In conclusion of yesterday’s post Spilling the Tea: Behind the Tea – Part 1
I was curious to find out about the Tea Research Institute and their efforts to expand their knowledge and methods of tea growth and production. I thought you might be interested in the following, which is right from their website:
“The Institute has developed over 914 improved clones, out of which 51 clones have been selected for consistent superiority in yield and quality and released for commercial exploitation by both smallholder and large estate growers. Thirteen of these clones yield between 5,000 and 8,000 kg of processed tea per hectare per year. These yield levels are some of the highest in the world and are three times the average yields of unimproved tea varieties.”
Oh, and there is plenty more to discover by checking out their site:
Now, for the part I found just as interesting: Mr. Karanja mentioned his late grandfather–Mr. Kirori Motoku–a man who had to undergo some extremely turbulent times in Africa. A man who wanted what was rightly his. A man who fought to take back what was taken from him. This is the “spilling of the tea” part. The truth about those who invaded other lands, took from them, and exploited them; and how they had to fight just to be farmers. Yes, we know there was/is a dark side to the world of tea – one that is probably not gone entirely as of yet.
Many have “spilled the tea” about tea in the past; however, something deeper happens when we not only sample the tea, but ask about the tea, too. In learning about the tea, one also discovers so much more.
I am compiling this post on the fourth day of Kwanzaa – a celebration in America for honoring African heritage in African-American culture. Day four of the weeklong festivities is called Ujamaa, which is about Cooperative Economics. African-Americans celebrate building and maintaining their own stores, shops, and other businesses as well; and profiting from them together.
Cooperative Economics seems to be the mission of the Kenya Tea Institute as well; however, we best serve the tea industry by making tea a global initiative, too.
I’ve been spilling the tea for over fifteen years now, but it’s usually been on a tablecloth!
Paul (Kevin) Karanja has plans to open a tea and coffee shop in the Fort Wayne, Indiana area. You can check out his profile on LinkedIn. He welcomes any of your inquiries.
May 2019 bring global cooperative economics and unite the world of tea!
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