Georgia, as surprising as it might be, is one of the most suitable places on Earth to grow organic high quality tea.
Organic because it is located in a climate zone where illnesses or pests do not threaten tea bushes. One of the biggest headaches in most tea-growing regions, which is also the reason why most of the world's tea is heavily treated with different harmful chemicals.
High quality because Georgian plantations are well-aged (mostly more than 50-years old) and seed-grown which adds complexity to the taste and flavour. In addition, cold winters reduce the tea growing season in Georgia to only seven months, which gives bushes time to rest and gather strength. This again enhances the flavour, especially in spring.
We believe that Georgian tea has a bright future because tea can be grown here in a healthy, Earth-friendly and sustainable way.
But if Georgia is such a perfect place to grow high-quality teas, why you have probably never heard of it before? Most likely the reason is that you have not lived in the Soviet Union.
Actually, Georgian tea has a centuries-long history, and just 30 years ago, it was one of the biggest tea producers in the world. But almost 100% of it was a very low-quality mass production tea for internal consumption within the Soviet Union.
When the Soviet Union collapsed, the Georgian tea industry went down together with it. There was no market for thousands of tons of low-quality product once the borders were opened for cheap teas from other regions. And quality could not be improved overnight to compete on the higher-end segment. In 5 years the production collapsed to less than 10% of the previous volumes. Hundreds of tea plantations were abandoned together with huge factories that were scattered around the whole of western Georgia. This sorry state of affairs has lasted for the past 25 years.
Read more about the collapse of Georgian tea industry from here.