In late 2009, Edmonton HYTESters experimented with the production and sales of a brand new fundraising item: jars of East African Chai tea mix, a spiced tea brewed with a mixture of aromatic spices. Labelled ‘OpportuniTEA – bringing educational opportunities to the [global] South with every sip!’, the jars contained a mixture of loose Assam black tea leaves from East Africa, along with cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and white pepper. The jars were beautifully decorated with African fabric, simple ribbon and beadwork and made perfect stocking stuffers.
Chai tea is the beverage of choice in many of HYTES’s partner countries, so it seemed only fitting to work this into our fundraising efforts in Canada as well. HYTES supporters who attended Edmonton fundraising dinners over the past few years really seemed to enjoy the East African Chai served at those events, thus the idea was born to create a Chai tea mix product that folks could enjoy at home. The most authentic way to enjoy this recipe is to boil the tea mixture on the stove with milk and a lot of sugar.
Approximately 40 jars of OpportuniTEA – which were lovingly handcrafted by our team of very creative and resourceful volunteers – sold out at a weekend-long Edmonton event known as Just Christmas, garnering over $600 in fundraising revenue for HYTES. Just Christmas is a festive, fair trade global marketplace for arts, handmade crafts and other goods sold by not-for-profit or charitable organizations working to help build healthy communities and promote social justice around the world. For more information, check out justchristmas.org.
Watch for HYTES to brew up another batch of OpportuniTEA and showcase at Just Christmas again in 2010!