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South Africa

History

A continent full of lush forests, sipped on the infusion of the Rooibos bush for hundreds of years. Unknown to the pleasures of tea leaves, Africa experienced tea only after South Africa was colonized by the British. Tea was introduced to South Africa in 1850 when the seeds of the Assam Tea were imported from Calcutta and grown here for commercial purposes. The Orchardson brothers, the sons of the famous artist Sir William Orchardson were the first ones to plant tea trees in Africa. Soon, Kenya became famous for growing teas and established the Kenya Tea Growers Association in 1933.

Attaya: The African Tea Ceremony

In West Africa, the tea ceremony goes by the name ‘attaya’, and is anything but formal. In fact, tea culture in the continent's western nations of Gambia, Mauritania and Senegal are the polar opposite of Japan's ceremonies. Every attaya consists of three rounds of tea drinking. According to a legend, the first round of tea is very bitter and it represents the beginning of life and the pains of growing up. The second round is sweeter with a hint of mint. This symbolizes the sweetness of mid-life, love and marriage. The third round is a weak tea which represents old age.

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