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The 5 Best Local Tea Brands in Kenya Ranked; Worst to Best

Kenyan Black Tea is famed globally for its quality, but the finest varieties are reserved for export. Locally available tea in shops and supermarkets is often of much lower quality. Here, I’ve ranked common tea brands from worst to best.

Keep in mind that these branded teas do not compare to the premium PF1 packs, which are usually packed in factories for export and come in plain paper bags labeled with the factory name and region.

There are also tea grades from 1 to 3, with the primary difference being that grade 1 is more soluble than grade 3. Most Kenyans prepare milk tea, often adding spices like tea masala, so the quality of the tea itself is less noticeable.

However, if you prefer black tea and appreciate its nuances, you will certainly care about the brand you choose. Personally, I find tea superior to coffee, so here is an overview of the brands and what makes each unique.

5. KETEPA (Fahari ya Kenya)

Fahari ya Kenya Tea, KETEPA BlacK Tea
Fahari ya Kenya Tea, KETEPA BlacK Tea

Ketepa is the most common and famous tea brand in Kenya, making it the default choice for many supermarket shoppers and the best-selling tea.

Ironically, the best-selling tea is at the bottom of this list, but considering that most Kenyans make milk tea where the quality of the tea leaves is less significant, it makes sense.

The popularity of Ketepa stems from its long history; it’s a brand that many people grew up with, and most are reluctant to try newer, potentially better options. In terms of taste, Ketepa is somewhat dusty and lacks strong flavor, so it’s not a brand I would recommend to true tea enthusiasts. The tea bags, in particular, are even less impressive.

Ketepa also offers a tangawizi variant with ginger for those who enjoy that flavor, along with other flavored tea bags like chamomile, Earl Grey, and fruit and flower infusions. I’ve tried them all and found them underwhelming.

4. Faraja Tea

Faraja Tea
Faraja Black Tea

Faraja is likely the least-known brand on this list, but I would rank it far ahead of Ketepa. It surpasses Ketepa in almost every aspect while also being more affordable.

However, Faraja offers fewer options, primarily just ginger tea and regular tea bags without special varieties like green tea or lemongrass. In terms of both loose-leaf tea and tea bags, Faraja provides a bolder flavor compared to Ketepa.

3. Baraka Chai

Baraka Chai
Baraka Chai

Baraka Chai offers both a tangawizi (ginger) variant and a regular tea. If you enjoy tangawizi tea, Baraka Chai is the best one.

Similar to Faraja, Baraka Chai has only two variants: regular and ginger tea, along with plain tea bags without additional flavor options. It’s a decent choice and a slight step up from Faraja.

2. Melvins

Melvins Black Tea

Melvins is perhaps the most unique tea brand on this list, offering a wide range of variations in both tea bags and loose-leaf teas. Unlike other manufacturers that typically provide only regular and tangawizi (ginger) options, Melvins goes a step further by offering Masala Chai, a loose-leaf tea blended with masala spices. This masala tea is quite convenient and a good alternative to adding your own spices.

In terms of tea bags, Melvins has an extensive selection, including green tea, lemongrass, chamomile, hibiscus, and more. While it doesn’t have as many options as the number one brand on this list, it certainly surpasses Ketepa. Melvin’s tea bags are notably decent, standing out in a market where tea bags are often mediocre.

For those who love tangawizi tea but dislike the mess of loose-leaf tea, Melvins is the only brand on this list offering tangawizi tea in tea bags, which is a significant convenience. Melvins teas are mild but flavorful, with fruity notes.

1. Kericho Gold

Kericho Gold Jar, Loose Black Tea
Kericho Gold Jar, Loose Black Tea

Kericho Gold is the best tea you can get in Kenya, and its quality is so high that it is also sold internationally. This tea is known for being bold and strong, and sometimes a bit bitter due to its high concentration.

In fact, its tea bags are so potent that a single bag can brew two cups of decent tea. While it is the most expensive brand, costing more than twice as much as other teas, it is absolutely worth it.

Kericho Gold is premium even in its packaging. Instead of coming in sachets, they comes in boxes lined with foil to maintain freshness, and the larger sizes are available in jars.

For those who enjoy specialty teas, Kericho Gold offers over 40 flavors, providing an extensive range of choices. From green tea, chamomile, cold brews, and Earl Grey to more specific blends like hangover tea (which actually works) and slimming tea, as well as fruit-flavored teas like passion fruit and floral ones like jasmine, Kericho Gold ensures there is something for every tea lover.

kericho Gold Tea Bag Green tea


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