Teas from Tanzania are well known, but almost without exception they are cut, tear, curl (CTC) types, and not the very best quality that Africa has to offer. Normal Tanzania teas are usually used in blends for tea bags to reduce the average cost of the product. So, for buyers of premium specialty teas, Tanzanian teas would not normally be of special interest.
But Wollenhaupt has been working with a premium coffee producer – on a farm situated in sight of the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro - who has planted a small plot of tea bushes and has begun producing various grades and types of black, green, oolong, and white orthodox teas. These teas do not try to replicate anything else in the region, and so the look and taste are unique. The combination of terroir and manufacturing style is unique.
The teas are marketed under the ‘Makomu’ name and are available exclusively through Wollenhaupt. Due to the limited production volume, since the land area planted is limited, the producer has also started a smallholder project in the Usambara valley after smallholders there were abandoned when the factory they were supplying closed down for financial reasons.
The project has worked with these smallholders to rehabilitate their plots and produce the required standard of leaf, which is then transported to a mini-factory in the Kilimanjaro area for processing. The teas produced from this smallholder leaf are sold under the ‘Usambara’ name. Wollenhaupt is now offering both ‘Makomu’ and ‘Usambara’ white tea needles (very limited availability), green tea, oolong, medium oolong, dark oolong, black tea.
Learn more: http://www.wollenhaupt.com