Meet the Artisans: JusTea

Photo Courtesy of JusTea

Today at The Little Market, we are excited to launch a new collection of fair trade tea featuring olive wood spoons from artisans and farmworkers at JusTea in Kenya!

Photo by Stephanie Catlow

JusTea was founded in 2012 and has since created the first small-scale Artisanal Tea Factory that is farmer-owned within Kenya. The organization practices fair trade principles and is a member of the Fair Trade Federation.

Over the past six years, JusTea has helped to provide sustainable employment for more than 200 tea farming families and spoon carvers in Kenya. Through JusTea, the artisans and farmworkers have earned 20 percent more than the industry average.

Photo Courtesy of JusTea

More than 80 percent of the artisans whom JusTea works with are women. And in a joint effort to support women in Kenya, JusTea began working with an Herbal Tea Co-op to create better opportunities for women.

JusTea is also certified by the Rainforest Alliance, a nonprofit that aims to conserve biodiversity, ensure sustainability, prevent deforestation, and promote sustainable land-use and business practices to protect the environment and our communities. Furthermore, JusTea is Non GMO Project Verified. All of the tea is pesticide-free, and no chemicals are sprayed on the leaves at any time in the process.

Photo Courtesy of JusTea

JusTea creates unique teas that are new to the global market. We are excited to carry herbal, black, and purple tea at The Little Market!    

Photo by Stephanie Catlow

Artisans and farmworkers at JusTea practice a technique that has been passed down across generations and is local to the area. To harvest the tea, a day-long process typically includes hand-plucking, withering, rolling, oxidation, and drying, although the steps can vary by flavor of tea. Members of the Makweni carving community make the olive wood spoons by hand — from the carving to the beading. Plus, for every 100 spoons carved, one tree is planted.

Photo Courtesy of JusTea

We love JusTea’s passion and unique model of connecting directly with tea farmworkers on the ground in Kenya while providing them with sustainable employment opportunities. JusTea has shared incredible stories, including how this work benefits the community. For example, farmworkers can use this income to send their children to school to further their educational opportunities.

We have loved getting to learn more about JusTea! To see the full collection at The Little Market, visit our site.

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