4th
Feb
2014

Posted in Kafevend Blog

Tea was brought to Africa by the British at the beginning of the 20th century. Following their success in establishing plantations in India using the Assam variety, they wanted to start growing tea in Africa in order to have more sources available to them. For a long time, tea had only been produced and sold by the Chinese. Not wanting to be subject to the whims of the Chinese government, the development of plantations in India and Africa by the British was an attempt to break the monopoly on tea that the Chinese possessed.

Having first been planted on a small farm in Kenya in 1903, tea cultivation expanded massively and is now a major cash crop for the country, as well as for a number of other East African nations such as Zimbabwe, Rwanda and Malawi. Kenya is the largest tea producer in Africa, and one of the top producers of tea worldwide. The vast majority of the tea produced in these countries is black tea, and is mainly processed for use in tea bags using the CTC (Crush, Tear, Curl) method.

Kenya's second largest city Mombasa has been a trading hub for centuries,but it now also plays host to a renowned international tea auction, and is one of the largest traders of black tea in the world. Tea factories from nine African nations send their produce to be sold by public auction in Mombasa. The majority of the tea we buy in supermarkets is from these auctions, the major chains having representatives in the city to conduct business on their behalf.

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