Georgia, a small country nestled between Russia, Turkey, Armenia, and Azerbaijan, runs along the eastern shore of the Black Sea. It was part of the USSR until its independence in 1991.
Chinese tea shrubs have been cultivated in the region since the mid-1700s, and during the USSR years, tea gardens covered over 150,000 acres of Georgia's land. Georgia supplied the USSR with 95% of its tea—but the tea was produced for volume rather than quality.
When the USSR collapsed, the gardens were abandoned. The plants, however, kept growing, and today Georgia produces tea harvested from these wild plants as well as from newly tended gardens—this time with an eye for quality.
TeaHaus carries two excellent Georgian teas: a black tea, Wild Caucasus Mountain Tea (pictured above right), plucked from wild-growing shrubs, and a green tea, Georgian Black Sea (pictured on left). This second-flush tea is cultivated close to the Black Sea, near Mtirala National Park, and processed by Chinese methods.