Tea ranchers feel the squeeze as prices fall

Kampala, Uganda | JULIUS BUSINGE | Patrick Siisa, a tea agriculturist has recorded a decrease in income at his farm by 37.5% to Shs5.5million for each month in the previous four months. Siisa develops tea on 25 sections of land of land situated in Kyarusozi Sub-nation, Kyenjojo District.

He collects around 11,000 kilograms (11tones) of green leaf every month that he later pitches to Mabale Growers Tea Factory for esteem expansion and afterward the last fares to Mombasa, Kenya available to be purchased.

“Given the declining income from the farm, I needed to re-change ways of managing money by organizing on scratch regions that are fundamental for my family including training, medicinal care and nourishment,” he said.

This is similar that more than 50,000 tea ranchers are grappling with and it is an impression of the value levels at the Mombasa auction– where more than 90% of Uganda’s tea is sold for export.

The cost at the sale has dropped from Kshs270 (Ushs9,849) per kilo in January this year to Kshs247 (Ushs9,010) in the previous four months. Players trait the decrease in cost to a guard reap upheld by abundant rains in the period under audit.

The other key factor, as indicated by Rogers Siima, the general chief for Mabale Growers Tea Factory Limited, is blockage at the Mombasa port where the unloaded tea is transported to foreign markets.

Siima revealed to The Independent in a meeting on May 14, that tones of prepared tea stay stuck at the port anticipating clearance and transportation to business sectors, for example, the United Kingdom, Sudan, Egypt, Pakistan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.

Mombasa Port, which gets more than 300 compartments for every day of various merchandise, has as of late been accounted for to have encountered a breakdown of online clearance frameworks henceforth prompting the present tangle.

The Mombasa aution has a point of confinement of eight million kilograms per week yet the volumes went up to 9.5 million kilograms in the deal held for the week that finished on May 11, as per Kenyan media reports. Reports say the present cost is the most minimal recorded in the previous three years.

Players are stressed that the declining tea costs may make a few ranchers to surrender developing the yield like it was in 2014.

Accordingly, Siima said there is requirement for government to earnestly think of another arrangement and legitimate structure to direct the division in the territories of value and amount in order to profit by lucrative outside business sectors.

When this is precisely done and executed, Siima said the nation could record an expansion in tea export from the present 70 million kgs (70,000MT) to more than 100 million kgs (100,000MT) by 2025. In any case, business analysts say this objective would require a difference in state of mind by those in government.

Ezra Munyambonera, an exploration individual at the Makerere based Economic Policy Research Center, in a meeting with The Independent on May 14, said value change at the Mombasa closeout could be managed by government and all partners getting together to archive an arrangement methodology that draws out a one of a kind and alluring brand of Ugandan tea to those outside the East African area.

“Tea issues have been known to government for more than 10 years… yet what have they done about them?”Munyambonera, who has directed broad research on issues tea in Uganda and the area, offered a conversation starter.

He said as populace builds, interest for tea would do the same comprehensively and that the opportunity has already come and gone another approach move is conveyed into power to help in infiltrating specifically the potential markets past East Africa.

Gov’t aggressive target

As indicated by the draft Agriculture Sector Strategic Plan for the period 2015/2016-2019/20, tea trades created US$84.7million for the nation in the year 2014 and have since expanded to US$115.6million in 2017. The nation hopes to gain US$155million one year from now, as indicated by the Plan. The area focuses to create 112,000 metric tons by 2020, with trades esteemed at approx. US$155 million.




Suggested steeping time: 2 minutes, 30 seconds to 5 minutes

Tea leaves are stuffed with valuable compounds. Research shows that flavanols, for example, catechins and epicatechins, found in both green and dark teas, help stifle aggravation and control plaque develop in veins. Drinking tea may improve vascular reactivity, which manages how well veins change in accordance with push. Concurring an analysis of different tea-related investigations distributed in the European Journal of Epidemiology in 2015, drinking some tea daily decreases your danger of coronary illness by 27 percent, cardiovascular demise by 26 percent, and aggregate mortality by 24 percent. Polyphenolic cell reinforcements in tea may likewise ensure against diabetes, depression, and liver infection.

Past research has demonstrated that it takes 100 to 150 seconds to extricate a large portion of the polyphenol content from green and dark tea takes off. As indicated by a study published in 2016 in the journal Beverages, you can get more polyphenols into your drink on the off chance that you enable the leaves more opportunity to soak. However, the result may not be justified regardless of the additional exertion: Most of the compounds the researchers measured after 10 minutes of steeping were extracted in the first 5 minutes.

