Rwanda Rukeri FOP Black Tea

Tea type
Black Tea
Black Tea Leaves
Almond, Astringent, Bitter, Bread, Brown Sugar, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Earth, Grass, Hay, Honey, Leather, Malt, Nutty, Orange Zest, Pear, Potato, Prune, Raisins, Smoke, Sweet Potatoes, Vanilla, Walnut, Wood
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Loose Leaf
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Edit tea info Last updated by eastkyteaguy
Average preparation
5 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 oz / 236 ml

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  • “Okay, another of my recent sipdowns is coming at you. I purchased a 100g pouch of this tea last year when I was trapped at home during what I shall from hereafter refer to as Plague Year #1. I was...” Read full tasting note

From What-Cha

A smooth black tea with gentle ripe fruit notes, similar to a good Ceylon FOP.

One of our new ‘Bargain Bin’ offerings, I was able to acquire some nicely discounted teas from a European wholesaler.

Tasting Notes:
- Smooth taste
- Notes of dried fruits

Harvest: 2019
Origin: Sorwathe Tea Estate, Kinihira, Rukeri, Rwanda

Brewing Advice:
- Heat water to roughly 95°C/203°F
- Use 2 teaspoons per cup/small teapot
- Brew for 3-4 minutes

Packaging: Resealable ziplock bag

About What-Cha View company

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1 Tasting Note

1049 tasting notes

Okay, another of my recent sipdowns is coming at you. I purchased a 100g pouch of this tea last year when I was trapped at home during what I shall from hereafter refer to as Plague Year #1. I was looking for some affordable teas to goof off with, so I was checking out each of What-Cha’s bargain bin offerings and snapping up the ones I thought were most interesting and/or that I thought I could get away with storing for a while should I develop the need. When I saw this tea, I just had to get it. I had never tried a Rwandan tea, and since What-Cha has always had a great track record with their African offerings, I assumed that I would be into this one. Upon trying it, I was reminded of why I should never make assumptions. I did not get around to cracking this tea open until I was preparing to go on a kayaking trip with my father, my cousin, and my cousin’s girlfriend. I stayed up the night before we left packing and cleaning my house and then brewed two large thermoses of this tea before my father and I hit the road. I thought it would be cool for us to try a tea that was wholly new to both of us and to compare notes while we were on the road. Well, it turned out that my father was dealing with sinusitis, so he couldn’t taste or smell anything, and I, well, really didn’t care for this tea at first. It eventually grew on me a little, but it was mostly a malty, woody, dry kind of tea that I ultimately felt could have used a bit more sweetness for balance.

For my review session, I prepared this tea in the Western style. I steeped 3 grams of loose tea leaves in 8 ounces of 203 F water for 5 minutes. I did not rinse the leaves prior to steeping nor did I attempt any additional steeps.

Prior to steeping, the dry tea leaves presented aromas of baked bread, malt, and raisin. After steeping, I detected new aromas of cream, butter, roasted almond, and vanilla that were underscored by subtle scents of prune and honey. In the mouth, the tea liquor was dry and brisk, offering up notes of wood, grass, hay, roasted walnut, roasted hickory, roasted almond, cocoa, cream, butter, brown sugar, roasted sweet potato, baked bread, malt, leather, earth, orange zest, and roasted potato that were balanced by subtler notes of vanilla, smoke, raisin, prune, pear, honey, and cinnamon. Each sip finished with pronounced bitterness and astringency enveloping oily roasted nut notes and leathery, buttery, malty, woody impressions.

After trying this tea for the first time whilst on the road and hating it, I expected to hate it even more when I came back to it, but the more I tinkered with it, the more I appreciated it. It was not a knockout tea by any means, but it had a lot to offer, displaying much more depth and complexity than I initially thought was present. In my opinion, this tea worked best as a basic breakfast tea. It offered a quick hit of lasting energy to keep me going through the first part of the day and was just astringent, bitter, and flavorful enough to instantly cut through my morning grogginess. If, like me, you are not a morning person, putting something like this in your system as soon as you get moving is a great way to perk yourself up for the day. Unfortunately, if you are looking for something that offers a memorable and fun drinking experience on its own, a tea like this will likely not fit the bill. If it had possessed just a little more sweetness, it would have been more satisfying for me, but as it was, it was not the most exciting of African black teas. Just use this one as your morning pick-me-up, and you’ll probably be fine with it.

Flavors: Almond, Astringent, Bitter, Bread, Brown Sugar, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Earth, Grass, Hay, Honey, Leather, Malt, Nutty, Orange Zest, Pear, Potato, Prune, Raisins, Smoke, Sweet Potatoes, Vanilla, Walnut, Wood

5 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

How was the kayaking trip?


It was alright. I wasn’t really in shape for it, as it ended up being a little higher intensity than anticipated, but it could have been worse. I got to swim and wade around in the Holston River, pick paw paws off the banks of river islands, and pet a couple of cute kitties at the airbnb my cousin and his girlfriend rented. It was cool, but I did end up overexerting myself and kind of suffered through the last day and several days afterwards. As I continue to work on getting healthier, I hope to do it again.


Hard core drinkers always take our beverages wherever we go.


True. So very, very true.

Evol Ving Ness

Haha, I used to begin my day by stocking my bag with a couple of thermoses and two or three carry canisters. Plus my carry mug. I stopped the insanity when the weight had negative impact on both my bag and my shoulder.

Of course, now, in semi-lockdown, I stay close to my tea kettle.


