f About Us - Ajiri Tea
100% of Profits Support Orphan Education

About Us

Our Story

In 2008 Sara Holby (then 21 years old) went to western Kenya to volunteer for an NGO that distributed food and medicine to members of the community suffering from HIV/AIDS. Five months into her stay, the global financial recession caused international sponsors of the NGO to pull their donations, leaving many without food and medicine that seemingly overnight stopped coming. Shortly thereafter, Sara’s sister, Kate (then 19 years old) visited Sara in Kenya.

Seeing the detrimental cycle of aid and the side effects of dependence and low self-esteem, they looked to create a sustainable project. With their mother, Ann Funkhouser, the three of them decided to start a company with the goal of creating employment. Tea is a major industry in western Kenya, so they set off to start a tea company. And since women tend to reinvest over 90% of their earnings back into their families, they looked to employ women to hand make the labels for the tea boxes and the twines that go inside.

They wanted, however, to create a full cycle of sustainable aid. Because education is a sustainable investment, 100% of the net profits go back to Kenya to pay school fees for orphans. Ajiri Tea Company is now sponsoring 29 orphans in school and is employing four different women’s groups. In the spring of 2013, Ajiri Tea Company expanded to include Kenyan AA coffee, and maintains the mission of employment and education.

Kenyan Tea

All of our black tea blends are sourced from a cooperative of farmers in western Kenya. The tea is grown on small-scale shambas, or farms. On average, each shamba is only a quarter to two acres of land. All of the tea is handpicked--only the top two leaves and a bud--ensuring a the highest quality and smooth cup. The high altitude, abundant rainfall, and fertile volcanic soils make Kisii, Kenya, an ideal tea-growing region.

Kenyan Coffee

Our coffee is grown on predominantly small-scale farms. Kenyan coffee is known for its bright and fruity flavor with complimentary gentle notes of wine and black currant. The diverse and complex flavors reflect the diverse and vibrant regions in which it is grown. The main coffee growing area spans from the slopes of snow-capped Mt. Kenya to the south toward Nairobi. Ajiri is proud to offer a Kenyan AA Coffee, the highest grade of coffee. The AA designates the size and grade of the bean. In general, the bigger the bean, the more essential oils that enhance the flavor and aroma.

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