Ajiri Tea, Kenyan Black Tea

Tea type
Black Tea
Ingredients
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Flavors
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Caffeine
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Certification
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Edit tea info Last updated by sholby
Average preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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From Ajiri Tea Company

Ajiri Tea is a robust Kenyan black tea. The tea is grown on small-scale farms in the Kisii highlands of western Kenya. The word “Ajiri” means “to employ” in Swahili. Ajiri Tea was started with the social mission of creating employment for the people of western Kenya and of educating the local orphans. Through the sale of Ajiri Tea, we hope to create a sustainable cycle of community employment and education.
Each label is handmade by women in western Kenya, using dried banana leaves and bark from banana trees. Currently, we have 57 women in western Kenya making the labels. All profits are donated to the Ajiri Foundation, a 501c3 that pays school fees for orphans in western Kenya.

About Ajiri Tea Company View company

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19 Tasting Notes

673 tasting notes

I was out and about, running errands and stopped in at Happy Luckys to meet up with tea guru Eric (who works at Happy Lucky’s) to taste some Pu-erh that I received from a Steepster friend. That review will be on my blog in a few days and is remarkable!

When we finished our Puerh tasting, I still wanted some tea! Our little delicate cups of gentle Shu were wonderful but now it was time to pour the big lady serious tea and get down and dirty.

I was sitting at the bar.
I wanted a pot of Lucky Tea House’s finest black tea. Now.
Sam looked at Eric and said under his breath, “How about the Kenyan Ajiri?…no, no, it’s too strong…well…maybe she would like it, she likes strong tea. What do you think?”
“Hum, Eric laughed, maaaybe, OK.”

Then they turned to me.
“Let’s do it guys, I’m that kind of gal, wild and crazy! Set it up!” I said.

First, Sam brought me a tin of the super-small black leaves
(they looked more like poppy seeds) which smelled salty and savory.

Then, the wet leaves which were smaller than coffee grinds were presented with a very malty, rich aroma.

Last the dark brown liquor which was very strong tasting, and I liked it! It wasn’t smoky or malty but tasted solid and a bit fruity. I sipped for awhile.

I then added some cream (I was told the tea was too strong to drink plain but found it to be smooth enough for me).
After drinking a full mug of tea, I ordered a ginger cookie to eat along with my tea. The taste of these two together was out of this world! I’m a bit of a ginger cookie, black tea lover. An addiction as a treat!

A great piece of information!
100% of the profits from the tea sales of AJIRI goes to pay for uniforms and books for orphans in Western Kenya! What a great way to
enjoy tea and help others!

Check out www.ajirifoundation.com

Asante sana (thank you very much!) http://flic.kr/p/dphd5h

Whispering Pines Tea Company

I feel deprived…I’ve never had a ginger cookie. :(
But on a good note, I have like 12lbs of Kenya tea that I have yet to indulge in, excited to dive in now! :D

BoxerMama

You’ve never had a Ginger Cookie! :O You haven’t lived! lol

Terri HarpLady

I love all things ginger, yum!

Whispering Pines Tea Company

I must research this ginger cookie you speak of… :)

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Ohhh, it’s short for a gingerbread cookie. lol…i hadn’t made that connection. Yes, I hav lived…and now I have to go buy some because tis the season, right? haha :D

BoxerMama

No no! Like a ginger snap or ginger molasses cookie! They are chewy and amazing!

Whispering Pines Tea Company

:O wheree can i find these things?!

Bonnie

Some stores carry the larger semi soft ginger cookies which are very nice. You break off a bit of cookie then drink some strong black tea (malty tea’s go well with these too) and eat and sip. This way, I don’t sweeten my tea at all but if I want to, I add cream to my tea. Some brands of boxed ginger snaps are nice and spicy. OK in a pinch.

Indigobloom

do you have a Starbucks nearby? up in Toronto, they have them in the shop and are seriously tasty!!

