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  • Writer's pictureHula Consulting

Ethical, Family-Owned Tea from Africa: Satemwa Tea Estate

Hula Consulting enjoys providing an array of services to help you with the success of your tea business. We love helping find solutions to your requests for sourcing specialty tea ingredients and flavorings. Partnering with an ethical, quality, African-grown tea company to bring you wholesale products for your tea company has us truly thrilled!

Allow us to introduce you to Satemwa Tea Estate. This family-owned tea estate was founded in 1923 in the Shire Highlands of Malawi, Africa. Satemwa teas are pesticide-free, certified Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance, and UTZ. Additionally, Satemwa has undersigned the UN Global Compact which means they are operating in ways that, at a minimum, meet fundamental responsibilities in the areas of human rights, labor, environment, and anti-corruption.

The Leaf

The craftsmanship and dedication for Satemwa teas have been cultivated over three generations. Satemwa Tea Estate is the only estate in Malawi producing a wide range of single-estate orthodox teas. These tea plants have been growing for over 50 years at an altitude of 3,117 - 3,937 feet (950 – 1200 meters) above sea level, and are meticulously and skillfully hand-picked. Satemwa teas reflect the typical Malawian terroir. At its most basic, tea terroir is the physical and biotic environment surrounding and affecting a tea plant. (1)

White Teas

The white teas have a unique leaf style, with some only available in very limited stock, keeping them quite valuable. Zomba Pearls (#107) are hand rolled into "pearls" that unfurl during the brewing process. The tea is light and bright with natural sweetness and floral notes. View the care and beauty of the Satemwa hand-rolling process in a short video here.

Green & Oolong Teas

The green teas of this estate are very fresh and clear. Both steamed and roasted green teas are processed here. Green Velvet (#210 Zomba Green TSFOP) is a favorite steamed green with notes of nectarine & Mediterranean stone fruit.

Black Teas

Satemwa's founder Maclean Kay was a strong advocate of quality black teas, which is a pillar of the brand standard. They offer an exceptional award-winning line of black teas with notes of stone fruit flavors indicative of springtime Malawian cultivars. Try the beautiful Satemwa Guava Smoked Black Tea (#421) for a blend of three different cultivars smoked with guava wood. It's absolutely as amazing as it sounds!

Dark Teas

Satemwa Dark Tea (#518) is the only post-fermented dark (pu-er style) tea in Africa. The flavor is deep and sweet with chocolate notes in a dark mahogany nightshade tea. Satemwa crafts this tea by using modern scientific procedures, carefully fermenting the tea in a sanitized environment over a period of four weeks. The result is a deep, earthy flavor with a clean taste and aroma completely worth the long wait.

The Tea Research Foundation of Central Africa has offices in Malawi which conduct research on tea and different cultivars. In reference to tea, a cultivar is a natural or cultivated strain of the tea plant (Camellia sinensis) chosen for production for certain characteristics that differentiate it from other strains (2). Many cultivars are endemic to Malawi, unable to replicate anywhere else. For that reason, Satemwa Tea Estate is constantly tweaking its varieties and cultivars with different oxidation characteristics and processing techniques to achieve exceptional teas.

Corporate Social Responsibility

Satemwa is proud to employ 2,000+ employees, cares deeply for its community, and aims to provide them with great services. The people of the community enjoy childcare, a school with over 1,000 primary school students enrolled, and a medical clinic staffed with nurses, ambulances, and medication.

Satemwa is mindful of the planet's resources, making sustainability a priority. The company uses energy-saving stoves and solar power while experimenting with energy-efficient, sustainable bamboo in innovative ways. Additionally, Satemwa Tea Estate has wildlife protection corridors and an intricate tree-planting program.

Thirsty for more?

The #teaexperts at Hula Consulting are honored to help with procuring wholesale teas from #Satemwa for your tea company. For self drinkers or to use these teas in a custom blend just for you, please email or call 561.600.7025. We look forward to discussing your tea business with you!


Images provided courtesy of Anette Kay, Satemwa, Malawi

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