While tea might be more closely associated with countries like China and India, many African countries are making a name for themselves when it comes to the production of loose leaf tea. South Africa, Kenya, Egypt, Tanzania, and more produce a variety of both herbal and caffeinated teas.
Kenya is one of the largest tea producers in the world after China and India. Tea has been grown in Kenya since the 1950s, and the fertile soil and favorable year-round growing conditions in the country ensure that Kenyan teas are of the highest quality.
Kenya is also one of the primary producers of purple tea, a new kind of tea produced from a special varietal of the tea plant bearing purple leaves. While purple tea was discovered growing wild in the Assam region of India, it was brought to Kenya to be studied and later produced on a commercial scale.
Our Kenyan teas
We carry two teas from Kenya: Kenyan Purple, a classic unflavored purple tea, and Lychee Purple, a fruity flavored purple tea with lychee, pineapple, and currant. Both of our purple teas are from the Tumoi Tea Garden in the Nandi Hills of Kenya. Purple tea brews up a light, reddish-purple color, and has a mellow flavor similar to that of oolong. Purple tea is naturally extremely high in antioxidants and anthocyanins, and is also very low in caffeine.
South African tea
In the world of tea, South Africa is primarily known for its rooibos herbal teas. Dutch for “red bush,” rooibos is grown and harvested almost exclusively in South Africa, where it is a popular local beverage. Rooibos has a full body and a hint of natural sweetness, making it a great alternative to black tea for those looking to steer clear of caffeine. Rooibos also comes in a variety of popular flavors like Rooibos Chai and Vanilla Rooibos.
South African is also the primary grower of honeybush, an herbal tea closely related to rooibos. Honeybush is slightly sweeter than regular rooibos. Both Rooibos and honeybush are packed with health benefits, and are caffeine free, low in tannins, and rich in antioxidants.
Our South African teas
We carry a wide variety of both classic and flavored rooibos teas. Rooibos on its own has a mild taste with a hint of natural sweetness. Flavored rooibos can range from sweet to fruity to floral, with popular blends including Peach Rooibos, Earl Grey Rooibos, and Chocolate Mint Rooibos. We also offer unoxidized Green Rooibos for a mellower, grassier taste, and Honeybush Hot Cider for a spiced and fruity cup.
Egypt is one of the largest exporters of chamomile tea today, producing sweet, full-flowered chamomile of exceptional quality. Chamomile has been grown in Egypt and around the Mediterranean for thousands of years, and has a rich history in the area. The name chamomile derives from the Ancient Greek khamaimelon (χαμαιμηλον) meaning “earth apple,” a reference to its sweet taste.
Our Egyptian tea
We carry several chamomile-based herbal teas that are sure to soothe whenever you brew up a cup. Egyptian Chamomile is made from large, fragrant flower heads for a flavorful and aromatic herbal tea. Our Lavender Lullaby tea begins with a base of Egyptian Chamomile and adds lavender, rose petals, and orange peel for a soothing floral blend that’s specially designed to help you unwind and relax at the end of the day. Finally, our Honeybush Hot Cider combines honeybush, chamomile, apple pieces, and cider mulling spices for a cozy cup perfect for a cool autumn afternoon.
Tanzania is another African country making a name for itself as a specialty tea exporter. Tanzania shares a border with Kenya, and contains many of the same beneficial characteristics that make for good tea, including rich soil and a year-round growing season. Tanzania produces primarily black teas, which are often blended with teas of Chinese or Indian origin.
Our Tanzanian teas
We carry two robust breakfast blends with black tea from Tanzania: our Irish Breakfast and our English Breakfast. Both teas also include black tea from other regions, and have a full body and a hearty, malty flavor that stands up well to the addition of milk and sweetener.
Tea from Africa
While African countries may not yet be as famous as Asian countries like China and India when it comes to tea production, more and more tea is being grown, harvested, and exported from Africa each year. Although African countries are newcomers to the centuries-old world of tea, they’re quickly making a name for themselves by producing high quality and specialty tea. Tea helps to stimulate the economies of these countries and provide a consistent stream of revenue due to exports across the world. If you’re interested in trying an African tea, be sure to check out our extensive collection!