maker spotlight: satemwa tea estate
As so many of you know, one of our biggest goals at OneTea is to show the ability tea has to cross any cultural boundary with ease. As a consumer, the obvious examples of this are when we talk about tea cultures and how we individually grew up with tea. But, a less talked about version of this is our commitment to celebrating teas produced beyond the main growing regions.
Satemwa Tea Estate is a perfect example of amazing, high-quality tea being fully harvested and produced in a region of the world that many don’t associate with tea. Malawi is a landlocked country in southeast Africa, bordered by Zambia, Tanzania, and Mozambique. When discussing African teas, most people immediately think about Kenya, but tea is also grown in Burundi, Cameroon, The DRC, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.
The producers at Satemwa Tea Estate are not only experts at their craft; they are invested in creating new and innovative flavors and offerings of tea. It was started in 1923 by Scot Maclean Kay, who bought a tobacco farm to convert it into tea fields. His son, Chip, is mostly responsible for the growth, and even today, in his late 80’s, he visits the farms each day, in search of learning something new every day before noon - awwww. Family run for nearly 100 years; the Kays are trailblazers in the realm of social responsibility in the region. They have made it a priority to improve the standard of living and health for their employees and their families through many of welfare services. The Satemwa Clinic provides medical services'; a primary school makes easy access to youth education; community policing programs keeps residents and locals safe; nature protection programs aid in protecting nearby forests and wildlife; a soccer team keeps spirits high and fosters community.
Satemwa uses sustainable wood and stoves that conserve firewood to dry the tea leaves, to lessen their emission footprint. And they are currently developing more solar and energy saving techniques to keep moving towards a fully sustainable processing program.
The local cultivars, the unique climate and the specialized processing techniques make these teas exceptional. We’re thrilled to be able to bring them to you to enjoy. All teas that come from this estate are Fair Trade Certified, UTZ+ and Rain Forest Alliance Certified.