuring excellent green leaf is harvested.
Pic 3. Tony Laurent, when he was GM Tea Operations, checking the green leaf from neighbouring small holder farmers as it is collected at a Kitabi weighing station.
Pic 1. Green leaf inspectors at the green leaf receiving gate in Kitabi factory
Pic 2. Harold Salim - Tony's colleague from their Lipton Tea East Africa days - is the Kitabi factory manager. Many years of experience. Harold checks the green leaf before processing. Green leaf quality - it's critical !
Rwanda Breakfast is our signature tea. It is a pure 100% single origin tea - as are all of our teas.
We buy only from the best estates. And only when the tea is at its peak - around February and August. Our Rwanda teas are from the Rwanda Mountain Tea Company. They get the highest prices in the weekly African tea auctions. So they fit our needs - premium quality. No compromise. Our founder Tony Laurent drinks Rwanda Breakfast tea every day. From morning onwards. Tony has lots of samples lying around from all over the tea world, but he prefers Rwandan tea. It goes so well with milk.
And you can sip it. Gulp it. Or drink it black with ice.
Pic 1. Rolling hills of Kitabi.
Pic 2. RMT does not use herbicides - only manual weeding. In fact no pesticides are used on the plantations.
Tony worked in the African tea industry for 7 years.
Most of the time in the tea plantation sector. In 2010 and 2011 he was the General Manager Tea Operations for Rwanda Mountain Tea Sarl. So he knows the teas intimately. The factories. The estates. The people. The non stop quest for best quality.
But for Tony it is not an emotional connection. No. It's purely about quality.
Kitabi estate. In the south west of the country - on the border of the Nyungwe Forest. Just a few kilometres from Burundi and the Congo. Unspoilt country. Little changed over thousands of years. Combines flavour and a thicker mouth feel. Excellent mug of tea first thing in the morning!
Nyabihu estate. In the north west, a few kilometres from the Congo. Close to the Volcanoes National Park in the Virunga Mountains - home to much of the wild Mountain Gorilla population. 8 volcanoes, soaring to 4,300 metres.
The most flavoury tea in Africa at its best.
These teas are not yet well known in Australia. The Irish tea drinkers know Rwandan tea - maybe that is why they drink more tea per capita than anyone else in the world.
And we suggest you get to know it too ! Try some. You'll love it.
Our Rwanda Breakfast. Uncompromising on quality.