Satemwa Tea Estate is one of the Italian Tea Festival 2018 Exhibitor. The company produces high quality teas and it will present its wide range to the Italian tealovers.
Do you want to know more about the history of tea in Malawi and about the Satemwa Tea Estate?
Read our interview to the company…
History of tea in Malawi
Tea was first brought to Malawi by the gardener of the Blantyre Mission of the Church of Scotland in 1878. The first commercial tea in Africa was planted in Malawi a bit after 1886 by Henry Brown, a failed Ceylon coffee farmer, who came to Malawi to try his luck there. This happened only a few years after the first commercial tea was planted in Ceylon (Sri Lanka). Both regions started more or less at the same time but still African teas are a bit unknow.
Currently Kenya is taking the lead in black CTC tea production in Africa and Kenya is the biggest black CTC exporter in the world.
Malawi is still running a bit behind in terms of volume but for Malawi tea export is the second biggest income generator after tobacco. The Malawian black tea mainly goes into blends of big International Tea Brands in Europe, Russia and the UK. Satemwa is the only estate in Malawi producing a wide range of single estate orthodox teas.
SATEMWA Tea Estates is a small family owned tea estate in the Shire Highlands in Malawi. Satemwa Tea Estates was founded by Maclean Kay in 1923. Maclean came from Scotland to Malawi (that time Nyasaland) and bought his first piece of land from a tobacco farmer to grow TEA. His son Robert (nickname Chip) took over from his dad and has not slowed down since. Now in his 80s he visits the factory several times a day (and night) and makes sure he learns something new about anything by 12:00 each day. Alexander, Chip’s oldest sun, started studying economics, but it didn’t take very long before he realized that his passion lied in Horticulture instead. Now he is in charge of most things that involve running Satemwa, including checking the accounts.
SATEMWA produces a range of pesticide free high quality teas and is certified by Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance and UTZ. On top of that Satemwa is member of the Ethical Tea Partnership and we undersigned the UN Global Compact. Around 95% of the tea produced on SATEMWA is black CTC tea – an average of 2,500 tons is produced each year. Moreover in March this year we started producing the first commercial Green CTC in Malawi. We produce a clear cup completely EU MRL compliant. In general this CTC tea ends up in different international tea bag brands all around the world.
15 years ago Alexander started reviving the production of Orthodox Specialty Teas on SATEMWA (white, green, oolong, black (+smoked tea) and dark tea) for a high-value, low volume market. Alexander travelled to Japan, China, India and Sri Lanka. He came back with a lot of knowledge and tea making experience. He started to experiment with some old machinery and different processing techniques. A lot of experiments later and after hours of tasting he crafted some unique Specialty Teas.
Malawi Tea Tour
During the Italian Tea Festival we will present our Malawi Tea Tour. If people want to be part of it, they can take a flyer and email us. We have five exclusive rooms inside the old Maclean Kay house and a Chawani bungalow that is a selfcatering option. For more information: www.huntingdon-malawi.com