Good morning, dear tea friends! I continue my journey through the tea producing countries in Africa with a visit to Rwanda. In my cup this morning is an OP (Orange Pekoe) black tea selection.
Tea growing in Rwanda started in 1952 and has grown steadily ever since. The tea is planted at two different elevations – on hillsides at an altitude of 6,000-8,000 feet and in well drained marshes at an altitude of 5,000-6,000 feet. I have read that there are 11 tea estates in the country and each estate is located right by a tea processing factory as the tea must start its processing within a few hours of plucking.
I steeped the large rolled leaf for 5 minutes in boiling point (212F) water. You can see the leaf starting to unfurl as it steeps.
Back in April, the Rwanda Ministry of Agriculture unveiled plans to increase tea production in their country. You can read more about that here. It sounds like they have some challenges to make that happen, like infrastructure access and resistance of some farms to grow tea.
The glowing amber tea liquor has a toasty fragrance, which I find comforting. The flavor is strong yet smooth with light nuances of cocoa thickness and toastiness. I think this tea could be steeped longer than 5 minutes as I only detected a mild tang in the flavor. I’m going to try 6 minutes next time I brew a cup.
I think this tea is a fabulous value and would make a great everyday tea. At a longer steep time, it would stand up well to milk and sweetener, too.
It’s a beautiful summer day with high wispy clouds sailing across a deep azure sky. I think I’ll pull on my walking shoes and go for a hike on the bike path along the lake. Have a wonderful weekend!
“All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.”