Whispering Pines Tea Company

No, I live in the middle fo nowhere. Haha. But I’ll definitely find some :)

Nik

Squash banana. :D

Kashyap

if you like supporting tea farmers in Kenya…and love really amazing tea…go find Royal Tea of Kenya…truly amazing…especially the Royal Golden Safari…wow

Bonnie

I’ve had other Kenyan tea’s. This one is a very strong tea for people who like super strong Irish or Scot’s Tea or Keemun, this would be one for you!

Hesper June

Hehehe, the picture you gave me with your words, Bonnie…you at the bar…tea canisters behind the bar, the boys wondering if it would be strong enough or too strong, and you…“Set ’em up, Sam!”
Its like a wonky old western film;)

Bonnie

Well, that’s my life. Sam is real though. Everyone in the shop is involved with tea and charities.

Kashyap

nice…sounds like a wonderful spot

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Ha! I finally tried Ginger Snaps and they are awesome! :D

Bonnie

Great! Spicy cookies with black tea is a favorite sin! Especially malty black tea’s.

Whispering Pines Tea Company

I was dipping them in my lapsang, Ashes of Autumn :D

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90
374 tasting notes

I picked this up at the local co-op on the way home tonight with a few other things. I was only in there for the acidophilus (fancy live culture stuff to help with the Lyme). Then my husband came in and said “let’s look around”. Well that turned into a 40+ dollar trip. BUT we did find they have a large gluten free section and yummy teas (loose and boxed).

I recalled at World Tea East speaking with two lovely ladies from Ajiri Teas and them mentioning our local co-op sold their teas. So I asked to cut some time and three employees/owners showed me the way. It is a VERY popular tea there. :) I’d had it a year ago and enjoyed it so I picked up a box of the bagged tea.

I love the hand painted designs on the box. When I got home I loved that there were hand tied beads holding the inner bag closed. Very cool! Now on to the taste. To me it tastes rather mild like a few straight up Ceylons I’ve had. I notice also a hint of malty goodness to the tea too. I like it. Might need to add this to the must have list.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec
Bonnie

This comes in loose or bag and my tea shop sells it by the ounce too ($2.95). Anyway, it’s very strong which I like.
Good with milk though and all proceeds go for charity.

The Purrfect Cup

They had the loose tea too. But my hubs grabbed the bagged tea. :) I think these meds are making everything taste weak. :(

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90
95 tasting notes

When I saw Ajiri’s booth at the Coffee and Tea Festival, I had to stop by, being curious about African teas. I talked to the older daughter of the family who owns the small farm and company. It was a relaxed, lovely and informative conversation: we talked about the company itself, about how they bought the farm and started their business, and about the tea they produce and African tea in general. Ajiri, Swahili for employment, hires Kenyan middle-aged/older woman, who hand-craft beautiful pictures of indigenous Kenyan scenery on the boxes and fashion strings with two colorful beads that tie the bags containing the tea.

I gladly bought a box of their loose leaf tea – a CTC black – which I sampled twice. The flavor was too unique to pass up, as was one of their boxes. The tea is distinctively African, and to my surprise, it’s not as bitter as other African black teas I’ve tried. It’s light-bodied, and the bitterness disappears after swallowing! The best part: I can appreciate a cup of this without milk and/or sugar! When I brewed some at home, I did so with an infuser in an 8 oz mug, rather than the Kenyan method given on the box. The color of the liquor is beautiful, a scarlet. Then, when there were only a few more sips left, golden sun.

If you’re looking to introduce yourself to African teas, this one might be good try!

Bonnie

I drink a lot of this, buy it at my teashop for 3.95 an ounce and it only takes a half teaspoon per cup. Nice and strong tea! Because it’s not malty you can add things to it like ginger or cinnamon or whatever you like blending (but I like it straight mostly).

KiwiDelight

I love it straight. It sounds yummy with cinnamon :)

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736 tasting notes

i had my first CTC teas. two of them in one day. which is a great way to learn probably.
i steeped each two times. and i experimented with steeping times, as in drinking after 1 min and 2 min and 3 min. and i really do like CTCs. dark and malty. niiiiice.

i will investigate and try more!

thank you Shelley_Lorraine! such great great variety you sent me.

