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Ajiri Tea Kenyan Black Tea

In Swahili, the national language of Kenya, Ajiri means "to employ." This company was established to create a sustainable cycle of community and education: providing employment for women and education for children—they just happened to find an excellent tea within the country's borders. Ajiri Black Tea is produced at the Rainforest Alliance–certified Nyansiongo Tea Factory, which is owned by over 10,000 small-scale farmers. Women in the Kisii district of Kenya handcraft each unique label using dried banana leaves from their farms. They twist dried banana leaves to make the twine that wraps the pouches inside and use strips of recycled magazine paper to make the beads that complete the package.—Nicole Denis

About the Producer

Ajiri Tea Company, LLC

Upper Black Eddy, PA

Website: http://www.ajiritea.com/

Ajiri Tea is an award-winning black tea grown by small-scale farmers in western Kenya at a Rainforest-Alliance certified cooperative. The word Ajiri means "to employ" in Swahili; each box features a label handmade using dried bark from banana trees. Ajiri employs 63 women to make the labels. 100% of profits are used to pay school fees for orphans. In 2011, Ajiri won the Buyer's Choice Award for Best Black Tea at the World Tea Expo, a First Place Award at the North American Tea Championship, and a Gold sofi™ Award for Outstanding Innovation in Packaging Design.

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