This week I have been learning how to make Kenyan Tea aka Mixed Tea.
When I first got to Kenya I have to admit I was quite underwhelmed by the tea on offer, especially considering it is a major tea growing nation! Sadly, I think a lot of the best quality tea gets exported… probably in vast quantities to the little Island I call home to satisfy the Brits notorious love affair with the stuff.
But, with time, Mixed Tea has grown on me and has pretty much replaced Yorkshire Tea as my number one favourite. Made right it is a creamy, filling brew that can almost act as a meal! I’ve learnt that you call this “chai fupe”. “Quality tea”. I.e. it’s heavy on the milk and therefore pricier to make. So if you get a visitor asking for “chai fupe” you know you have a fuss pot basically. I think I fall into that camp…
So here is how you make the stuff:
1. Take three simple ingredients: tea “leaves” which appear more like granules to me, milk and water.
2. Boil up the water first (some people would argue do the milk first. I am experimenting to see which works best)
3. Add in the milk and bring to the boil again
4. Add in the tea leaves and let it brew for 3-4minutes. This is the really tricky part. Ideally you don’t stir the mixture but milk has a seriously annoying tendency to boil over especially when cooking on one of these gas cookers which doesn’t have very subtle settings. I had very burnt milk the first few attempts.
5. Strain the mixed tea through a sieve to catch the granules. Ideally into a thermos. EVERYONE uses thermos flasks here.