Satemwa 2019 Zomba Pearls White Tea
This rolled white tea has a buttery texture and hints of hay & tangy zest.
In more depth...
Tea Name : Zomba Pearls
Tea Maker : Chuisomo Custom
Origin : Satemwa, Shire Highlands, Malawi April/May–September/October
Size : 900 hectares of tea [alongside 52 hectares of micro- lot speciality coffee and 400 hectares of sustainable wood used to dry the tea]
Harvest Time : April/May–September/October
Cultivar : Zomba Cultivar: an endemic Malawian slow-oxidizing cultivar
Plucking standard : Two leaves and one bud
Processing : Hand plucked, withered, hand rolled [into cocoons resembling olive green “pearls”] and dried in a sustainable wood-fuelled micro drier
Experience : The tea makes a clear amber liquor and delivers a light, sweet cup with a little more body than the Glenburn First Flush and a lovely aftertaste.
How to prepare tea [Gaiwan]...
Amount of tea per cup (200 ml): 2.5g (1 teaspoon) of leaf
Temperature of water: Infuse at 80 C
Infusion time: 3-5 minutes as desired*
Number of infusions: Infuse up to 6 times, reducing the infusion time with each infusion as the leaves unfurl
How to enjoy: No milk, no sugar
*Once brewed remove leaves
Tales of the Tea Trade : Satemwa :
The Shining Light in African Tea
Michelle : Extract from our our book Tales of the tea trade :
The tea Industry in Malawi is tough. One of the poorest countries in the world, its economy is heavily reliant on tea export and the livelihood of its often marginalized tea communities is at the mercy of a multitude of factors, not least the changing global climate [....] but this is not a story of woe it is one of modern pioneers reviving the tea industry, making brave decisions and taking risks to bring us truly great teas. Alexander Kay is a third-generation tea farmer at Satemwa Tea Estate.
[Photo below : Satemwa Tea Factory : Credit Annette Kay : Satemwa]
We have worked with the team at Satemwa for a few years now, and their hand-rolled Zomba Pearls are incredibly popular at our teahouses. We have discovered a talented team prepared to have open and honest conversations around the shape and direction of the tea market. Their story is one of optimism, innovation and great-tasting teas [...]
[Photo below : Pearls and cup : Credit Annette Kay : Satemwa]
[...] Wouter Verelst from Satemwa told me that about the strong sector-funded Tea Research Foundation in Malawi, which has overseen the development
of the cultivars here: ‘It has worked hard since the 1960s to develop some endemic Malawian cultivars adapted to the unique terroir and specific climate and also high in theanine and catechins. They did, and are still doing, a lot of research on climate change-resistant varieties.’ From these cultivars Satemwa produces a range of high-quality pesticide-free teas and is certifed by Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance and UTZ [...] Alexander decided to revive the production of the orthodox teas in 2006 and what you see today is the result of hours of experimenting and tasting by Alexander and the Satemwa Speciality Team informed by trips to Sri Lanka, China, India and Japan to look at different techniques and production methods. We never wanted to simply replicate teas from elsewhere – the aim has always been to create a Satemwa style, with our own character and signature [...]
This approach is incredibly forward-thinking and shows that successful diversification is possible in markets predominantly known for commodity black tea.
[...] The key to long-term success at Satemwa has been establishing a reputation for Malawian orthodox teas based on craftsmanship, knowledge and experience'[...]
[Photo below : Hand Rolling Tea : Credit Annette Kay : Satemwa]
[1. Smallholders Satemwa : Credit Annette Kay : Satemwa]
[2. Trees and light : Credit Annette Kay : Satemwa]
[3. Tea Sample Room : Credit Annette Kay : Satemwa]