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Summary
Produce Zimbabwe tea
Common Name Camelis Sinensis, chai/shai
Size Mature leaves;1.5-10inches, plant grows to about 3-7ft in height
Variety Zumbani, Makoni, muringa, Ceylon, green tea
Storage and Packing Foiled packets and chests, double lids, odor free silicon seals, low temperature, away from humid conditions, away from light and UV rays, away from strong scents
Availability All year round
Transport Conditions Water-tight containers, below deck storage,

Zimbabwe is one of the biggest tea producers in Africa. Zimbabwe tea, what is now a major export originated from a box of seeds smuggled from Indian around 1924 by a tea-planters wife. The first tea plant in Zimbabwe was planted in Chipinge.

The tea plant is a leathery toothed-leaf plant with white flowers that are usually fragrant. This shrub is planted and watered for a period ranging between six to eighteen months before the first pickable shoot is achieved. It reaches maximum production mostly in its ninth year of growth.

Zimbabwe tea is picked two leaves and a bud at the end of every twig of every tea bush to ensure good quality of processed tea. These leaves are then shredded and used to make a beverage by infusion in boiling water, known as tea.

Tea is scientifically known as Camelis Sinensis. Other parts of the world also know it as chai or shai, which is a named derived from the Arabic language.

Before the tea trade in Zimbabwe, there was the farming of indigenous types of tea. Some of these teas include; Zumbani, Makoni and Moringa types of tea. Many of these indigenous teas have additional nutritional value and are a natural diuretic lacking the after-effects of caffeine and tannin. Zumbani, for instance, is known to cure coughs and colds and is very high in vitamin C. Trade, however, introduced other types of tea to the country. Ceylon tea and green tea are some of the tea types that were introduced to Zimbabwe from China through trade.

The tea plant is a small shrub that grows up to two meters in height though if not pruned, has a chance of growing taller than that. The leaves range between 1.5 to 10 inches in length, depending on the variety. 

Peak tea production coincides with the rainy season. Zimbabwe tea is produced all year round since there is a lack of a cold season. Zimbabwe is divided into five agro-ecological regions, otherwise known as natural regions. The natural regions experience rainfall all at different times of the year, thus supporting tea production throughout the year.

Zimbabwe tea is stored under perfect conditions right before processing and even when preparing for shipping to ensure quality and prolonged shelf life. It is exposed to little or no light to protect them from direct light and UV rays because UV rays and light lead to the degradation of tea.

 Tea is also stored away from humid areas to maintain its shelf stability. Tea absorbs scent very quickly, and as such, it is shipped in odor-free silicone seals and foiled packets.

Tea is transported in standard containers that are cool, dry and well ventilated. These containers should be watertight to prevent moisture from interacting with the product. Storage is also done below the deck to avoid overheating due to light by day. The containers are also be filled to the capacity to avoid spillage and loss of product.

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Other Processed & Agro Commodities from Zimbabwe: Zimbabwe Coffee, Zimbabwe Maize, Zimbabwe Tea,

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