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Tea In Tanzania

Quality of tea varies according to the altitude and plucking standards.

German settlers were the first to grow tea at Amari and Rungwa in Tanzania in about 1905, but commercial production did not start until 1926. A factory was opened at Mufindi in 1930 and the industry expanded slowly and steadily in the Southern Highlands and the Usambaras. Today, the main producing areas are Rungwa, Mufindi, Njombe, Usambara , and Kagera. The total area under cultivation is approximately 49,421 acres, about 50 percent of which is owned by private producers and the rest by smallholders. Smallholder tea production began in 1961 after independence, and today grows approximately 30 percent of the total green leaf supply. The industry operates on two levels: private estates grow and manufacture their own tea; the Tanzania Tea Authority (TTA) buys green leaf from smallholders and processes it at TTA factories. Currently, the private sector owns fourteen factories, the TTA owns five, and two more are joint private/TTA ventures.

Production tends to vary from year to year due to such problems as lack of transport to carry the green leaf to the factories, a shortage of labor at peak plucking times, a shortage of fuel, the need for refurbishment of the factories, drought, etc. However, production has gone up over the past 14 years, and increased investment and more attractive financial deals for tea exports have led to a more stable outlook and expectations of improved quality and increased production.

About 70 percent of Tanzania's tea is exported and the remaining 30 percent is consumed locally. The quality of the tea
varies according to the altitude and plucking standards. Some factories produce very good quality CTC BPI,PFI, and PDust grades, and average prices tend to be higher than for Malawi, Uganda, and Zimbabwe teas.

Kilima
Characteristics: Excellent black tea grown at 6,000-7,000 feet Similar character to a Ceylon tea. Gives a strong ,fruity infusion.
Brewing hints: Brew 1 teaspoon in a scant 1 cup water at 203°F. Infuse for 2 to 3 minutes.
Drinking recommendations: Drink with a Iittle milk as a breakfast or afternoon tea.

Recommend our Modern Tea Sets to brew these teas.