First planted in 1903, the majority of Kenya’s tea gardens are clustered on the slopes of the Great Rift Valley, a vast geological formation created by a powerful volcanic eruption many thousands of years ago. The valley cuts the country lengthwise and is one of Africa’s most lush corners. Within the valley some 22% of the tea world’s export supply is grown, roughly 349,000 tons of finished tea per year,
The bulk of production has traditionally been CTC manufacture (Cut Tear Curl), but recent innovations by Kenyan manufacturers has seen the development of some spectacular teas never before seen in the country. Among them is hand-sorted Silverback White, named after the magnificent Silverback Gorillas that can be found in the region. The gorillas are characterized by a white patch of fur on their backs, the color of which is very similar to the white tips used to create this tea.
In a country that produces such vast quantities of tea, Silverback is a true rarity. In fact it is believed to be one of the rarest teas in the world with only 600 kgs of it made on an annual basis. As mentioned, the tea is made from only the choicest white tips, flushed by highly specialized tea bushes in the valley’s cool early mornings. The fresh leaf is hand plucked, hand rolled and dried naturally. The process is exceedingly laborious and even the most skilled tea artisan can produce only about 1 kg per day.
Even for sophisticated, long-time tea drinkers, a pot of Silverback White Tea, grown at 5600 ft. – 6500 feet above sea level, with its breathtaking flavor with notes of honey, roasted nuts, and vanilla, is a revelation. The infusion is light with African dawn gold notes leading to a long smooth finish. A tea you will never forget.
Click on this Google Link for vendors supplying this tea.
By Certified Tea Master Chas Kroll