Menu

DAVID'S ENTERPRISES

The pride of Kenya Masai Mara

header photo

Masai Eunoto ceremony

Masai Eunoto ceremony

 
 
 
The Eunoto ceremony is performed by members of the age set, ten years after warriorhood. It marks the status of a warrior transitioning to a senior warrior. This initiation also permits senior warriors to marry, which in turn prepares them to become future fathers. The ceremony takes place in another specially chosen camp that includes a total of forty-nine houses. The forty ninth house is known as Osinkira, a large mud hut made specificaly for the Oloiboni. Warriors on a daily basis will entertain the Oloiboni until the event is over. Every graduating warrior must shave his long ochre-stained hair, which is done by the warrior's mother. During the festival, warriors are prohibited to carry weapons such as sticks, spears, knifes, etc. Also, during this event, an animal horn is set on fire and warriors are forced to take a piece out before it is completely burned. No one wants to take the piece out, because whoever takes the horn out of the fire will suffer misfortunate throughout his entire life. However, if warriors refuse to take the horn out from the fire, the entire age-set will be cursed. It is better for one person to be unfortunate than many. 
Warriors must raise eight bulls, before the ceremony, to be distributed to the elders at the graduation day. Three important leaders must be chosen by the warriors before the ceremony; Olaiguanani lenkasheOloboru enkeene and Olotuno (the initiate one). No one would like to be one of these leaders, particularly the Olotuno. This person shoulders all of his age set's bad and good deeds.  The Olaiguanani lenkashe is honored with a specially chosen female cow; Oloboru enkeene is honored with a leather strap with a knot that symbolizes his age set. By the end of warrior-hood, this knot will be untied to free the warriors from their isolated world. The knot allows warriors to do things independently from other age mates. This stage of life is a transition to an elder.
A few months after the Eunoto, warriors form a small camp for Enkang e-kule, the milk ceremony. Before the Eunoto ceremony, warriors are prohibited to eat alone without the company of others. Excuses are not accepted; even the sick must obey the requirement.  To drink outside the camp is allowed but only if women are not present. Such social taboos are established by the Maasai to teach young men to be self-reliant rather than dependent on their mothers who mostly prepare food for her husband and the young ones. Also, such  taboos train and prepare warriors to adapt to harsh environmental conditions such as famine etc. The milk ceremony requires the entire age set to shave their red ochre stained hair. It is the mother's role to shave her graduating son. No warrior will shave his hair before his highly respected age set chiefs. Many of them prefer to graduate on the same day as their chiefs. For the first time, warriors feel awkward and shameful to eat in front of their female lovers. It takes a while for them to get used to this.  After the milk ceremony, warriors undergo minor bouts of emotional stress, because they are disbarred from the world of warrior hood.
The next initiation is Enkang oo-nkiri (meat ceremony/initiation camp), which is performed in a selected camp that contains ten to twenty houses. The selected houses are from wives of the initiating junior elders. This camp is located in a convenient location near the home of a friendly age mate. The age-set is allowed to have as many meat camps as they need throughout the region. 
The meat ceremony permits warriors to eat by themselves meat prepared by women of the homestead. Every graduating warrior is anxious to see this date. A specially chosen bull is slaughtered for the ceremony. A wife must prove to her husband that she hasn't engaged in an illegal sexual affair with a man of the younger age set.  Whether this has occurred or not will be revealed by participating in the bull's skin ritual. Men wrestle with themselves to get near the bull's skin to see if their wives have been unfaithful to the age-set. It is right for a wife to have affairs with men of the same age set but not outside the age set. If a woman is found guilty of violating such a commitement, she will be disrespected by her husband and by her entire age set. 
For a woman to regain respect from her husband, she must go back to her father or relativ's home to obtain a female cow. No man would refuse such an apology; however, the man might not keep the cow. he would then give the cow to his friend as a gift. 
At the end of the meat ceremony, men and women fight against one another for the specially roasted meat. Warriors who violated their age set taboos and laws are punished before this event takes place.
The last age set's initiation is Orngesherr (junior's elder initiation) and marks the status of a junior elder. It is performed in a selected camp that contains twenty or more houses. Every one in the age set looks forward to this final initiation. Every man is honored with an elder's chair in this ceremony. In the early morning of the day of the event, he will sit on the chair and be shaved by his wife. If a man has more than one wife, it is the older wife's responsibility to shave the husband. This chair becomes a man's friend until it is broken. If a man dies before the chair breaks, his older son will adopt the chair.  After this ceremony, a man would become an elder and would assume full responsibility of his own family. He is now allowed to move away from his father's homestead and form his own homestead. However, even though the man is now an indipendent man, he would still have to rely on his father's advice. A man would assume total responsibility of his family at the age of about 35 years.
It is important to note that many of these initiations and rituals have been eroding due to outside influences. We are told to abandon our way of life and to embrace western ways of life, which has been deem reliable and sufficient to ours. Our culture remains uncertain in the face of modernism, western religion, and environmental challlenges.
"It takes one day to destroy a house; to build  a new house will take months and perhaps years. If we abandon our way of life to construct a new one, it will take thousands of years", Maasai belief.

