Tumoi Nandi Hills White is an exquisite pure bud Kenyan white tea, similar to top grade Silver Needle white teas. Grown around Nandi Hills at an altitude of over 2,000 metres by the Tumoi Teas Cooperative without the use of pesticides, it is carefully picked and processed entirely by hand. This Tumoi Nandi Hills White tea is from the July 2021 harvest.
Tumoi Teas Cooperative is a relatively new type of tea farmer cooperative in Kenya that focuses on creating beautiful tea while also supporting local farmers and the local community. While a large proportion of tea plantations in Kenya are owned by multinational corporations, Tumoi Teas is completely run and managed by small-scale tea farmers.
Tumoi specifically focusses on producing high-quality orthodox teas. The rationale behind this is that the Kenyan tea industry is dominated by CTC (cut-tear-curl) teas that are destined for bags. The CTC market is very volatile with large corporations buying up the majority of CTC tea and generally trying to drive the prices down. This results in very little return for the farmers. In contrast, farmers that grow small scale but high quality teas are more in control over pricing and enjoy much fairer returns for their labour.
This Tumoi Nandi Hills White is processed in a similar fashion to top grade Silver Needle teas. Young tender buds are carefully plucked and then lightly processed entirely by hand. The leaves are very well sorted and consist of small, young, tender buds. These produce a yellow-green liquor with a creamy vanilla aroma. The taste is very refined and complex with a dominant creamy profile. The flavour starts on a lightly woody and hay note, then progressing to sweet and creamy notes reminiscent or rice pudding. There are also some fruity notes that are similar in taste to lychee fruit. The aftertaste is clean but with a good thickness. Overall, this Kenyan white tea leaves a very soothing, comforting impression.
It is best brewed at 90°C for 3 minutes and should be brewed multiple times depending on your taste. Like with all white teas, you can experiment with brewing parameters, with a longer steep at lower temperature (70°C for 5 minutes) producing a sweeter flavour. Due to high quality nature of this tea, it is also well-suited to gongfu brewing.