Country of Origin: Kenya
Region: Nandi Province
Shipping Port: Mombasa
Grade: BP1 (Broken Pekoe) green tea
Altitude: 5500 - 7200 feet
Manufacture Type: CTC (Cut, Torn and Curled)
Cup Characteristics: A delightful tea with expansive flavor notes that tend floral - the signature of a top quality Kenyan tea
Infusion: Bright amber with greenish highlights
West of the Great Rift Valley, high in the eastern slopes of the Nandi hills lies the famed estate of Kapchorua. To the South, the Tinderet forest teems with Colobus monkeys, exotic birds, magnificent trees and crystal clear springs. To the North and West, undulating fields as far as they eye can see and to the East, the vast expanse of the Lessos plains. To say the estate is situated in one of the most beautiful corners of Earth is an understatement. First planted in 1947, Kapchorua's location was chosen because of its proximity to the Timobo River, a prime tributary of Lake Victoria that bisects the estate and helps irrigate the gardens. A tribute to the original Planters, the estate today defines the word lush. Kapchorua retains some 675 hectares under tea with many acres more given to fuel wood, timber, bamboo and indigenous trees in an effort to ensure protection of the surrounding environment. Among the many hectares grow some of Kenya's finest tea bushes, including the Ejulu variety, the highest quality grown in the country. It is from these bushes that Kapchorua produces some of the finest Kenyan teas the world markets have ever seen. Of these, one of the most notable is the green variety we offer here.
Kapchorua's green teas are produced using a technique that was developed and perfected on the estate itself. The unique process differs from that of almost every other producer in the world in that the fresh leaf is not steamed or fried prior to curing. Instead, after withering (a process by which the leaf is laid out in troughs and flushed with air), the tea is put through a CTC machine cut, tear and curl that does literally that. After the CTC machine, the shredded leaf is allowed to sit for approximately three minutes in order for slight fermentation to occur and then fed into a large dryer for final curing. The resulting green tea is consistently full-bodied and highly flavored. (Notably absent is the grassiness associated with most green teas.) Kapchorua's high quality is renowned throughout the tea world and has led to the estate being recognized by both the Fair Trade Labeling Organization and Ethical Tea Partnership for outstanding production. (An excellent track record in providing a high quality of life for estate staff has helped in this regard as well.) We're sure you'll be delighted and amazed by the depth of character of what is truly one of the world's finest and most unique green teas. As they say in Kenya, Chai tamu na halisi sana. This is a very real and tasty tea!
Hot tea brewing method: When preparing by the cup, this tea can be used repeatedly - about 3 times. The secret is to use water that is about 180�F or 90�C. Place 1 teaspoon in your cup, let the tea steep for about 3 minutes and then begin enjoying a cup of enchantment - do not remove the leaves from the cup. Once the water level is low - add more water, and so on and so on - until the flavor of the tea is exhausted. Look at the pattern of the leaves, they foretell your fortune.
Alternatively as with all top quality teas, scoop 2-4 teaspoons of tea into the teapot, pour in boiling water that has been freshly drawn (previously boiled water has lost most of its oxygen and therefore tends to be flat tasting), steep for 2-4 minutes (to taste), stir (virtually all the leaves will sink), pour into your cup but do not add milk or sugar since green tea is enjoyed 'straight-up'.
Iced tea brewing method (to make 1 liter/quart): Place 6 teaspoons of tea into a teapot or heat resistant pitcher. Pour 1 1/4 cups of freshly boiled water over the tea. Steep for 5 minutes. Quarter fill a serving pitcher with cold water. Pour the tea into your serving pitcher straining the leaves. Add ice and top up the pitcher with cold water. Garnish and sweeten to taste. [A rule of thumb when preparing fresh brewed iced tea is to double the strength of hot tea since it will be poured over ice and diluted with cold water.]