Serving tea from another Commonwealth country, we hosted a Kenyan-style tea party on Sunday 27th May 2012 at the Queens’ House, National Maritime Museum. Linked to the ‘Royal River: Power, Pageantry and the Thames’ currently on at the museum.
Interestingly we found out that Kenya is the biggest tea producer in Africa, in Kenya, anytime is tea time. When it comes to drinks, Kenya tea in the form of Chai (tea with milk and sugar) is the beverage of choice. It is served for breakfast, at mealtimes and also during Kenya’s regular teatime. Clearly, Kenya culture embraces many different cultural influences: teatime is a custom borrowed from the British colonial past and the Chai style of cooking tea originated in India.
At this tea party we were really excited to be serving Grandpa’s Anytime Tea courtesy of the Royal Tea of Kenya. Arthur Njuguna Komo aged 112, is officially the world’s oldest tea farmer, Arthur still farms tea in the foothills of Mount Kenya and this tea is aptly named after him by his granddaughter Joy Njuguna. Joy sells teas from her family’s farms in Kenya and in honour of her grandfather; she has created this special blend of tea. As well as authentic tea, guests were treated to authentic Kenyan snacks, including Kenyan doughnuts ‘mandazi’. Yum!
During the tea party, parlour games played enabled guests to explore the Commonwealth; their experiences of, what it means to them and how useful an idea it is. These are just some of the questions we looked at. Guests also had the opportunity to reminisce about a momentous day that they have had in the last 60 years of the Queen’s reign, these memories were captured for the Jubilee Time Capsule, link here: http://www.jubileetimecapsule.org/. More to follow on this, so watch this space!
(c) Photo credits: Mikey Knott