Tea cultivation in Africa started relatively late, approximately at the beginning of the 20th century. However, it gradually became an important factor in international tea trade within the last decades. The cultivation was initiated by the English.


Kenya is the most important country of cultivation on the continent. On more than 40 plantations approximately 240.000 tons of black tea are produced. The majority of the plantations lie north of the capital city of Nairobi towards the West of the country close to the borders with Tansania and Uganda. The vast majority of the tea is CTC-tea, produced for large chains in England, Ireland, Canada, Germany and the Netherlands. Only the plantation "Marinyn" produces a full-bodied leaf tea with a slight hint of citrus. All other plantations produce quite strong medium qualities which are best enjoyed with a shot of milk.

Malawi has been producing and exporting tea since 1905. This tea is also produced using CTC-processing and mainly finds use in blended teas. The plantations are located in the South of the country as well as in the North, by Lake Nyasa.

South Africa has been commercially growing tea since 1877, all of which is produced using CTC-processing. The majority of the strong, simple medium-quality is consumed within the country itself. The major growing areas are in the North-East of the Republic.

Tansania has been growing tea since 1905. As in the above countries, the medium-quality tea is produced via CTC-processing.

Furthermore, tea growing takes place in Burundi, Ethiopia, Mauritius, Mozambique and Uganda. The quality of the teas produced is also not very high. The lack of skilled workers, the basically non-exisiting transportation network, troubles with the energy supply, unexpectedly changing weather conditions and, last but not least, the political instability all interfere with the economy, making life difficult for tea growers.



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