After the fantastic success of sales for our Rukeri F.O.P from Rwanda, we felt we had to have a green tea from this Estate. The tea originates from the cooperative ASSOPTHE, which consists of small farms found towards the north of the country. ASSOPTHE has 4,526 members (1,675 males and 2,851 females) growing tea on 930 hectares found on well-drained marshlands named Cyohoha and Rukeri. These are found at an altitude of 5,900 feet with excellent growing conditions, high moisture and an acidic soil, this terroir produces exceptional quality teas as well as quite high yields.
The Cooperative ASSOPTHE Cyohoha-Rukeri which is Fair Trade certified, is very close to the SORWATHE Tea Factory, which is also a Fair Trade Certified Hired Labour Tea Producer, this ensures that the leaves are delivered fresh from the field to the Factory. The Individual farmers sell their leaves to SORWATHE, where APPOPTHE owns 13.3% of the shares.
This is a wonderful O.P. grade looking remarkably like a Sencha O.P. grade, the leaves are regular in length and uniform in colour, somewhat darker looking than normal for a green tea. When brewed it produces a typical ‘Sencha’ aroma but in quite a pale-yellow cup. It has an excellent flavour and wonderful character; it is sweet with enough astringency to make the taste enjoyable and not a chore. I enjoyed the first cup so much I immediately infused a second cup; this cup is slightly more yellow/green than the first and is the cup you see photographed. An absolutely fabulous green tea and one I will do my utmost to promote. I steeped these fine leaves for three and a half minutes at 80oC. I would increase by half a minute for each extra infusion.