The smells of an African tea plantation are something you never forget. They are, to put it plainly, exceptionally natural. The air is heavy and hot with fresh leaf sap hanging in the air. On buying trips the ultimate destination is the tasting room.
Tasting tables on tea plantations tend to be long. It is not uncommon for buyers and tasters to be presented with 30 to 50 cups of tea at a time. As the kettle comes to a boil and each tea is infused, the aromas of the cups fill the room to tell the stories that will be read by the taste buds of the buyers. The cup tells the time of day at which the leaves were plucked, the estate section and bush variety the leaf was selected from, elevation, moisture content, the various temperatures at which they were dried, ambient humidity levels at time of production and grade. Is this cup from the section that borders the neighboring free-hold eucalyptus plantation? Or the section farther up towards the jungle? These are the questions that will be answered by the aromas and flavors emanating from the cups. The complete experience is one that never leaves you.
A pot of Kosabei Plantation Kenya Green offers an experience as close to an actual plantation visit as you can get without boarding the Cessna out of Mombassa. Kenya Green, a recent development in Kenya tea is pulled from production halfway through the CTC (Cut Tear and Curl) process and immediately fired, halting fermentation. The resulting cup unlocks volumes about the history of African tea, the quality of Kenyan production and the lush majesty of the estates on which it is produced. A magnificent green tea with full green tea notes with all the seasonal taste that has made Kenya the Tuscany of Tea.
Note: Kosabei Plantation is a sub-section of Tinderet estate and is certified by Fair Trade and the Ethical Tea Partnership.