Map of Kenya

Kenya

Wikipedia: Kenya 
Updated: Mar. 16, 2015 

Browse Teas From Kenya (87) - Read Reviews (48)

Table of contents:
About Kenya | Tea-Producing Regions of Kenya | Styles of Tea Produced in Kenya | Best (Top-Rated) Kenyan Teas

About Kenya

Tea fields in rolling hills with scattered trees
A tea plantation in Kenya. Pphoto by Bjørn Christian Tørrissen, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 and GNU FDL licenses.
Kenya is the fourth-largest producer of tea worldwide, and is the only country in Africa to produce a substantial amount of tea for the world market. It also has recently emerged as a major source of innovation in new varieties of tea and single-origin artisan teas.

Unlike India and Sri Lanka, where most tea is grown on large plantations, 90% of tea in Kenya is grown on farming operations of 1 acre or less.[1] Tea is central to Kenya's economy; tea exports represent 26% of total export earnings and about 4% of GDP.[1]

Tea farmers in Kenya have become strained due to competition; rather than move towards larger operations, Kenya has decided to invest money in research and development of new varieties of tea that have the potential to have higher yield and more resilience to variable climactic conditions.

Kenya's climate and tea production

Tea pickers in tea fields
Tea pickers in Kenya, photo by Ed Roberts, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 and GNU FDL licenses.
Kenya is located on the equator and has a mostly semi-arid tropical climate, with steppe and semidesert in the low-lying areas, and montane forests at the higher altitudes. Much of Kenya's climate is too arid to grow tea; the tea-growing regions of Kenya tend to be concentrated in the higher-altitude areas, as these receive greater rainfall and tend to be cooler. The highest rainfall in Kenya falls in the west of the country, with some wet areas in the central part of the country as well.

Kenya is bordered on the south by Tanzania, another important tea-producing country in Africa.

Artisan teas, specialty teas, and single-estate teas in Kenya

Even though it is a major player in the global market, Kenya is less well known as a source of tea in the United States. Most of the tea produced in Kenya is bulk black tea used in blends. However, Kenya's specialty tea industry has been blossoming in recent years, and there are now green teas and white teas being produced in Kenya, including novel styles of tea such as white matcha. Kenya is also the site of development of new varietals of the tea plant, including purple tea, a tea plant rich in purple-colored anthocyanins, the same pigments in blueberries and raspberries.

References and further resources:

1. Michael Karanja, Kenya to research more on tea, Capital Business, Dec. 1, 2009.


2. Tea Board of Kenya


Tea-Producing Regions of Kenya

Styles of Tea Produced in Kenya

This is a selection, not an exhaustive listing, of the styles of tea most commonly produced in Kenya.

Best Kenyan Teas

The notion of the "best" Kenyan teas is subjective, because different people have different tastes. We present the most often-rated and highest-rated teas produced in Kenya, and allow you to draw your own conclusions.

Most Often-Rated Teas

Picture of Kenyan Black Tea - Loose Tea

Kenyan Black Tea - Loose Tea

Brand:Ajiri Tea
Style:Black Tea
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
79
3 Ratings
Picture of White Whisper Tea

White Whisper Tea

Brand:Royal Tea of Kenya
Style:Silver Needle
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
48
3 Ratings
Picture of Kenyan Black Tea - Tea Bags

Kenyan Black Tea - Tea Bags

Brand:Ajiri Tea
Style:Black Tea
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Teabag
2 Ratings
Picture of Royal Tajiri Tea

Royal Tajiri Tea

Brand:Royal Tea of Kenya
Style:Black Tea
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
2 Ratings
Picture of Fahari Ya Kenya Tea

Fahari Ya Kenya Tea

Brand:Fahari Ya (Ketepa)
Style:Black Tea
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
2 Ratings

Top-Rated Kenyan Teas

Picture of Kenyan Black Tea - Loose Tea

Kenyan Black Tea - Loose Tea

Brand:Ajiri Tea
Style:Black Tea
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
79
3 Ratings
Picture of White Whisper Tea

White Whisper Tea

Brand:Royal Tea of Kenya
Style:Silver Needle
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
48
3 Ratings

Browse All Kenyan Teas (87)