Kenya offers a full spectrum of experiences. On the one hand, you have the concrete jungle of Nairobi where the clatter of traffic, horns and commerce fill the air. On the other, you have the quiet majesty of the Mount Kenya highlands where the only sounds are birds, buzzing cicadas, the odd blast of an elephant, and wind. City and country in a curious balance. This exquisitely manufactured black tea from Ragati Estate offers this spiritual quality.
The Estate’s premium output is grown in February, when the Kenyan highlands benefit from evenly-distributed rainfall and moderate temperatures that force tea bushes to flush, or push out new shoots consistently each morning. This combination of altitude, weather and ancient soils produces a floral terroir that is truly unique to the world of tea. This same magical combination of factors also produces tea leaves with high levels of antioxidants. Subsequently this tea has gained a reputation as a health beverage amongst Kenyan adherents. Why? Antioxidants in tea are believed to combat free radicals in the body, which may be a contributing factor to certain types of cancers, among other ailments.
When we discovered this tea ourselves, we were truly impressed. A stunning cup that captures the unique spirit of the diverse country in which it was produced.
How should you consume Ragati?
Unlike other black teas, Ragati is best consumed without milk. Rather, we suggest a squeeze of lemon. Interesting note! When lemon is added to your cup, you’ll notice the liquor takes on a pink hue – an indicator of excellent quality and perfectly balanced tannins.
Hot tea brewing method:
Traditional method (see note below): When preparing by the cup, this tea can be used repeatedly – about 3 times. The secret is to use water that is about 180°F/82°C. Place 1 slightly heaping teaspoon in your cup let the tea steep for about 3 minutes and then begin enjoying a cup of enchantment – do not remove the leaves from the cup. Adding milk and sugar is not recommended. Once the water level is low – add more water, and so on and so on – until the flavor of the tea is exhausted. Look at the pattern of the leaves in the brew, not only do they foretell your fortune but you can see the bud and shoots presenting themselves, looking like they are about to be plucked.
Modern Method: Bring filtered or freshly drawn cold water to a rolling boil. Place 1 slightly heaping teaspoon of loose tea, 1 tea bag or 1 Q3 single serve packet for each 7-9oz/200-260ml of fluid volume in the teapot. Pour the boiling water into the teapot. Cover and let steep for 3-7 minutes according to taste (the longer the steeping time the stronger the tea). Adding milk or sugar is not recommended.
Note: Traditionally, the recommendation has been that green tea be brewed at 180°F/82°C. Regretfully, modern society makes it necessary to consider that water may not be free of harmful bacteria and other impurities. Therefore you need to boil water to kill bacteria. If you wish to use traditional brewing temperatures bring the water to a boil and allow it to cool to the desired brewing temperature – it’s the food safe thing to do!
Iced tea brewing method (Pitcher): (to make 1 liter/quart): Place 6 slightly heaping teaspoons of loose tea, 6 tea bags or 6 Q3 single serve packets into a teapot or heat resistant pitcher. Using filtered or freshly drawn cold water, boil and pour 1¼ cups/315ml over the tea. Steep for 5 minutes. Quarter fill a serving pitcher with cold water. Pour the tea into your serving pitcher straining the leaves or removing the tea bags. Add ice and top-up the pitcher with cold water. A rule of thumb when preparing fresh brewed iced tea is to increase the strength of hot tea since it will be poured over ice and diluted with cold water. (Note: Some luxury quality teas may turn cloudy when poured over ice. This is a sign of luxury quality and nothing to worry about!)
Iced tea brewing method (Individual Serving): Place 1 slightly heaping teaspoon of loose tea, 1 tea bag or 1 Q3 single serve packet into a teapot for each serving required. Using filtered or freshly drawn cold water, boil and pour 6-7oz/170-200ml per serving over the tea. Cover and let steep for 5 minutes. Add hot tea to a 12oz/375ml acrylic glass filled with ice, straining the leaves or removing the tea bags. Not all of the tea will fit, allowing for approximately an additional ½ serving. A rule of thumb when preparing fresh brewed iced tea is to increase the strength of hot tea since it will be poured over ice and diluted. (Note: Some luxury quality teas may turn cloudy when poured over ice. This is a sign of luxury quality and nothing to worry about!)
ANTIOXIDANT BENEFIT: More antioxidants are extracted from tea (L. Camellia Sinesis), or rooibos (Asphalatus Linearis), the longer it is brewed….and the more tea or rooibos that is used, the greater the antioxidant benefit.
Ideal Brewing Temperature: 100ºC/212ºF. Minimum Brewing Temperature: 90ºC/194ºF.