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85
46 tasting notes

This is a tasty but basic black tea, with a great cause. The leaves are tiny, dark, and pellet-like. Not what I was expecting, but I didn’t want to judge on just the leaf appearance alone. The leaves have a lovely sweet cocoa scent.

After steeping, the liquor tastes of whole wheat toast, and dark chocolate. It is a strong brew that is very basic, perfect for the morning and would hold up well to milk and sugar. It’s an easy tea to over-steep, so be very careful A teaspoon for each cup is more than enough, and watch that you don’t steep for more than 3 minutes. Not the best black tea I’ve ever had, but good, and the proceeds go to a good cause!!

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85
471 tasting notes

Thank you KiwiDelight for this generous sample of Kenyan black tea.

I wasn’t expecting a CTC tea. I didn’t know they ever came in un-bagged form. I was surprised to receive a bag of what looked like ground coffee. I was hesitant to use my tea infuser as I wasn’t sure that the small bits would stay contained. I thought this a perfect opportunity to use my new fillable tea bags that I got from my local co-op (I got them to give away samples during a class presentation).

This is a good and bold black tea. A bit sweet and malty with a slight powdery texture. It’s certainly better than the CTC black teas I’ve had in the past. It might become an occasional visitor to my permanent stash.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 45 sec
KiwiDelight Glad you like it! :] They sell tea bags as well. And their small boxes that contain the tea are lovely.

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80
197 tasting notes

This tea is raised by small farmers, processed in a farmer owned factory and sold in boxes made by women in the area in western Kenya. The profits go to support education for orphaned children. This tea is a good plain strightforward black. It is quite fresh and tasty – be careful not to overbrew as it is probably fannings grade. I really liked it.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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84
493 tasting notes

Mmmm.

Received this surprise sample from Sil, decided that today was the day to try it. Made it for my breakfast tea. All the reviews talk about it like it’s not a tea for the faint of heart, so I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into, haha.

I half expected it to brew into some kind of thick black sludge or something.

But in seriousness, I am a fan of a good sturdy tea so I figured I’d enjoy this. Then I did!

I tried it without milk and it was tasty, but the old coffee drinker in me prefers a breakfast tea with milk in it so that’s what I did.

I’d consider buying some at some point in the future, good cause too!

Thanks, Sil!

Sil

:) it’s fun to try new things!

whatshesaid

Absolutely :)

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83
4729 tasting notes

My rating and notes for this one seem to have disappeared. BOOOOO! This tea is really lovely. It’s a beautifully smooth black tea that’s middle of the road in my world in terms of boldness and strength. I have thoroughly enjoyed having these tea bags around because they’re just a quick and delicious option. Plus i adore the handmade aspect to the boxes they come in and the handmade beads that are used to close off the plastic wrapper inside. I fully support what these guys are trying to do as well – especially since their end product is delicious!

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75
1915 tasting notes

Thanks to Sil for this surprise sample! I haven’t had too many Kenyan teas (although I have had tea in Kenya, haha) so I’m always interested to try some out. This was a tea bag version of this tea, and I used both tea bags in my 12oz mug. I steeped it on the cooler side knowing that these types of teas tend to get a little overly robust for me.

This turned out rather pleasant. There was little bitterness in the cup as brewed, although there was a bit of a “kick” in the back part of the sip. I did put a splash of milk in after a few sips to smooth it out a bit. It had a nice malty flavor with some hints of grains. I also got a bit of powderiness, probably because of the tea bags and tea dust likely present in them.

This would be perfect for those mornings where you really need a kick in the pants. I remember the last time I was in Nairobi, I was having tea after a night of nearly no sleep (red-eye flight), and these types of teas have a certain comforting and jolting effect that can really set you straight in a situation like that. Not something I would reach for often, but it certianly has its place. Thanks, Sil!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Sil

i love their box that the bags come in, even though i’m not always a fan of tea bags heh.

Memily

I love the box too! One of our big Aussie tea companies stocks this, which I love, because 99.99% of their stock is their own brand.

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