Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Cute, Collectible and Kenyan

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The two time winner of the World Tea Expo’s Buyers Choice Award for Best Black Tea (years 2011 & 2012) was again at the World Tea Expo in 2013. That’s Ajiri Tea, also known as the “Tea on a mission company.”  Ajiri Tea sells black tea exclusively from Kenya.  The word Ajiri means “to employ” in Swahili.  Ajiri Tea's  mission is to create employment for Kenyan women and to educate Kenyan orphans.  100% of Ajiri Tea’s net profits after taxes goes to the Ajiri Foundation, which provides education to Kenyan orphans.

Not only does Ajiri Tea have award winning tea and a noble mission, but its tea boxes are the cutest I’ve ever seen!  The labels on the boxes depict idyllic Kenyan village life and animals.  Each label is one-of-a-kind as they are handmade by the Kenyan women using dried banana tree bark and recycled magazines.  The boxes look like collector's items.

Kenya is one of the top three worldwide exporters of black tea, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation, which found that Kenya in 2010 had roughly 32% of the global tea export market.[1]  Kenya’s Export Promotion Counsel says that today Kenya is the leading exporter of black tea, with Sri Lanka coming in second.[2]  Kenya's major markets for tea are Pakistan, Egypt, United Kingdom, Afghanistan, Yemen and Sudan.[3] Surprisingly, Ajiri Tea was the only Kenyan company at the 2013 World Tea Expo in Las Vegas.  Perhaps, having been founded by an American family, Ajiri Tea knows firsthand the wide potential in the growing American demand for tea. 

[2]  Kenya’s Export Promotion Counsel website at http://epckenya.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=69&Itemid=80
[3] Kenya’s Export Promotion Counsel website at http://epckenya.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=69&Itemid=80


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