blog post

Picture of Kenya Michimikuru Estate FBOPF

Kenya Michimikuru Estate FBOPF from TeaSource

Style: Black Tea – Region: Kenya

94 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Jun. 18th, 2019

I love teas from Kenya, and I've been loving the teas I ordered from TeaSource, so it makes sense I would love this one! I think it is my favorite tea of the whole batch.

The dry leaf smells amazing: there is a sweet, bready quality, and a hint of the juniper smell that is mention in the commercial description.

B...

Read Full Review

Picture of Kenya Kosabei TGFOP Tea

Kenya Kosabei TGFOP Tea from Organic Herbie

Style: Black Tea – Region: Nandi, Kenya

76 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 4/5
Nov. 5th, 2018

A good "sipping" tea that I found I enjoyed most when I drank slowly. This tea had some characteristics of a Ceylon and some of a Darjeeling. I found it slightly tricky to brew. I liked its aroma, but could be a bit thin-bodied and bitter. Thank you to Organic Herbie for the free sample!

Dry leaf, which has a fine, ...

Read Full Review

Picture of Purple Majesty

Purple Majesty from Murchie's Tea & Coffee Ltd

Style: Green Tea – Region: Nandi, Kenya

77 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Aug. 21st, 2018

While periodically ordering our regularly consumed teas from Murchie's, I'll sometimes go after a small sample of a new tea, just to try something different, since they do have a huge selection. The name intrigued me (purple tea?), as did the origin, in some of the highest-elevation tea-growing areas of Kenya.

Unl...

Read Full Review

Picture of Iced Black Tea with Raspberry

Iced Black Tea with Raspberry from Pure Leaf

Style: Fruit Black Tea – Region: Kenya

68 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Jun. 8th, 2018

The dry tea in the sachets is broken, but in decent-sized pieces. Pieces of hibiscus flower are apparent. The sachets smell like dried raspberries with an additional herbal, leafy scent.

Adding the water intensifies the raspberry. It doesn't quite smell like fresh raspberries, but it doesn't smell artificial, either...

Read Full Review

Picture of Iced Black Tea with Peach

Iced Black Tea with Peach from Pure Leaf

Style: Fruit Black Tea – Region: Kenya

35 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 2/5 Value: 2/5
Jun. 2nd, 2018

The plastic sachets of tea are transparent enough to see the tea leaves and some of the flavorings. The leaves are obviously broken, but the pieces are the same size as in the Pure Leaf loose leaf offerings. Looking closely, I can identify pieces of hibiscus and orange peel.

The dry tea smells overwhelmingly of fres...

Read Full Review

Picture of Nandi Royal GFBOP Black Tea

Nandi Royal GFBOP Black Tea from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Black Tea – Region: Nandi, Kenya

86 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
May. 13th, 2018

Probably the strongest tea I have had in a long time. I loved this one. It's not for the faint of heart, though!

Upton's humble "Nandi Royal OP" really blew me away, so I was eager to try this. Compared to that one, this is a higher-grade broken-leaf tea, more tippy, but more broken. The price on this is slightly hi...

Read Full Review

Picture of Nandi Royal OP

Nandi Royal OP from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Black Tea – Region: Nandi, Kenya

87 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Mar. 13th, 2018

An outstanding tea for a great price, but does not resteep well.

This tea surprised me; a truly artisanal tea at an amazingly low price, with the only downside being that it does not resteep well. It also resembled a Darjeeling more than any other African-sourced tea I've ever tried. Kenya keeps producing remarkab...

