(Estate Black Tea)
Country of Origin: Tanzania
Shipping Port: Tanga
Grade: BP1 (Broken Pekoe 1)
Altitude: 6000? - 7000? ft. above sea level
Manufacture Type: CTC (Cut Tear & Curl)
Cup Characteristics: One of the nicest teas to come from one of the best estates in Tanzania. It has a malty character with nutty-like flavor.
Infusion: Tending rosy with golden highlights.
Ingredients: Luxury black tea
Outside of China, most of the world?s tea was planted by British or Dutch colonists. Tanzania on the other hand holds the distinction of being the only country where it was first planted by Germans. Germany?s control of the country was relatively short lived, lasting only from the 1880?s until 1919. It was during this time however, in 1904, that tea was first planted experimentally at the Agricultural Research Station at Amani in the eastern Tanga district. This first experiment was a success. Tea was next planted experimentally at the Kyimbila Mission in the Rugwe District ? also a success. Even with these successful experiments behind them, it would not be for another few years that the German planters would expand commercially on a larger scale. For that, another 20 years and a World War would come to pass.
In 1919, Britain took over from Germany as the colonial ruler of the country. Still, many German settlers stayed on in the country and in 1926, one of them decided to build a large tea garden and factory in the vicinity of the Usumbara mountains. The hilly terrain and rich soil of the district was found to be particularly conducive to growing tea and as time passed other planters moved in and the number of estates increased. One of these was Luponde, situated high in the hills at 1800 meters above sea level. Right from the start Luponde estate proved itself capable of producing some of Tanzania?s finest teas, a trait that continues to this day.
The modern era of Luponde is characterized by more than just amazing tea. In recent years the estate has earned a Fair Trade certification and has established an excellent track record of beneficial social and economic developments for its workers. As an example, the estate recently used some of their Fair Trade premiums to construct a mill for grinding maize. While this may seem like a small development, prior to the mill?s construction, workers had to haul their maize 7 km away to have it ground. (The estate?s workers are given land on which to grow their own crops.) The estate is also renowned for its excellent environmental practices, forgoing chemical fertilizers and other synthetic agricultural inputs in favor of an all-natural style of tea husbandry. Tanzania?s early planters would be very proud of what has grown from their initial experiments so many years ago. Brew a pot and raise a toast to success!
Hot tea brewing method: Bring freshly drawn cold water to a rolling boil. Place 1 teaspoon of tea for each cup into the teapot. Pour the boiling water into the teapot. Cover and let steep for 3-7 minutes according to taste (the longer the steeping time the stronger the tea). Even though milk and a dash of sugar help enhance the flavor character on this tea, it is perfectly acceptable to consume this tea ?straight-up?