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The Vital Role of Cup of Joe Ltd in Kenya’s Orthodox Tea Sector

Kenyan farmers taking advantage of organic certification of Orthodox tea

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The first known sighting of tea in Kenya was 1903. Today, this cash crop is one of Kenya’s highest foreign exchange earners with export earnings surpassing Ksh100 billion. Many recognize tea’s importance to the Kenyan economy. Even so, the crop’s varied types remain relatively unknown.

Improvements in production methods has led to multiple varieties. While most consumers are familiar with Crush Tear and Curl (CTC) teas, there is one variety that is quickly taking over the global market and with good reason. Orthodox tea is a case in point. High in antioxidants, Orthodox tea packs quite a punch.

Orthodox Tea

Orthodox tea is growing in popularity in the global tea market. It differs from CTC tea specifically due to its traditional production methods. It is these traditional practices of plucking, rolling and drying that retain the leaves’ integrity.

The result is an unmatched distinct, intense, and multi-dimensional flavour profile. The intentional production process involves rolling the tea leaves into the desired shape. The tea undergoes careful grading to ensure exceptional quality standards ideal for export.

What makes Orthodox Tea different?

Skilled pickers hand-pick the tender buds and leaves with the sharpest flavour and quality. The factories then lay out the leaves to get rid of moisture. This process also prevents enzymatic reactions.

Oxidation follows once this withering process is complete. The factory workers achieve this by manually rolling out the leaves. Some factories also use machines to oxidise the leaves.

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The desired tea type will determine how long a factory oxidises tea. The end process will result in various tea types including black, oolong green, or white tea. The tea undergoes the drying process before packaging and distribution.

Health benefits of Orthodox tea

Orthodox tea has several health benefits. It contains L-theanine, which boost alertness and focus. Black tea improves concentration and gives the drinker stable energy.

Orthodox tea boasts lower calories per cup. As a result, it is an ideal choice for tea drinkers looking to manage weight. Its abundant flavonoid content improves heart health by lowering blood pressure. Additionally, this tea reduces bad cholesterol, and ensures arteries are clear.

Cup of Joe Ltd and Orthodox tea trading

Kenyan company Cup of Joe Ltd has been a significant advocate for the Kenya’s Orthodox teas. The tea trading company is on the forefront by pushing the purchase of substantial volumes of Orthodox teas, ensuring the farmers get fair compensation which validate the efforts. Cup of Joe Ltd is working in line with the Tea Board of Kenya goals and the other stake holders to push the specialty tea which will revitalize the tea sector.

Tea diversification

Orthodox teas come in various varieties. These include black, oolong and purple tea. The production of Orthodox tea ensures that Kenyan teas offer customers a wide selection.

Additionally, tapping into Orthodox tea, allows Kenya to maintain its relevance in a fiercely competitive market. Specialty teas like the purple tea are of a higher global value. In 2022, these teas would fetch up to ten dollars per kilogram compared to the two and a half dollars for CTC teas. Therefore, while 98% of tea exports from Kenya in 2023 were CTC teas, Orthodox teas present a unique opportunity for diversification.

Price stabilization

Orthodox teas help stabilise prices within the tea sector. The production of such teas fosters a clear interaction between producers and buyers. Additionally, producers gain a significant bargaining power over tea prices, allowing them to negotiate favorable rates to support their livelihoods.

Tea trading companies such as Cup of Joe Limited, which have been the biggest advocates of Kenya’s Orthodox teas, purchase substantial Orthodox tea volumes. The actions of such companies ensure farmers receive fair compensation. It also validates their dedication and efforts.

Increased income for tea farmers

Specialty teas fetch higher prices in the global market. With increased production, farmers can also enjoy improved earnings. In 2022, farmers gained record bonuses thanks to successful tea sales. A significant reason for these bonuses was the sale of Orthodox teas to key players in this sector including Cup of Joe Limited.

With the growing awareness of sustainability in production, Kenyan farmers can take advantage of organic certification of Orthodox tea. This form or certification allows farmers to appeal to a niche market in Pakistan, Europe and the U.S. and possibly gain better prices.

The growing demand for Orthodox tea in the global market stamps the Kenyan tea sector’s vital role. With traditional production methods and an unmatched flavour profile, Orthodox tea has a ready market worldwide.

As tea trading companies like Cup of Joe Limited continue boosting the production of Orthodox teas, the future looks promising for all stakeholders. With innovation, government support and strategic partnerships, Orthodox tea will soon make its way into every Kenyan household.

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BT Reporter
BT Reporterhttp://www.businesstoday.co.ke
editor [at] businesstoday.co.ke
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