Why I chose to talk about the history of tea in Africa is most people think of tea grown in China, India and Japan. What you might not realize is that Africa is a big tea growing nation. For example Kenya is the 3rd largest exporter of tea.
Now where did the tea industry begin in Africa?
In 1850 tea was introduced to South Africa as an experiment.
1877 the Assam seeds from Kolkata were introduced and they grew very well commercially.
But, unfortunately what happened labour costs and the currency devaluing the South African tea trade declined.
So it really all began in South Africa but today tea is grown in Kenya, Malawi, Uganda, Tanzania, Cameroon, Mozambique, Ethopia and DR Congo.
Kenya was first settled by North Africans then colonized by Arabs and Persians.
1730 Omani Arabs took over from the Portuguese and then the British and Germans came in with the intention of stopping the slave trade which was set up by the Omani Arabs.
1895 Kenya became a British Protectorate and in 1905 the capital of city of Nairobi was established. and gained it’s independence in 1963.
You might also enjoy this blog on How Sustainable is your Tea or Coffee?
Tea was first planted in Kenya in 1925 by the Orchardson Brothers.
Grand River Tea features a wide variety of tea from Kenya. Purple tea is one of our favourites as well as, Grand River Breakfast, Kenyan Green, Kenyan Oolong, Purple Rain and Kenyan Chair. New crops coming in 2021.
Hope you enjoyed a little not so well know history about Kenyan tea.