Rich volcanic soils, well-distributed annual rainfall and ideal warm climate are winning attributes for Kenyan grown tea, a place of origin which at the time of writing, has now exceeded China and India for quantity of tea export. The Assamica varietal is commonplace here, producing white, black and green teas. Interestingly, the tea bush does not natively grow in Africa; it was introduced to the continent in the 1800's around the time of British occupation.
Although the greater majority of the tea production within Kenya is produced in CTC style, as well as for for teabags and the commodity tea market, particularly breakfast tea blends, there remains a growing segment of specialty tea produced for the connoisseur market. Hand plucking is the norm for finer grades of tea, to preserve the shape and form of the leaf for the consumer, while mechanical harvesting The county of Kericho is one of the largest tea producing areas in the country, and is perched some 2,000m above sea level.
The black teas processed in orthodox style are especially fine, producing a typical copper-toned liquor usually associated with Assam teas, that is brisk tasting and bright, with notes of citrus and maltiness.