Satemwa Plantation, Malawi

Satemwa Plantation, Malawi

This month we visited the Satemwa Tea Estate located in Malawi, Africa. Established in 1923, Malawi is a small country in the southern part of Africa and was the first country in Africa where tea was planted commercially. In the early 1920’s the young Scot, Maclean Kay, bought his first piece of land in Malawi from a tobacco farmer to begin to grow tea.

Satemwa Tea Estate is the last family-owned tea estate in Malawi and is surrounded by farmland, rolling mountains and, biodiversity. All their tea is from a single estate and is directly traded throughout the world. The Msuwadzi Smallholder Tea Growers Association is a group of around 190 smallholder farmers from Satemwa. The association works closely with the smallholders in partnership to grow herbs, flowers, and other unique speciality teas. One of them is this month’s Satemwa Hibiscus.

Roselle, Karkade, or Hibiscus tea, has been drunk for enjoyment and recreation for centuries. It is popular in northern Africa, and parts of the Caribbean and Asia, where it’s prized both for its pleasant flavour that is slightly tart and robust, not dissimilar to cranberry juice. It is a herbal tea made from an infusion of crimson or deep magenta-coloured calyces of the roselle flower. Hibiscus has properties that some believe are effective in treating high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and high cholesterol.

People choose to complement its natural taste with a spoonful of organic coconut sugar or raw honey to sweeten it. Alternatively, you can mix it with black tea for a delicious, aromatic blend.

Location: Thyolo
Country: Malawi
Capital City: Lilongwe
Coordinates: 16°01′33″S 35°30′29″E
Elevation: 1000–1200m above sea level 
Soil type: Red soils from Dolerite
Manufacture: Satemwa                                                                           
Season: May, June
Av temp: 20 °C

Fun facts:
> Africa is the home of the two most delicious herbal teas.
> African continent is the world’s oldest populated area.
> Rooibos in South Africa has long been the national drink.
> 90% of the tea produced is grown on small farms.
> Africa has the shortest coastline.