Sang argues not to wait long time to drink your tea. Antioxidants are somewhat temperamental, which implies they will in the end separate and lose their healthy properties subsequent to mixing with water. “After you remove the compounds from the tea pack, you can not keep the solution for a really long time,” he says. “Since these compounds are not steady, they will be oxidized. So on the off chance that you brew it early in the day, at that point you savor it the evening, that is bad.” This oxidation can happen even after the tea leaves are expelled from the cup, so if your tea has been sitting out for a couple of hours, it’s smarter to mix another cluster than to pop it in the microwave.

Tea diffusion & Osmosis

Tea dispersion and Osmosis happens whether you utilize free leaves or tea packs, yet there are some outstanding contrasts between the two. Osmosis is the point at which the water flows  through the tea pack (the penetrable film) and the tea leaves break down (diffuse) all through the water, turning the water dark colored.

At the point when given room to grow, free tea leaves swell to their full limit, making more space for water to stream in and extricate every one of those alluring mixes. Tea that comes prepackaged in a sack, then again, just has such a great amount of space to develop, and the quality endures therefore. This is the reason some tea organizations have begun offering tea in roomier, pyramid-formed sacks, however the size issues more than the shape.

Be that as it may, even before the tea touches the water, there’s a distinction in quality. Free leaf tea generally comprises of entire leaves, while most teabags are loaded with broken bits of tea leaves called tidy or fannings, which have less-nuanced flavors and infuse fewer antioxidants than entire leaves, regardless of to what extent you let them soak.

So in the event that you have a decision, run with free leaf. However, in the event that tea packs are all you have close by, don’t try changing your steeping strategy: The distinction in taste and antioxidants isn’t something that can be settled with a couple of additional minutes, and as per Sang, you ought to take after the same soaking times for both tea sacks and free leaf.

Check out these high quality tea leaves to get the best tea flavor~www.belladeem.com


It is likely there are instructions about how long to steep the leaves. For example, it may say: put tea bag in a cup, add proper amount of boing water and wait for three to five minutes to drink for black tea, and two to four minutes for green tea.

We all know that you can enjoy your tea that you have just brewed for 30 seconds as the same as a forgotten mug of tea that’s been steeping for 30 minutes, drinkable shouldn’t be your goal.

[Tweet “The taste will a depends on the type of tea you’re drinking”] But the antioxidant and caffeine levels all depend on the amount of time the leaves are in contact with the water. So how early is too early to pluck out a tea bag, and how long can you leave it in before passing the point of no return?


To successfully get  the perfect timing, you first need to understand the chemical process at work when you pour hot water over tea leaves. Black, green, white, and oolong tea all come from the leaves and buds of the same plant, Camellia sinensis. (Herbal teas aren’t considered “true teas” because they don’t come from C. sinensis.)

Heat is being introduced to green and white tea leaves to dry them, limiting the amount of oxidation they get, while black and oolong tea leaves are exposed to oxygen before they’re dried, creating the chemical reactions that give the tea its distinct color and flavor. Damaging the tea leaves—by macerating them, rolling them gently, or something in between—helps expose the chemicals inside their cells to varying levels of oxygen.

Green and black teas contain a lot of the same chemical compounds that contribute to their flavor profiles and nutritional content. When the leaves are submerged in hot water, these compounds leach into the liquid through a process called osmotic diffusion, which occurs when there’s fluid on both sides of a selectively permeable membrane—in this case, the tea leaf. Compounds on the surface of the leaf and in the interior cells damaged by processing will diffuse into the surrounding liquid until the compounds in both the leaf and the water reach equilibrium. In other words, if given enough time to steep, the liquid in your mug will become just as concentrated with tea compounds as the liquid in your tea leaves, and the ratio will stay that way.

Osmotic diffusion doesn’t happen all at once—different compounds enter the water at different rates based on their molecular weight. The light, volatile chemicals that contribute to tea’s aroma and flavor profile dissolve the fastest, which is why the smell from a bag of tea leaves becomes more potent the moment you dunk it in water. The next group of compounds to infuse with the water includes the micronutrients flavanols and polyphenols, which are antioxidants, and caffeine. They’re followed by heavier flavanols and polyphenols such as tannins, which are the compounds responsible for tea’s bitter flavor.



What makes tea so healthy?

Tea is used as an age-old home remedy for burns, wounds and swelling. A poultice of green tea eases itching and inflammation of insect bites, while a compress stems bleeding

Tannins and flavon- oides of tea are having with the antiseptic properties. The former also have anti-inflammatory effects. Green tea also has some benefits for the body if used externally.

