Changing an Industry
The tea farm, where we craft our artisanal teas, is nestled in the rolling green Nandi Hills. Healthy jade-green bushes grow as far as the eye can see; a picture of agricultural paradise. But when farmers pluck their tea leaves, their only option is to quickly sell them to large-scale factories. These buyers often don’t pay them fairly.
JusTea has formed partnerships with small-scale farmers who grow and pluck tea to exacting standards. The farmer gets paid a fair price and you get fresh, quality tea.
World’s Largest Tea Exporter
Most people hardly even realize that Kenya grows tea! Yet there are over 500,000 small-scale Kenyan farmers who grow and export over 450,000 TONS each year. That makes Kenya the world’s largest exporter of tea. The equator divides the country, so the year-round sunshine means tea is grown and plucked almost every day of the year! At over 2,000 meters, Kenya has the highest elevation of tea gardens in Africa. The volcanic soil naturally produces some of the world’s most flavourful tea.
The First Tea Bush
The first Kenyan tea bush was planted in the early 1900’s and since the 1920’s Kenyan small-scale farmers have always maintained almost all “natural organic” cultivation practices. These 1-3 acre farmers grow teas that are 100% pesticide free and no chemicals are every sprayed on the leaves. Although there are currently no certified organic small-scale tea farms in Kenya, some of our tea growers are in the process of organic conversion and are starting the certification process. And on the slopes of Mt Kenya, where our herbs are grown in a Women’s Tea Co-op – everything is certified organic!
CTC vs Whole Leaf Tea
Because of the rapid growth and year-round cultivation available to Kenyan tea farmers, 95% of Kenyan teas are processed in huge factories and ground up as CTC leaves (Crush, Tear, Curl). This maceration destroys much of the leaf’s natural flavour complexities and depth. The result is a lower-quality, mass produced tea used as filler in many tea bags found in your grandmother’s pantry. JusTea is dedicated to slowing down the process, maintaining the whole leaf, and producing high-quality Kenyan teas that have never been available before. Enjoy multiple steeps of JusTea, and taste the full flavour profile which whole leaf tea offers.
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