From the air Changoi Tea Farm is a vast expanse of lush green fields, shade trees and neatly clustered bungalows, factory buildings and worker’s homes. To say the estate is orderly is an understatement. Changoi is owned and operated by our long time partners at Williamson Tea, a family run company that has been in the tea business since 1869. Over the last 140 years or so, Williamson’s management team has practically written the book on sustainable tea growing. As such, the company follows a six-point credo:
1. Conservation of soil fertility and nutrients 2. Conservation of biodiversity
3. Sustainable energy use 4. Corporate social responsibility 5. Product value addition 6. Promotion of local and global economy.
What’s more, the company’s stated social goal is “to elevate the standard of life of the present and future generations.” To this end management provides workers’ families with hospitals, schools and free housing. If Williamson sounds like the kind of tea company you’d be proud to do business with, you’re right. The enviable results of all the care that goes into running their estates are quite probably the best cups ever produced in Africa, if not the world. Changoi’s output is no exception, as Lion’s Mane will attest.
As noted at the top of the page, Lion’s Mane is a Broken Mixed Fannings (BMF) grade tea. BMF grade, sometimes known as Fines or Dusts is comprised of the finest siftings left behind after sorting CTC grade teas, (Cut, Tear and Curl). The tea produces a thick liquoring cup with a deep color and robust flavor profile. How robust? BMF grade teas from lesser estates are frequently used to beef up tea bag teas. Suffice it to say, Changoi Lion’s Mane’s strength makes it a rather quick brewing tea. (The strength also inspired its name – traditionally a Lion’s mane is a symbol of strength and power.) If you’re looking for a seriously brisk tea to get you going in the morning or pick you up in the afternoon, look no further. (I am Changoi – hear me roar!)