Kenyan Black Tea

Tea type
Black Tea
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Cocoa, Earthy, Malty, Nutty, Astringent, Smooth, Honey, Malt, Seaweed, Tannic
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Loose Leaf
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Edit tea info Last updated by Cameron B.
Average preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 30 sec 11 oz / 326 ml

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26 Tasting Notes View all

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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26 Tasting Notes

676 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

Asante sana (thank you very much!)

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


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


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?!


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.


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 :)


Squash banana. :D


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


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;)


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


nice…sounds like a wonderful spot

Whispering Pines Tea Company

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


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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421 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.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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.


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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371 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!


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).


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

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813 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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47 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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523 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.

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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196 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.

Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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6 tasting notes

I was really surprised by how grainy the tea leaves were. They had an earthy and sweet scent. The tea itself was very enjoyable. It’s a basic black tea with a nice nutty and malty flavour that is really delightful.
I found that the tea is very strong by itself, so I added a dash of honey and oat milk. It mellowed out the flavours to my liking. I will be drinking this often!

Flavors: Cocoa, Earthy, Malty, Nutty

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 300 ML

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444 tasting notes

Wow this looks like dust or fannings, but boy does it brew up nice. It says to steep for 3-5 minutes but the size of the leaf lead me to brew at 2 minutes. And it is strong! I am working on a course and adding notes to each slide I have created. Its tedious work and I might brew more of this nutty, delicious caffeinated elixir until I am finished. I might need this in my cupboard at all times for a sleepyness emergency!

Flavors: Astringent, Malty, Nutty, Smooth


I’ve only tried Kenyan tea once, but it had the same appearance and personality!


I got ahold of a nice bagged Kenyan tea at a British themed shop in Houston, but alas they stopped carrying it. That was a nice wake up tea.

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13 tasting notes

I love drinking this tea with something sweet. It’s bold and a little astringent, but I like it.

Flavors: Astringent, Honey, Malt

180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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