A fresh cup of steaming tea sipped in cool dawn air can be a beautiful start to newly-begun day. Countries all throughout the world have long-standing tea traditions and cultures, sometimes spanning centuries. Rwanda is no exception.
The art of tea is well-alive in Rwandan culture, woven into the tapestry of social custom and hospitality practices. It is a traditional beverage of welcome, warmth, and a sign of generosity of spirit. When a guest arrives at a Rwandan home, it is expected that the host never greet them with empty hands. Fruit, such as delightful baby bananas, a porridge made from sorghum called “igikoma,” and other small delicacies are commonly served – and a foundational aspect of this hosting practice is the serving of traditional Rwandan tea.
At Inzozi Nziza, we proudly participate in this tea culture – one of our most popular products is our African Tea! Loved by both the local community and weary travelers in search of refreshment, our tea is a creamy treat that represents a traditional Rwandan respite. Read on to learn about how the traditional tea is made here at the shop!
First, water is boiled with several leaves of black tea, grown locally here in Rwanda and Fair Trade Certified.
While the water is heating up, fresh milk from Nyanza (the milk capital of Rwanda) is also boiled. This is the creamy base that makes our tea so luxuriously rich! The tea is poured into a silver pot, and the milk is slowly whipped in to create a smooth mixture.
This milk represents one of the cornerstones of Inzozi Nziza as a business – our active support of the economic development of one of Rwanda’s foundational economies, dairy production. Along with our all-local ice cream, we like to use this rich, natural product of Rwanda in our teas, coffees, milkshakes, and many other products. We are very proud that our creative use of this milk benefits many different local players in the dairy production market.
Finally, to complete the tea, we add the final “secret” ingredient that makes African Tea so uniquely delicious: a sprinkle of ginger! This lends the beverage a subtly spiced aspect that is not dissimilar to the chai latte that is so popular in the United States.
At the end of each blog post, look for new Kinyarwanda vocabulary related to the topic of the blog! Stay with us, and soon you’ll be able to get around Butare and order anything in the shop in the local language. This will definitely impress the locals!
Tea – Icyayi (pronounced almost exactly like “chai”)
Milk – Amata (“ahmahta”)
Water – Amazi (“Ahmahzee”)
Guest/Visitor – umushyitsi (“oomoosheetsee”)
I would like to order tea – Ndashaka kugura icyayi (“Dahshahka koogoorah chai”)
UP NEXT: A member of our staff participates in a gourmet cuisine training and brings some tasty new ideas to Inzozi Nziza! Check back soon to read more.