Swapping stories with friends at a large dining table. A balanced dish with wonderful flavors have just spoiled you. The warm conviviality among themselves made it a perfect evening. Over a warm cup of coffee and tea, the stories are given a touch of pep to everyone’s delight. To finish, for the coffee drinker a latte macchiato or espresso and as a tea drinker the moment when you are faced with a glass of hot water and a tea bag.

I am therefore taking you to Malawi. A country in the warm heart of Africa bordering the vast Lake Malawi with huge savannas and rich green forests in the mountains. The hospitable people make you feel welcome. Over the red dusty roads, traverse the country and enjoy the rich wildlife. In the evening on the waranda of a lodge enjoying the sunset you think of the exciting game safaris and the beautiful lake malawi. Yet in addition to its natural resources, Malawi is also one of the poorest countries in the world. The country is dependent on tobacco maize cultivation and tea exports. Through large tea producers, African tea finds its way into many blends that the average Dutch person buys in the supermarket.

Soolong’s tea stands out from the average supermarket tea. Soolong works in Malawi with a passionate tea farmer who produces delicious specialty teas, where flavor and character of the tea are paramount. Sustainability with attention to nature, tea pickers and the community is inextricably linked to the production of these specialty teas, bringing out the soul of Malawi. Fairtrade, passion and the pursuit of the same ethical values characterize the cooperation between the two parties.

Soolong not only charges a fair price, but also gives a portion of its sales back to local communities through the Aid1to1 Foundation. The support is diverse and small-scale from school supplies, to hospital equipment that Soolong uses to support the local population. This support better enables people to move forward on their own. Soolong believes in achieving more “together” and therefore works together with local NGOs (aid workers), tea farmers and the local population to ensure that aid arrives with care, where it is most needed. And what is even more enjoyable is that you taste this care and attention back in your cup of tea.

Soolong has 4 teas from Malawi in its range.

The Malawi Sense is a wonderfully light herbal blend where the mint and fresh lemongrass are subtly balanced. The nimble Sense you can keep drinking all day long and comes out best at a water temperature of 100-C with a 5-minute draw time. Combined with a sweet dessert delivers a true taste experience. Indeed, the fresh tea balances out dishes with a sweetness well. Often people choose fresh mint tea, but mint can take over quite a bit there. Serve your dessert with this wonderfully balanced spice blend. The fine aroma and taste of the Malawi Sense will surprise many and is also my favorite.

The Malawi See is an Oolong tea that makes you look beyond your own limits and discover a new tea. Overlooking Lake Malawi, let yourself be surprised and enjoy the body of the tea that brings the warm heart of Africa into your cup. A tea that warms you and will please both green and black tea lovers.

The Malawi Taste is well suited for the experienced green tea drinker who likes a slightly drier mouthfeel. In fact, this combination makes the tea great for combining with an umami flavor. A cheese board with creamy flavors or Italian dishes including a Spaghetti Bolognese pair well. The Taste brings out flavors in your dish that you won’t experience without the tea. If you taste this tea together with an umami rich dish I recommend dosing the tea at 18 gr of tea per liter. Based on this brewing method, it brings out the best in your dish and the tea. Be surprised by the delicious combination of this tea with your dish.

Malawi Enjoy is tea blend with richness of color and pieces of mango. The amber tea brewed at 100-C yields more body. The tea at a lower temperature gives more fruitiness in your cup. To serve this versatile tea is to pamper yourself, a moment of enjoyment for your guests while supporting Malawi’s small communities in their fight against poverty. Soolong’s Enjoy line stands for “enjoying & committing together”. This tea not only connects cultures but also lets you enjoy the beautiful moments together at the table.

Enjoying these delicious teas, the stories may well be spiced up a tad.

In Malawi they say Sangalalani, Soolong says, Enjoy and I say, enjoy…..

Petra de Koning,

Tea Merchant

T bridge

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