Kenya is known the world over as a top producer and exporter of high quality tea. It is sold in blended form in grocery stores across the United States, Europe, Asia and other markets. Black tea is processed from young, downy leaves, buds and stems which are then fermented before being rolled and dried.
Tea processing is accomplished through the cut, twist and curl (CTC) process, where all the leaves, buds and stems are crushed/ground to equal sizes, mostly dust and fannings, yielding stronger, thicker and brighter teas and ensuring a higher number of cups of tea per unit measure. Most of the teas packaged in tea bags is produced using the CTC method.
On the other hand, the orthodox method of processing tea is a traditional method of Kenya tea production that involves rolling leaf into smaller particles, suitable for multiple infusions. Orthodox tea production uses only top quality leaves and buds that produce strong, robust flavor resulting in higher quality and better tasting tea than CTC teas. Most specialty tea is orthodox tea.
In this tour, you will visit the Marbroukie tea factory in Limuru and see, first hand, how tea is picked on the farm, transported to the factory, processed, graded and packaged for local and international consumption. You will then visit the Kiambethu tea farm where you will be treated to a 3-course buffet as you catch up on the history of tea.
Tea was first introduced in Limuru by GWL Caine in 1903 when the earliest seedlings from India were planted for ornamental purposes. Caine had not seen the commercial potential of tea! Limuru then was a favourite of the British because of its proximity to Nairobi, its ‘amazing’ climate and the railway line. You can remove more on the history of tea growing in Limuru.
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