News Archive 2009-2018

Alumna’s Ajiri Tea Wins Again Archives



Ajiri Tea, founded by Sara Holby ’08 and her mother, Ann, continues to earn top recognition in the food industry. For the second straight year, Ajiri won The Buyer’s Choice Award for black tea at the World Tea Expo in Las Vegas, followed closely by a sofi Award for Innovation in Packaging from the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade.

The recognition follows a First Place Award at the 2011 North American Tea Championship, the 2011 Buyer’s Choice Award for Best Black Tea, and a Second Place Award at the 2012 North American Tea Championship.

Beyond its award-winning tea and eye-catching package, Ajiri Tea has a social mission- to employ women in western Kenya and to educate the local orphans in their communities. Ajiri Tea currently employs 63 women to handcraft the label on each box of tea. The word Ajiri means “to employ” in Swahili. 100% of the profits from Ajiri Tea are donated to the non-profit Ajiri Foundation, a 501(c)3, which is currently sponsoring 19 children in school.

Ajiri is often noted for its packaging and social mission of creating employment and education in Kenya, but without great tea, this mission wouldn’t be possible.
-Sara Holby ’08

Ajiri Tea is a Kenyan black tea grown on small-scale farms in the Kisii Highlands of Western Kenya, an area known for its fertile volcanic soil and its abundance of rainfall and sunlight. The tea is produced at the Rainforest Alliance Certified Nyansiongo Tea Factory, a cooperative owned by over 12,000 local farmers. The farmers hand pluck the top two leaves and a bud, ensuring the highest quality of tea.

Founded in 2009, Ajiri Tea is available for purchase at over 350 specialty retailers-including the Bowdoin Bookstore and several other Brunswick shops-throughout the US, Canada, and Australia, or online at