Read Full Review

Picture of Kosabei (g)

Kosabei (g) from De Theefabriek

Style: Sencha – Region: Kenya

34 / 100 Aroma: 3/10 Flavor: 2/5 Value: 2/5
Sep. 13th, 2017

The leaves look interesting: the leaves are shredded into flat pieces of two or three square millimeters and relatively light green. (Isn't sencha usually needle-shaped?)

I don't have much experience with senchas, but this doesn't quite seem like the two better ones. I remember a strong bright, "green" vegetal aroma...

Read Full Review

Picture of Fahari Ya Kenya Tea

Fahari Ya Kenya Tea from Ketepa (Kenya Tea Packers)

Style: Black Tea – Region: Kenya

83 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Feb. 1st, 2017

I've found this tea one of the best for a predictable, every day tea with a robust aroma and good taste. When brewed strong, it packs a nice punch for cold winter mornings. Because it's so fine, though, it'll clog up screen strainer infusers and is best used with a paper tea filter or a coarser metal infuser. The pric...

Read Full Review

Picture of Handcrafted Kenyan

Handcrafted Kenyan from Murchie's Tea & Coffee Ltd

Style: Black Tea – Region: Kenya

95 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Sep. 22nd, 2016

This tea was exceptional, and was among the best Kenyan teas I've sampled yet.

The dry leaf of this tea looks intriguing: long, completely intact, irregularly twisted leaves. It has a very pleasing aroma, suggestive of a high-quality tea, evoking thoughts of sweetness.

Upon brewing, produces a fascinating cup wi...

Read Full Review

Picture of Kenyan Tinderet

Kenyan Tinderet from DAVIDsTEA

Style: Black Tea – Region: Nandi, Kenya

67 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 2/5
Apr. 1st, 2016

Thank you to my friend Sarah for bringing me this one! I love Kenyan teas, and this was a classic Kenyan CTC tea of decent quality. Quite good and pleasant to drink, but I think it is very overpriced.

Dry leaf is not very aromatic, nor is the brewed cup, but I find the flavor very pleasant. DavidsTea describes "l...

Read Full Review

Picture of Milima Estate Kenya OP

Milima Estate Kenya OP from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Black Tea – Region: Kericho, Kenya

67 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Nov. 29th, 2015

A good black tea, but not among my favorites. This is now the fourth tea I've tried from Milima estate in Kenya. I've become a huge fan of teas from this garden: two of their teas are among my top-rated black teas of all time.

I thought this one was good, but I didn't like it quite as much as the examples I tried ...

Read Full Review

Picture of Kenya Milima

Kenya Milima from Harney and Sons

Style: Black Tea – Region: Kericho, Kenya

83 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Aug. 30th, 2015

A strong black tea with numerous fleeting complexities. I tried this tea together with two other Kenyan black teas sold by Harney and Sons, the Kaimosi CTC and Kangaita OP, and this tea seemed in between those two in overall characteristics, but it also seemed to be a more nuanced tea than either of them, and it grew ...

Read Full Review

Picture of Kangaita OP

Kangaita OP from Harney and Sons

Style: Black Tea – Region: Kenya

77 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Aug. 15th, 2015

A rich, deep, and mellow tea, excellent if you want something very dark but smooth.

Dry leaf smells only faintly, but the aroma is extremely pleasant, I'd say beautiful. I find I like it more each time I smell it. It is a fruity and vegetal quality, reminiscent of the best Kenyan teas I've sampled, and a little li...

Read Full Review

Picture of Kaimosi CTC

Kaimosi CTC from Harney and Sons

Style: Black Tea – Region: Kenya

80 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Aug. 5th, 2015

A birthday present from my parents, purchased from the Harney & Sons store in a batch of mostly African black teas (they know I LOVE these sorts of teas). This was a very hearty tea that I liked right from the start. Robust and powerful, pleasantly rich and aromatic, but tending towards harsh. Still, I kept coming b...

