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Jill Biden served the famous State House tea, ‘brewed’ by Mama Rachel Ruto

By Winnie Onyando February 25th, 2023 2 min read

There was no way visiting US First Lady Jill Biden could have gotten out of State House, Nairobi without sampling the beverage of choice for the Kenyan First Family.

After receiving Mrs Biden on Friday evening at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Kenyan First Lady Mama Rachel Ruto hosted her VVIP guest at the “House on the Hill,” where her first act of hospitality was serving a good cup of the now famous State House tea.

With pristine crockery well laid out on the table, Mama Rachel was pictured pouring out the beverage from a white teapot as the FLOTUS reached out for a cup.

Some netizens wondered why the Kenyan First Lady decided to serve tea herself, or if indeed she had brewed it herself as she was once pictured.

Also read: Ruto left in stitches after man carrying a baby interrupts his speech

But this is not the first time Mama Rachel and President Ruto himself have offered tea to their VIP guests at State House.

As a matter of fact, tea appears to be the favourite beverage for the First Family. Indeed, some time last December, the First Lady was pictured making tea at State House.

Kenya's first lady Rachel Ruto
Kenya’s first lady Rachel Ruto

On yet another occasion, President Ruto graciously offered regional police commanders “chai” when he hosted them at State House,.

However, the head of state quickly clarified that the “chai” he was offering was the normal tea and not the chai (bribe) that the National Police Service is infamous for.

Kenya's first lady Rachel Ruto making tea
Kenya’s first lady Rachel Ruto making tea in an environmental friendly cooker in State House

“I’m very grateful. Please don’t leave before taking tea… I mean a cup of tea,” the president to the amusement of his guests.

“I’ve told these gentlemen not to leave before taking tea and I noticed their questioning demeanor. Its a cup of tea,” he clarified further.

In Kenyan slang, “chai” translates to a bribe, especially one that is offered to police officers.

Also read:Rachel Ruto My office has so far assisted 20,000 needy families

President-elect William Ruto having a cup of tea minutes before his inauguration
President-elect William Ruto having a cup of tea minutes before his inauguration

And on the morning of September 13, 2022, the day that he was sworn in as the fifth President of the Republic of Kenya, the then President-elect was captured enjoying a cup of tea while on a leisurely stroll at his Karen residence

Former Nairobi governor Mike Sonko is also on record for saying that while in the company of top Kenya Kwanza leaders, tea is the most preferred beverage.

President-elect William Ruto having a cup of tea minutes before his inauguration
President-elect William Ruto having a cup of tea minutes before his inauguration

Sometime last year, Sonko even expressed optimism that President Ruto’s company will help him reduce his consumption of alcohol.

On October 9, Sonko, who once claimed he was served alcohol during a visit to State House during former president Uhuru Kenyatta’s reign, shared a photo of himself taking tea alongside Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua and Kenya Kwanza politicians.

Also read:Passaris meets Ruto as head of state steps up charm offensive on Railas allies