Tea Bushes with Frostbite …..You’re kidding?
I’m afraid not, and it looks like 5 thousand tonnes of beautiful Kenyan tea leaves may be lost from January’s crop.
Amazing, considering daytime temperatures average 24º but it’s at night time that the damage is done. Worse still, it takes the bush 6 weeks to recover.
But recover it will, because it’s a hardy shrub and produces new leaves for picking every 7 to 10 days! …. Pretty impressive, especially as it can keep this up for over 100 years!
Kenyan tea is bright in colour with a sweet flavour and container loads of it are shipped into ports in UK and Ireland every week and this loss of crop through frostbite will no doubt send prices soaring at the Mombasa Tea Auction next week. At Punjana we love teas grown at 7000’ above sea level, and East of the Rift Valley. They are a little more expensive form this area, having a more intense taste and flavour, but we reckon they’re worth it.
Anyway, don’t worry too much about Kenya’s tea bushes, they will be fine, because their full name is “ Camellia Sinensis “ and we have many of it’s Camellia cousins growing in this part of the world, and if it can survive our winters, it will breeze through Kenya’s cold snap!