Read Full Review

blog post

Tea: Fahari Ya Kenya Tea

Black Tea from Ketepa (Kenya Tea Packers)

Picture of Fahari Ya Kenya Tea
Brand:Ketepa (Kenya Tea Packers)
Style:Black Tea
Region:Kenya
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Loose?Loose
# Ratings:View All
Product page:Fahari Ya Kenya Tea

Review of Fahari Ya Kenya Tea

February 1st, 2017

AromaFlavorValueTotal
8 of 105 of 55 of 583 of 100
ExcellentExcellentOutstanding 
 

I've found this tea one of the best for a predictable, every day tea with a robust aroma and good taste. When brewed strong, it packs a nice punch for cold winter mornings. Because it's so fine, though, it'll clog up screen strainer infusers and is best used with a paper tea filter or a coarser metal infuser. The price is incredible. It's something to have on hand always. It makes excellent iced tea in the summer as well with more character than most iced teas.

Add your own review

Login or Sign Up to comment on this review.

 
 

blog post

Tea: Safari Pure Tea

Black Tea from Ketepa (Kenya Tea Packers)

Picture of Safari Pure Tea
Brand:Ketepa (Kenya Tea Packers)
Style:Black Tea
Region:Kenya
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Loose?Loose
# Ratings:View All
Product page:Safari Pure Tea

Review of Safari Pure Tea

May 17th, 2017

AromaFlavorValueTotal
9 of 105 of 55 of 584 of 100
SuperbExcellentOutstanding 
 

I was excited when I saw this for sale at the Everest Indian Grocery Store in Lancaster, PA. I am a huge fan of the Fahari Ya tea from this same company, Ketepa; it's incredibly cheap and remarkably high quality.

This tea was very similar, I think perhaps a little bit better although it's hard to say, because my family had already drunk up all the Fahari Ya tea, and we did not have the opportunity to sample them back to back.

The first time I steeped this I used a teaspoon of leaf and brewed for a full three minutes, and it was extremely strong. I was in the mood for a robust cup of tea, so it hit the spot, but I think normally a 1-2 minute steep would be better. 1.5 minutes still produces a very strong cup.

The aroma is very complex, richly malty, strong toasty notes, and strong wintergreen quality. Moderately astringent, and the flavor is surprisingly sweet and savory, with only a light bitterness. Really exceptional for a tea in this price range, it was only $7.50 for 500 grams, well over a pound.

Add your own review

Login or Sign Up to comment on this review.

 
 

blog post

February 1st, 2017

AromaFlavorValueTotal
8 of 105 of 55 of 583 of 100
ExcellentExcellentOutstanding 

 

I've found this tea one of the best for a predictable, every day tea with a robust aroma and good taste. When brewed strong, it packs a nice punch for cold winter mornings. Because it's so fine, though, it'll clog up screen strainer infusers and is best used with a paper tea filter or a coarser metal infuser. The price is incredible. It's something to have on hand always. It makes excellent iced tea in the summer as well with more character than most iced teas.

Add your own review

blog post

 

His tea-tinged tastebuds are worth $1.8 million

 

 

The differences in tea can be subtle, but can be quite wide as well, and tea taster Sebastian Michaelis' job is to ensure that one taste does not overwhelm the other.

 

The differences in tea can be subtle, but can be quite wide as well, and tea taster Sebastian Michaelis' job is to ensure that one taste does not overwhelm the other.PHOTO: THE STAR

(THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Sebastian Michaelis is a professional tea taster. So valuable are his tastebuds to the British tea brand Tetley, that the company has insured his tongue for £1 million (S$1.8 million).

“The insurance is a reflection of the investment that Tetley has put into me. Really, it is less about my tongue and more about the years of training and the difficulty to find someone who can taste tea,” says the 34-year-old Brit who was in Kuala Lumpur recently.

Michaelis has been a master tea taster for over 10 years, and his venture into the tea industry was actually by chance. Sure, like most Brits Michaelis loves his cuppa, but to become a tea taster? He didn’t even know the job existed until he attended the interview.

After graduating with a degree in Psychology, Michaelis randomly responded to an ad which read: “Do you like tea? Do you like to travel?” The answers were “Yes” and “Yes”.

The interview was a two-day assessment that included answering questions from senior tea tasters, as well as solving problems related to the industry.

Michaelis got the job and it wasn’t long before he realised that a tea taster has to do more than just tasting and spitting teas.

During the first five years at Tetley, Michaelis underwent intensive training, one that included living in several tea-producing countries such as Kenya and India.

