Country of Origin: Malawi, Africa
Grade: BP1 (Broken Pekoe 1)
Cup Characteristics: A superbly well-rounded tea. Positively dripping with expansive malty notes. Opens beautifully with a dash of milk.
Infusion: Light golden with copper highlights.
Ingredients: Luxury black tea
In recent years, management of Satemwa, which is still owned by third generation Cathcart Kay family members, has undertaken a number of initiatives that reaffirm their standing as upstanding corporate citizens.
The first of these notable initiatives was Satemwa's achievement in obtaining Fair Trade certification. For Satemwa's management team, the decision to go Fair Trade was a natural one. To begin with, the estate has long believed in quality over quantity. Production focuses on exceptionally high quality teas that fetch higher prices at auction with higher profit margins. These high quality teas require skilled artisans to produce them, meaning better, higher paying jobs are available and the margins mean profits can be retained and distributed to workers at all levels of the manufacturing process. As the result of its policies, Satemwa became Malawi's first Fair Trade certified estate.
Another recent initiative has been active participation in the reforestation of Malawi. Unknown to many in the West, Malawi has suffered from massive deforestation over the past 2 decades. Between 1990 and 2000 alone, more than one fifth of Malawi's forests disappeared. Between 1998 and 2002, the 2000ha Thyolo Mountain Forest Reserve adjacent to Satemwa estate was completely deforested, the result of a local politician promising the land to locals during an election campaign. The deforestation has had a massive impact on Malawi's ecosystem as silt from cleared land clogs rivers and biodiversity plummets - 23 tree species are now considered endangered. To help combat the problem, Satemwa has begun donating Eucalyptus seedlings, 3000 in 2007 alone, and undertaken a public campaign to educate people on the importance of replanting.
This BP1 is an excellent example of the estate's quality. Loaded with round notes of malt, the cup is assertive with well-balanced layers of astringency and a long, full finish. A super tea from one of the worlds best-run estates, a cup to feel great about.
Satemwa is also ETP certified. The Ethical Tea Partnership is a tea industry initiative designed to monitor and regulate the living and working conditions on tea estates around the world.