It can be used to stop or slow bleeding, and can relieve itchy rashes and bug bites. Also, many hair and skin care products make use of tea tree oil to add shine and replenish.

Green tea constituents may be useful topically for promoting skin regeneration, wound healing, or treatment of certain epithelial conditions such as aphthous ulcers, psoriasis, rosacea, and actinic keratosis.


Tea, the chemical constituents and activities of polyphenols Tea (Camellia sinensis L.), a cultivated evergreen plant, is native to China, later spread to India and Japan, then to Europe and Russia, arriving in the New World in the late 17th century.

Green, oolong and black tea are all made from the same plant species, C. sinensis L. but differing in their appearance, organoleptic taste, chemical content as well as flavour due to their respective fermentation process. The chemical components of tea leaves include polyphenols (catechins and flavonoides), alkaloids (caffeine, theobromine, theophylline, etc.), volatile oils, polysaccharides, amino acids, lipids, vitamins (e.g., vitamin C), inorganic elements (e.g., aluminium, fluorine and manganese), etc.

However, the polyphenols are primarily responsible for the beneficial healthful properties of tea. The flavonoides have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiallergic and anti microbial effects.


Green tea contains six primary catechin compounds namely catechin, gallocatechin, epicatechin, epigallocatechin, epicatechin gallate and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), the later being the most active component. The polyphenols content of green tea and black tea varies from 30% to 40% and 3% to 10%, respectively. There are active hydroxyl hydrogens in the molecular structure of green tea polyphenols that can end the chain reaction of excessive free radicals that (otherwise) result in pathological changes in the human body.

Tea polyphenols can increase the activity of glutathione peroxidase and superoxide dismutase and the scavenging rate is much stronger than vitamins C and E. The anti-carcinogenic mechanism includes both cellular immune function and the inhibition of tumor growth


Perfect teapot

Teapots first came into use around the 13th century during the Ming dynasty. The first Chinese teapots were made of purple clay from the Yixing region and are still made in the same way today. These pots are very porous and it is recommended that you use only one type of tea for each pot as the pot will absorb the flavour of that tea. Ceramic teapots first emerged with the European fascination with tea in the 18th century when the East India Company commissioned Chinese to create teapots to their specifications. Ceramic teapots make a good choice as they tend to hold the heat well.

When choosing a pot remember to :

  • Chose a pot with a spout that is level with the rim to ensure a dripless pour.
  • The handle should be comfortable to use and be insulated from the pot.
  • The lid should always have a small hole in it to allow air to escape.
  • Most importantly choose a teapot that you enjoy using and makes you happy!

Is tea good for your brain?

We’ve all heard that tea is good for you but is there really any proof?
Recent studies have shown some of the effects of tea on brain function.A recent human study examined the effect of the unique tea amino acid L-theanine on attention related task performance. Task performance was measured by tracking electrical activity produced by the brain ( via EEG). The results suggest L-theanine plays a role in processing attention in synergy with caffeine. (1)

A published randomized human clinical trial found that subjects given a daily supplement with green tea extract and L-theanine extracted from tea experienced improvements in mild cognitive impairments (MCI). (2)

Caffeine and L-theanine in tea may offer cognitive benefits and improve mental clarity and work performance. A cross-sectional study showed that participants who consumed more tea felt less tired and reported higher levels of subjective work performance. (3)

A double-blind, placebo controlled crossover study showed that the flavonoid EGCG (found in green tea)  was associated with a significant  increase in self-rated calmness and reduced self rated stress. This is in keeping with the widespread consumption of green tea for its purported relaxing/refreshing properties.

 [Tweet “Enjoy your brew knowing that not only is it Terrific Tasting Tea, it’s good for your brain as well!”]
1. Kelly SP, Gomez-Ramirez M, Montesi JL, Foxe JJ. L-Theanine and caffeine in combination affect human cognition as evidenced by oscillatory alpha-band activity and attention task performance. J Nutr 2008;138:1572S–7S.
2.  De Bruin EA, Rowson MJ, Van Buren L, Rycroft, JA, Owen GN. Black tea improves attention and self-reported alertness. 2011. Appetite, 56: 235-240.
3.  Bryan J, Tuckey, M, Einöther S.J.L. et al. The relationship between tea and other beverage consumption, work performance and mood. Appetite, 2012. 58 (1), 339–346
4. Scholey A; Downey LA; Ciorciari J; Pipingas A; Nolidin K; Finn M; Wines M; Catchlove S; Terrens A; Barlow E; Gordon L; Stough C Acute neurocognitive effects of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Appetite. 58(2):767-70, 2012 Apr.
%d bloggers like this: