Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A Man Worthy of Honor

This month Royal Tea of Kenya is celebrating the life and work of their founder, Arthur Njuguna Komo, who will be 112 sometime this year.  He is the oldest teaman in the world and fought long and hard, often tortured and in prison, to obtain rights and good working conditions for the tea workers in Kenya.  In spite of all that, he is a gracious and loving man who taught those around him to be loving and to do good and not harm to others. It is fitting that all of us who love tea raise our cups to honor this man, perhaps by having one of the fine teas the company offers that are named in his honor.

A while ago I reviewed Grandpa's Anytime Tea, which is a fine tea, suitable indeed for any time of the day.  Today I want to review Grandpa's Afternoon Tea, of which I have a most generous sample, thanks to Joy Njuguna, Arthur's granddaughter and the current company president.  Royal Teas come from a co-operative of many, many small scale tea farmers, whose tea is grown pesticide free.  It comes from the Kamienyaka Settlement,  Thika District Central Province highlands, next to the Kiene Forest.

The information on Grandpa's Afternoon Tea said to use 1.5 teaspoons per 8 ounce cup and brew it for 4 minutes with boiling water.  I viewed this with trepidation, as most CTC teas brew much faster.  However, I swallowed my fear and did it.  Was I glad I did!  This is wonderful tea, made to go with milk and sugar.  The flavor is quite bold, the tea is strong, but smooth and well-rounded.  It has those lovely Kenyan notes of wood and nuts and earth, but all done politely, so as not to overwhelm.  At 4 minutes, it was not a bit tannic, but there was a small acerbic bite at the end to make you appreciate the smoothness.  Although strong, it also did not seem to have an overwhelming amount of caffeine, as I should know, since I drank far more than my share of the pot.  Not everyone likes a hearty tea, but both of us do and this is definitely a keeper.

There are more signs of spring - a host of dandelions, the lambs on the farm down the road are here and when they are nursing, their little tails look like they will wag off, they move so fast.  There are new calves torttering around and the geese are all in rings, protecting the nests of the flock.  The forsythia is shifting from bright yellow to old gold and by the river, a few hawthorn shadblow are adding their white to the pink of the redbuds and maples.  Daily, a different bird adds its voice to the early morning songfest.  After a false start, we are having a nice slow spring, without much of either a mud season or pothole problems.  But, true to Northeastern Spring, it is snowing, lest we forget that Mother Nature is the one in charge here.

1 comment:

Siret said...

Thank you for the interesting tea-report.

Best wishes, Siret (a tea-lover, too)