Kenyan Fair-trade tea?
Is there a desire to get a beautifully hand produced orthodox black tea out of Kenya?
Is it possible to change the tea industry in Kenya and get fair-trade artisan teas?
I believe Kenya does make some orthodox teas including black tea right now. I was reading where 95% is CTC. But I think the orthodox method is growing and maybe remember that they are making even a white tea.
I would think seeing a widespread shift to fair trade in Kenya is unlikely because of economics but they do have some fair trade teas right now. I am reading right now for example there is a fair trade black tea called Kenya Kangaita from the Kinrinyaga district. This particular tea also happens to be made through the orthodox method but as I said before that is rare in Kenya.
Majani Teas http://www.majaniteas.com/ does good quality, fair trade Kenyan teas, and Butiki Tea also sells a couple of Kenyan teas that have a good reputation on Steepster.
I’d love to see more Kenyan teas, but things will probably stay more or less the same unless/until the demand for high quality tea increases.
According to the website that Dinosara mentions below, justea hopes to to teach the Kenyan farmers to hand process premium quality tea and sell it directly. Majani’s website says that they buy fair trade tea from local farmers but doesn’t mention where or how it’s processed. Do you happen to know where or how they (or Bukti) process the tea after buying from local farmers?
It seems to me that the only way that demand for “quality” Kenyan tea can increase would be if tea drinkers percieve something distinctive about the taste or character of the tea, which will depend a lot on how it’s processed after picking.
Update on my own question. I contacted Mujani and the founder promptly responded saying that they process their teas in Kenya by local cooperatives.
I ordered one of their teas and got a notice back that it’s shipped just as fast as they responded to my question. I eagerly await trying it – soon!
If your question is to whether there is a market for fair trade tea from Kenya, my answer is that I think that there would be. There seems to be a growing number of organizations and people looking to support more ethically produced and marketed goods. I have seen a number of companies offering full leaf Kenyan teas and they do tend to sell out of their offerings so there seems to be an interest.
This is one, and one that intrigues me, though I never tried it
I had a cup today, inspired by your comment on this thread! It’s different, and took me a bit to readjust my taste expectations, but I ended up liking it.
Hope I can get to it tomorrow! My mother’s house seems to kill good tea, seriously, so I mostly have teabag when I’m up there.
I’m also not sure exactly what the question is: are you offering us a chance to get these teas? The goal of your movement/business is definitely admirable, and I’m sure many people here would be interested. It’d be good to know whether you want to spread the word about your teas or find out what orthodox Kenyan teas people have already found.
They didn’t post anything about it, but a quick google search for “justea” yields this indiegogo fund for farmer-direct Kenyan tea