Most people don’t know it, but Kenya is actually the largest exporter of Black Tea in the world! There are over half-a-million small-scale Kenyan tea farmers. Unfortunately, when these farmers harvest their tea leaves their only option is to sell them at a low price to large-scale factories. In 2012 Davison and Grace Kantha were facing uprooting their tea bushes on their one-acre “shamba” because their tea earnings did not provide them with basic family needs – food, water, sanitation, and education. With the help of part earring with Justea, the Katah family and the Nandi Hills community were able to establish Kenya’s first-ever “Artisanal Tea Cottage Factory” owned and managed by small-scale tea farmers! Justea pays fair-prices for farmers tea leaves and creates steady employment where there wasn’t any before.
Starting in the Kenyan tea garden, all of these teas are organically grown on small-scale tea shambas (farms). The soil is 100% pesticide and chemical free and they are working towards becoming the first organic certified small-scale tea gardens in Kenya. Instead of mono-cropping with large tea plantations, these small tea gardens provide a more natural biodiversity for vegetation and animals.
Christine, called Chepkimi, is a single mother of 2 energetic children (Joy and Darius). She is so pleased to have a steady job managing the tea leaf sorting and packaging team. Christine is featured on the Purple Jasmine Tin.
Not only that, but all the packaging for Justea is economically and environmentally sustainable.
The tea tins are 100% recyclable but it is also recommended that you keep them to re-use. JusTea's Pyramid Tea Bags are the most earth-friendly pyramid tea bags available as they are 100% plastic-free and compostable in just 3 weeks.
In addition, the wooden spoons on the sides of the tea tins are made by a group of carvers from Makueni County in southern Kenya. Carving of this type is mostly a seasonal job because the demand is driven by tourism, so in the off-season there is a reduced need for workers. Justea spoons are made year-round and by this partnership sustainable employment is being provided for over 200 carving families. 90% of the price JusTea pays for the spoons goes directly to the carvers, with the remaining 10% going to supplies and transport. They earn about 2-3 times the minimum wage in Kenya.
All of the spoons are made from off-cuts of olive wood from larger items like bowls and tourist gifts (think carved giraffes). By turning these off-cuts into spoons the carvers reduce their waste and create for themselves additional income.
For the loose leaf tea in tins, go here:
Tea bags in tins are found here:
Information and pictures from justea.com