It was probably good to get out in nature at least and get your heart pumping. Never had a paw paw fruit despite seeing the trees here and there in southern Ohio. What do they taste like? Unrelated, but related to your location, Mom’s been doing the whole family tree thing and found out there are still relatives outside of Hazard, one of whom she recently met. Maybe one day you and I will have tea.


derk, paw paws are similar to fruits like cherimoya and soursop (they’re in the same family). The flesh is very creamy, and the taste is similar to a banana, but in my opinion, a little more acidic. Think of them like a tart banana custard in fruit form. Also, you have family near Hazard. That’s terrifying. I live just shy of an hour northeast of Perry County, but I am getting ready for a potential move to Lexington. I seem to recall you mentioning that you were from Ohio or that you lived there for some time. I actually went to school near Cincinnati for a little over a year. I also used to work for a company that had a regional hub in Hazard and had to drive there for trainings on a regular basis. If you haven’t been, Hazard is a rough, strange place. Eastern Kentucky, as a whole, is like that though.


Yeh, I’m from SW Ohio, had only been in and around Cincinnati a few times. I feel like my mom said something about Pikeville, too. I imagine that’s closer to your location. I have an idea of what you mean when you say Hazard/eastern KY is a rough strange place. Got that feeling along the Ohio River and throughout the southern tip of Ohio. Regardless, and this might sound strange, but my sense of place is somewhere around eastern KY and into WV. I imagine when I’m an old crone, I’ll probably look for property that way. Hope the potential move to Lexington is an improvement in life for you! Please keep the tea notes and life updates coming :)


derk, Pikeville is about 25-30 minutes east of where I currently live. Also, and this is just me offering some advice as someone whose entire family is from this area and who grew up here before moving away to college and then coming back, most of eastern Kentucky is probably not the place to which one should consider relocating, especially as one ages. Many people from outside of the area have this very romanticized view of the place that bears little resemblance to reality. The infrastructure has always been terrible, and it’s crumbling by the day. A lot of people I have spoken with don’t understand that you have to drive everywhere here, often on poorly planned, poorly marked, and terribly maintained roads, and you often have to cover long distances to get anywhere. If I want to shop for more than the basics, I have to drive to Lexington, which is 2 hours west of where I live, or either Huntington or Charleston in West Virginia, 1.5 and about 2 hours northeast respectively. I do lot of shopping online. A lot of the conveniences that one can expect in urban areas or in more affluent parts of the country just don’t exist here or are much more limited if they do. Medical care is sketchy and extremely expensive. Utilities are unreliable and often overpriced. The weather is unpredictable and often miserable. The culture of the area is very harsh, backwards, and unwelcoming to outsiders. If you don’t receive outright hostility from the start, expect to either be ignored or to receive a thin veneer of phony hospitality that will never wholly cover up obvious resentment. It’s very difficult to date or make friends. I’ve pretty much given up. People here also think that manipulating, backstabbing, or otherwise taking advantage of others around them is a demonstration of how clever they are and should command respect. This attitude is just part of the culture. People like to think it doesn’t exist, but it does. One of the highest compliments that can be bestowed on you, especially if you’re a man, is to be referred to as a horse trader, which basically means you get away with habitually screwing people over for your own benefit. Oh, and the job market is terrible. Employers tend to favor locals, especially friends and family, and they often don’t want to pay competitive wages or offer adequate benefits. If you thought the communities along the Ohio seemed odd and rough, they are high class compared to the communities to the south in the hills and mountains. Don’t think quaint mountain or farming communities, think poorly planned and maintained little hubs surrounded by post-industrial wastelands out in the countryside that have been wholly or partially reclaimed by nature. Seriously, there are places here that look like they have been beamed in from The Third World. You’d have to see to believe it, but it’s still kind of unbelievable even when seen. The opioid epidemic has also hit this area very hard. Lots of places just aren’t safe, especially at night. Honestly, if you want to get an idea of the cultural and environmental damage the mining industry has left behind, this is a great place. Otherwise, it’s not much fun. If I had made better decisions when I was younger and some of my plans had worked out for me, I would not still be here. Where I live now is not a place I would choose to live. I’m working on getting out though.

Should you ever feel like touring this area, there are some nice places and some worthwhile things to do. Pikeville is a decent town. Morehead is actually a nice little college town. Driving through farm country in northeastern Kentucky is also really nice. You can go see some pretty rural churches and cemeteries as well as rustic covered bridges in and around places like Flemingsburg outside of the eastern counties exclusively contained in the Eastern Kentucky Coalfield. It’s not all terrible, but I think coming to this area from the Pacific West would be very difficult. I hope I don’t sound condescending when I say this is an area that people usually try to escape, even those from the area. A lot of people who move here from the outside don’t last unless they can step into a high paying job in an in-demand field.


It never crossed my mind that you were being condescending.

May I be clear and say my desire to move there is not based upon a quaint, romantic ideal. I want to say I understand the devastation caused by a complicated mix of environmental damage, poverty as a result of exploitation and widespread drug abuse, a lack of resources and infrastructure, and religious zealotry. Understanding and living are different issues. I won’t claim to have experienced the effects of more than a few of those major disadvantages, and I have experienced them only in moderation.

This is better left for private message when I have the energy to respond in full. While I am not too worried about exposing my personal life on the internet, this is not often the place for it.

Thank you for the truly thoughtful, reality-based response; it’s greatly appreciated and something to ruminate on. Really.


Agreed, I’m messaging you now.

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