Today I’m reviewing a black tea and a dark tea from the Satemwa Tea Estate in Malawi that are available for purchase at What-Cha. The black tea consists of full leaves that have been lightly oxidised and hand rolled. The dark tea, which is comparable to a shou puerh, is thought to be the only dark tea currently being produced in Africa.
Malawi Bvumbwe Handmade Treasure Black Tea
This tea has great aroma and a wonderful complexity. I had no idea what to expect before tying it, and I would have to say that it is one of the more unique black teas I’ve tasted from Africa. The very light body of the tea won’t be for everyone. It is not a tea to add milk to, but it would be an ideal afternoon tea.
Retail price: 10 grams for £1.43 / 50 grams for £4.75 / 100 grams for £8.84
Malawi 2014 Leafy Dark Tea
This is a great example of solid everyday young dark tea. It hasn’t had the time to age so the flavours haven’t entirely settled and are a bit sharp. However, that doesn’t mean it is nice to drink. Its woody, sweet flavours are enjoyable and the tea can be infused many times, making it good value for money.
Retail price: 10 grams for £1.35 / 50 grams for £4.50 / 100 grams for £8.37
Of course these two teas cannot be compared in any meaningful way because they are so different. What I do find interesting about both of them is that exemplify the exciting changes going on in the Africa tea industry. I’ve never tasted a black tea like this from any African country. Its sweetness reminds more of some Nepalese or Assam teas. And the dark tea is a real game changer. What-Cha advertises that it is the only dark tea being produced in Africa. To my knowledge, this is true.