Students Staff

28 June 2013

Enterprising students’ soft drink gets four star first customer

Colchester Campus

Logo for DARJ Limited

DARJ Limited logo

Students from the University of Essex have created a luxury sparkling tea soft drink, using the Darjeeling tea leaf, which has just been accepted to be served at four star hotel, Wivenhoe House.

The drink, Green Lady, was created by Francis Oyewole, a final year LLB Law student at Essex, who came up with the idea in his third year. He sought the help of his friends, Ardit Sota, Sultan Bin Khaled, both Accounting and Finance students at Essex and Emilijano Musa from University College London (UCL), to develop DARJ Limited.

Francis said: “I knew Emilijano from college and met Ardit and Sultan in my first year at Essex. At the beginning of my third year, I told the guys that I had an idea and needed their help. Since then, we have been working on the project and have gone from concept to product in eight months.

“We are all friends and that’s what makes this experience special, we all want the same thing; even though we all come from completely different backgrounds.”

DARJ has already received commercial interest and the students are currently in talks with a production company, have incorporated and registered at Companies House and are meeting marketing and branding experts to work on its future development. With its first customer at Wivenhoe House, there is hope that this luxury tea will become a well-known brand in the future.

Peter Church, Director of the University’s Campus Services, said: “It has been a privilege to mentor Francis and his team over the last 12 months. Their energy, passion and creativity have been inspirational.

“Through determination and hard work they have turned their dream into a reality, and I am confident they have developed an excellent product which could be developed into an exciting international brand. We will certainly be delighted to serve their unique take on Darjeeling tea to our customers at Wivenhoe House.”

Essex has been working with the students to support them through the creation of DARJ. Francis said: “The University has been fantastic in helping us to get to the stage we are at now. I met with Peter Church, who saw our passion and said as soon as we had a product, he would taste it, arrange for logos to be created and hold a sample session for the public.

“We’ve received so much support from Essex, and we have more ideas of how to work together with Essex to develop DARJ to show that the University is for aspiring entrepreneurs and spread the message of student entrepreneurship. I am confident that we can do it, we have talented students, dedicated staff and a campus unity that trumps other universities.”

As part of the company, the students are also hoping to undertake a project to support the women tea-pickers working for their supplier, working with the University’s Marketing Entrepreneurship and Global Strategy Group, academic staff and students.

Francis said: “We are working with the University to commission a social enterprise that aims to improve the conditions of women tea-pickers in Darjeeling India. We hope to work closely with Essex to develop sustainable solutions to the problems women tea-pickers face.”


Notes to Editors
For further information please contact the University of Essex Communications Office, telephone: 01206 874471 or e-mail:

DARJ Limited

The Darjeeling tea leaf is the world’s most aromatic tea leaf. Our mission is to exemplify the most refined qualities of the Darjeeling Tea Leaf through the excellence of our products. DARJ is the first ever ‘Tea Leaf Commercialist’, we exclusively craft products made from the boutique import that is the Darjeeling Tea Leaf. The aroma of the leaf reveals antique artisanship and the mountainous mystique of the Himalayan hills that reside in close proximity to the Darjeeling Tea Estates. Darjeeling tea accounts for just 1% of the world’s global yield. We infuse the classic character of Darjeeling with innovation, creating luxury products steeped in natural class. Darjeeling is more than just a tea leaf, for many it is a way of life. We are group of young entrepreneurs about to commence a journey and we implore you to join us. Our first undertaking is ‘Premium Sparkling Tea’.

Green Lady
This is a Premium Sparkling Tea beverage made from the finest class of Green Darjeeling Tea Leafs. This tea leaf is known for its unique taste, its ability to fight free radicals that cause ageing and has also been proven to have calming properties. Green Lady is a premium Sparkling Tea beverage that combines the taste, the health benefits and the calming quality of the Green Darjeeling tea Leaf.

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