Saturday, July 9, 2016

Tea Party in Thyolo

With just a few weeks left of my PC service, I'm trying to tick off those last few things on my Malawi bucket list. Visiting the Satemwa tea estate in Thyolo is one of those activities I've been wanting to do. So today me and a few of my PCV friends headed over there.

Tea is one of the major exports of Malawi. But that's kind of misleading because while agricultural is the major industry here, it is mostly subsistence agriculture, specifically maize for nsima.  The tea that is produced here is primarily grown in the Thyolo and Mulanje Districts in the south. There are a number of large tea estates, mostly European-owned. Malawians work in the tea fields picking tea, and some grow tea and sell it to the estates as well.

Satemwa is a well-known company here that sells their own blends of coffee and tea in the major grocery stores throughout Malawi, like Shop-Rite and Chipiku Plus. My favorite is their Earl Grey tea.

When you visit the estate you can have a lunch at the Huntington House. The house was built on the estate in the 1920s.

Lunch includes one pot of tea or coffee. I  ordered the oolong tea, which was really tasty.

They had two lunch options. I ordered the veggie quiche and salad. The salad had lots of arugula which I loved. There has been a serious lack of raw greens in my life these past two years. The quiche was really good too.

And a real chocolate brownie for dessert! I'm always skeptical of chocolate desserts in Malawi because they usually disappoint, but this was the real deal.

After lunch we explored the garden area around the house. There was a manicured yard that looked like it could have been the site of a croquet game. Alas, there were no gophers nor flamingos to be found, so no croquet. (Yes, everything I know about croquet I learned from Disney's Alice in Wonderland).

Here I am in the tea fields. Around the tea estates it's hectares and hectares of these bright green fields. Quite picturesque.

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