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Black Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by JustJames
Average preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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From Toro Mityana Tea Company

Like most institutions in Uganda, the country’s tea industry has seen many ups and downs over the last half century. Tea has been grown in the country since the days of the British Empire, first planted by Indian immigrants who brought their knowledge with them from plantations back home. Things progressed relatively smoothly for many years and although the industry never reached the size or status of that of neighbouring Kenya, during the mid twentieth century tea became one of the Uganda’s most important exports. All that changed on Aug. 4, 1972 when Edi Amin, who had recently seized government control in a military coup, demanded that all Indians leave the country. This included, of course, the many who owned and managed Uganda’s tea plantations. All business deemed to be “foreign owned”, even though much of the Indian population at the time was born in Uganda, their families having come over generations past, was seized and given to non-Indian citizens. The result? In many cases, tea estates came under the direction of owners had no experience and production began to suffer in terms of quantity and quality.

Things began to turn around for Ugandan tea in 1994. In that year, the European Union backed a donation of $40 million to help tea growers in the country get back on their feet. Even still, the road back for the industry has been as rocky as those leading to the tea estates. To this day, many Ugandan plantations suffer from a lack of available electricity and all suffer from high transport costs (Uganda is landlocked, so tea must be trucked to Mombassa, Kenya, for auction). What’s more, for economic reasons, many Ugandan plantations have yet to be replanted with younger, more productive bushes. Still, growers push forward and today tea is Uganda’s 3rd largest export after fish and coffee, providing sustainable employment for tens of thousands.

One of the best examples of Uganda’s tea output is grown on Mityana Estate. In recent years, Mityana has begun producing premium loose leaf teas to compete with some of the more famous Kenyans. The cup has a medium thickness with a good, rich mouth feel, slight malty notes and medium astringency – it is exceptional with a dash of milk. We’re proud to offer this fabulous tea and to do our part to support Ugandan growers. Serving the cream of Uganda shows your customers that you’re willing to go the extra mile to bring them something special. Enjoy!

About Toro Mityana Tea Company View company

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5 Tasting Notes

76
377 tasting notes

i bought this tea as the finishing touch for an upcoming project in my human geography class. the mission? choose a sub saharan country, identify a SPECIFIC aspect (ie the UN millenium goals, or an outstanding issue within the country).

our prof was clear: ‘choose something you’re passionate about.’ well that made it a bit tricky. i began to dig.

i really want to get a good mark on this, which meant advanced planning and study. i went to TED online and stumbled upon a brilliant ugandan speaker, andrew mwenda, who gave a talk entitled ‘aid for africa? no thanks.’ http://www.ted.com/talks/andrew_mwenda_takes_a_new_look_at_africa.html

he made the point that aid usually finances government corruption and that even when it doesn’t, poverty reduction is by no means the same as the creation of wealth. one of the ways to create wealth was to find a vendor with whom to do business.

the gears began to turn. mwenda’s lecture had convinced me that uganda was who i wanted to look at, but what did i want to look at? ‘choose something you’re passionate about’ echoed in my head— i began to look into ugandan tea farms!

if i’m not very careful here i’ll start to take you through my whole presentation! so instead i’ll move on to the tea and the estate that it came from.

this tea is unlike any other i’ve tried: absolutely no floral or fruit notes. instead it is a blend of sweet tobacco and wood notes reminiscent of honeybush crossed with the smell of balsam.

this tea pulls no punches! definitely high test. a certain amount of caffeine stick, but a remarkably smooth execution. definitely an unashamed booyah!

must admit the appearance of the tea threw me a bit, lol. the tiny curled leaves made me think very much of coffee grounds (didn’t quite know what to expect!).

nicely done mitiyana! the mityana estate has cleverly diversified. it produces resources for tea manufacturers like lemon grass, but also essential oils like rosemary.

my specific focus is looking at how fair trade practices have effected tea farming in uganda…. i haven’t been able to confirm whether mityana is fair trade certified or not, though i would lean towards not. when i know for sure i will update! (i’ll let you know what mark i get as well at the end of the semester too). i can tell you the prof seems rather thrilled that tea is going to be served!

FYI: i bought a ton to serve with presentation, but aside from that i am more than willing to share out samples!

you can get this tea through tweed and hickory, but i really wanted the kudos to go to the tea pluckers and farmers. uganda needs more press if they are going to create more wealth.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec
gmathis

Tea and homework. Well done!

Terri HarpLady

Beautiful project!

Bonnie

Hear hear! Well thought out to follow your passion. BTW I’ve been waiting for some Ugandan Tea to arrive at Happy Luckys Tea House. I tasted it and was surprised at the complexity for a tea that looked like a CTC but didn’t taste like one.

JustJames

agreed about the complexity! not sure what i was expecting, but something i was prepared to buy again was not it. i will try to contact the company directly to see if i can buy some directly. this is one of the fairtrade farms: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HqbTWvaG4Y4

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2
43 tasting notes

I couldn’t drink it. I took one sip and I had to brush my teeth it was so gross.

JustJames

this one i KNOW i sent you. thank you for trying it. mityana is one of the better ugandan tea estates…. in order for ugandan producers to get better they need to hear it all, good and bad. thank you for reviewing it. i appreciate it.

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90
1 tasting notes

Delicious! Great by itself and not overly strong, just right!

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69
833 tasting notes

I could not decide on a tea this morning. I stood in the kitchen, the kettle merrily boiling away, staring at my stash in bleery indecision. Nothing sounded quite right out of the teas I’ve got currently, so I turned my attention to my little bowl of samples.
Poor sample bowl. I’ve been rather ignoring it lately, in favor of other teas. But I’ve still got a few teas to try for the first time, and its a good idea to try.
JusJames, I think, sent me this one a while back, and I’d forgotten all about it. Well, now is the time!
This is a very pleasant cup of strait black tea. Warm and mellow, with just a hint of astringency, and a pleasant finish, with just the slightest hint of honey to tease the mouth.
I’d say it was a good choice for this puzzled morning.

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349 tasting notes

Itsp 200ml. 2min 30s. Brews to a pretty orange tinged red.
Biscuit, sweet fruity tone like cooked apple peals, malt ( but not as strong as suggested by dry tea).

Top notes are fruity cooked apple with dried berries and a hint of cinnamon and nutmeg over a fairly biting bitter, malty base. More tannic than astringent but the astringency is definitely there leaving a tingling on the tongue. Faint vegetal tone between the fruit and malt. Biscuit is only slightly present. Thinner body that is given texture through the astringency. Not bad as a breakfast tea, but I think this is one you should under leaf a little, or it might be too bitter with ought milk and sugar.

The dry leaf is about the size of the CTC in Twinnings Irish Breakfast.

Thanks JustJames this is my first Ugandan tea! I like the fruitiness of it when brewed carefully.

Anna

Sadly, fruitiness is not allowed in Uganda anymore.

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