Malawi tea is generally characterised as being plain, with a coppery red colour appearance of the infused leaf, and its liquor being bright, strong, brisk and taking milk well. These characteristics are controlled by variety, growing conditions, agronomic and manufacturing practices. Teas from Malawi offer health benefits to tea consumers because they have high levels of polyphenols, caffeine, gallated catechins and some amino acids such as theanine. Through breeding and selection, new promising lines are being developed with flavour or aroma and special tea liquor characteristics.

Another important element of teas from Malawi is their freedom from pesticide residues. This is due to low pest and diseases incidences hence there is no or minimum application of pesticides.  In addition, the tea industry in Malawi adopted an integrated pest and disease management (IPM) approach in controlling tea pests and diseases by promoting use of environmentally friendly natural and cultural methods first and resorting to prudent chemical control only when need arises.

 When it becomes necessary to use chemicals, all tea growers in Malawi are aware and strictly follow the good agricultural practices (GAPs) for each pesticide as indicated in the Code of practice on the use of pesticides in tea in Malawi and Zimbabwe, in order to comply with the MRLs. This is very important considering the high sensitivity of consumers to maximum residue limits in tea.  The tea industry, through TRFCA, monitors the status of the recommended pesticides and collects samples every year for analysis in accredited laboratory to check for MRLs in teas from different factories in Malawi. For a number of years now, the laboratory results have shown that all Malawi teas comply with the globally set MRLs.

Major importing countries of Malawi tea include: United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands, Poland, Canada, United States of America, Japan, Pakistan, Kenya, Republic of South Africa and Egypt.

 

 


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