“I visited the farms to learn how tea is grown, cultivated and produced. The tea tasters are also required to oversee tea supply chains and negotiate contracts. We have to be experts in all aspects of tea, from how it is grown and until we pack it in teabags,” he adds.

Michaelis estimates that he has tasted 300,000 to 400,000 teas from all over the world. Every country has tea with different characteristics, which varies according to the tea gardens within the country.

“It depends on the elevation, how it is grown. Normally, higher grown tea tend to have more concentrated flavour. It also depends on the level of sunshine, rain, soil, and also the skills of the factory managers,” he explains.

“We have our own internal tea language called ‘Uhuru’ which means freedom in Swahili. We developed this language over several years, and it allows us to quite methodically and scientifically grade the teas using a number system and we grade them on four broad parameters,” the tea taster explains.

First is zing, the overall mouthfeel when you slurp the tea. “If the flavour lasts a long time, even 30 seconds, then it is a really high zing tea. It is a really high quality tea, so you can really taste that flavour in your memory. A poorer quality tea, with lower zing, just washes away, and there is no flavour afterwards,” he shares.

Colour ranges from very red to very yellow and everything in between.

“Colour is important because many of our consumers, especially those who drink with milk, want to see the strength of the tea in the cup when they are brewing it,” says Michaelis.

The sparkle is about the purity of the tea. “Indonesian tea is duller than the Kenyan tea, though they are of similar colour. Usually, the sparkle is an indicator of good quality tea.”

Body is the thickness of the tea; like wine it could be thin or thick. “Thickness is a positive thing; it gives a good mouthfeel,” says Michaelis.

The tea tasters will taste and give each batch of teas very precise “fingerprints”, as they call it.

“So when it goes on our stocks, we are able to blend them together in theory without tasting – adding a little bit here, take a little bit there, just to give the same blend.”

“We usually use milk when tasting because it allows you to see the colour of the tea. Sometimes we make blends that are not intended to be drunk with milk, but it helps us to see that colour. But we taste them black as well, to ensure that the consumers are getting the same experience. Of course with green tea, we don’t taste with milk.”

There is even an art to tea tasting. One has to sharply slurp the tea, and the noisier it is, the better. This allows for more air to enter the mouth which then oxygenates the tea and produces the full flavours.

 

Michaelis has to use his tastebuds almost every day, but surprisingly, there are no food restrictions for him. However, he cannot wear perfume or aftershaves because his nose will be affected. He will also not be able to do tastings when he has a cold and his nose is blocked. PHOTO: THE STAR

Michaelis claims that anyone can be a tea taster, because it is all about practice.

“Tea is such a varied product, and not many people realise that because they would buy a packet of tea and it tastes the same every time,” he says.

To get the tea to taste the same in each batch Tetley produces is where Michaelis’ expertise comes handy.

“You can always buy single origin teas online, but to be honest, it takes years of practice to get the right balance. The differences in tea can be subtle, but can be quite wide as well, and my job is to ensure that one taste doesn’t overwhelm the other.

“That’s the secret to the job really. People can always experiment blending their own tea at home, but that’s my role basically, to take that thinking out of it and make a blend which is just the right balance of flavours.”

Michaelis’ million-pound tastebuds are put to work almost every day, and surprisingly, there isn’t any restriction to what he could consume.

“Generally, I can eat what I like. I can’t have anything strong within an hour of tasting, so I have to be careful about flavours. I can’t wear perfume or aftershaves because it affects the nose, and the only time I won’t taste, or can’t do tastings, is when I have a cold. When my nose gets blocked, I have to pass it on to a colleague to do my tasting for me.”

So how does the insurance, contingent on annual reviews, work since human tastebuds degenerate as one gets older? Without getting into the mechanics, Michaelis explains how or when he would be eligible for a payout.

“People have been known to lose their sense of taste, and touchwood, hopefully never happens. Actually, what is interesting is that although it is my tongue that is insured, a lot of the flavours that you get when you’re tasting is in the nose.” Michaelis jokes that he should encourage Tetley to insure his nose next.

“The level of how your taste buds change over time isn’t significant enough to affect my ability to taste. It is compensated by experience. Unless I lose all of my sense of taste, I think I am okay.”

CONTACT DAVID'S ENTERPRISES

Submit

Search

Archive

Comments

There are currently no blog comments.