It’s fairly well known that great tea comes from China, Japan and Taiwan. Even Kenya and India are known worldwide for their tea production. What is lesser known outside of the industry is that Rwanda is the producer of some absolutely amazing and vibrant teas. A relatively new crop for the small country, tea production started in the 1950s mostly to supply tea for British Breakfast tea bags. Since then, Rwanda has solidly staked its claim as one of the best producers in the world for clean and bright black tea.
To give you a glimpse into the taste and quality of Rwandan tea, let us start with a story about... a potato! We really love potatoes and think of ourselves as knowledgeable and well versed in the best! Before we visited Rwanda, Karen Sherman at Akilah Institute was telling us how good the potatoes there were. Like we said, we love potatoes but were a bit skeptical. Honestly, how good could the Rwandan potatoes really be? Well, rest assured, Karen was correct...we were astounded! Rwandan potatoes are off the charts and probably the best we have ever encountered.
Like any other agricultural crop, a good potato starts with good soil. And there’s something special about Rwandan soil. They are well drained peat marshes and volcanic soils. This combination adds a rich flavor and mouthfeel to the potatoes.
The same is true for tea. Because of the soil, Rwandan tea is uniquely vibrant, clean and flavorful. It has refreshingly brisk quality and a complex flavor profile in the cup. Rwandan tea also has a beautiful color that holds up well to milk and sugar. No chemical pesticides are needed because they do not have a pest problem--the natural environment in Rwanda is diverse enough to keep the tea free of pests.
We buy from a tea garden called SORWATHE. Founded in 1975, the SORWATHE-owned tea plantation sits on 284 hectares, as well as on another 930 hectares owned by ASSOPTHE, a Rwandan cooperative that represents over 3,500 small farmers. SORWATHE employs 3,000 Rwandans in the factory and fields, and they have won many awards for their high quality teas, sustainability, and corporate social responsibility. SORWATHE is Fair Trade certified, NOP and EU Organic certified, Rainforest Alliance certified™, ISO 9001-2008 and 22000-2005 certified, an Ethical Tea Partnership participant, Rwanda Standards Board certified and UTZ certified..
We use it in our Firepot Breakfast, Music City Morning, Masala Chai loose leaf and Masala Chai concentrate. It’s a great partnership, and we are proud to support this organic and Fair Trade certified tea garden and to offer you such vibrant tea from a pristine and beautiful part of the world.
More on sorwathe https://www.teaimporters.com/about-us/