Technique: Tea Growing
Kenyan artisans and farmworkers at JusTea grow 100 percent natural, fair trade teas and hand-carve olive wood spoons. These techniques have been passed down across generations, in Nandi Hills, for approximately 100 years. To produce most tea flavors, the day-long process includes hand-plucking, withering, rolling, oxidation, and drying. It is completely pesticide-free, and chemicals are not sprayed on the leaves at any step of the process. The olive wood spoons are carefully hand-carved by members of the Makweni carving community. To carve and bead the olive wood spoons, the process takes approximately two to three hours. Furthermore, for every 100 spoons that are created, one tree is planted. JusTea is a pioneer tea producer because the team works directly with tea farmworkers to work toward a brighter future.
Ajiri sources its delicious, hand-picked tea from the Nyansiongo Tea Factory in Kisii, Kenya. The factory is owned by nearly 20,000 small-scale farmworkers, each of whom owns a quarter to two acres of land. They grow their tea organically, as there are no natural pests to tea in Kenya. The Rooibos, a caffeine-free alternative to the black teas and coffee, is sourced from a large plantation in South Africa.
Each tea box is completely recyclable, as are its contents — even the tea bags are biodegradable. The labels are made from once-dried paper, dried banana bark, and water hyacinth, an invasive weed found in Lake Victoria.