Tea was introduced in Burundi in 1931 in an area called Gisozi in central Burundi. The first tea plantation was established in 1963 and smallholders began producing tea during the 1970s and 1980s following various donor supported projects. Production grew steadily and exceeded 6,000 tons in the early 1990s, but it experienced a hiatus in the two years following the civil conflict.

Almost all (95%) of Burundian tea is exported, with 70 percent going through the Mombassa Tea Auction and the remaining being marketed through direct sales, a practice followed by most African tea producing countries.