The Tea Alchemist


I love drinking tea. It started out as a kid, having afternoon chai with biscuits and from there tea came to resonate that moment in the day, where you took a pause and savored the chai and the moment of respite. Being a Kenyan Asian, I have been exposed to a multitude of “Maas” or grannies, who all have their own concoction of tea blends, that they whisk together with their own individual secret ingredient/s, that is guarded like a treasure. Thus, started my interest in tea “blending” to discover the ingredients that delivered those delicious chais.

After working in New York for many years, I returned home to Kenya and decided that it was time for me to pursue tea seriously and not just as a 5PM hobby. I trained at the UK Tea Academy© and Cambridge Tea Academy© and became a Tea sommelier and spent time on farms in Kenya and Japan to deepen my knowledge further. The further I delved into tea, the more passionate I became about this plant that heals, nurtures and comforts billions of people every day and I became eager to unravel the diverse collection of stories that bring this plant into our cup to deliver such joy. Tea has become such a vital ingredient in my life, that now when I travel, the first thing that goes into my suitcase is my tea pot, tea mug and the collection of teas I will carry for that particular trip J

In my time away from Kenya and while learning about tea, I noticed a recurring theme. African teas were missing not only from the shelves of retail avenues around the globe, but they also had not found a place in the minds of avid tea drinkers and enthusiasts. I discovered that most of the teas from Africa found their way in CTC (tea bag) teas and were mixed with other teas and lost their identity even further when they were drowned in milk and sugar. Thus, started my journey, to showcase our beautiful orthodox teas, that carry the stories of the unique African soil in their leaves and blend them with the bountiful produce, such as flowers and fruits, to create a bouquet of diverse experiences that are reflective of Africa.

My mission with my tea brand – Muthaiga Tea Company - is to showcase African teas and our craft by curating handcrafted blends, created with the absolute best teas and ingredients that the continent has to offer, using my knowledge and training.

I intend to travel around Africa sourcing teas and ingredients from ethically responsible small holder farmers that encourage women entrepreneurship and encourage sustainable practices. I will showcase the teas and their stories and my hope is for this blog to become a small window of discovery into Artisanal African teas.

Tehmeena Manji

Founder, Muthaiga Tea Company

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