This green tea comes from one of the most northerly tea growing regions in the world. The subtropical climate of Western Georgia is perfectly suited to growing high quality teas, but the gentle slopes of the tea farm are also distinguished by cold winters and cool nights. While low temperatures might limit the size of harvests, they also help control pests and avoid diseases, meaning that the tea is grown naturally, without the need for harmful pesticides. A marked fluctuation in temperature between day and night also makes for tender, aromatic buds, which grow more slowly than their counterparts in warmer regions, creating a wonderfully distinctive flavour. It is steamed using Japanese methods, fixing the tea with a relatively dark colour that brews to a rich yellow. With a distinctive apricot aroma and fruity flavour it is surprisingly free from the bitterness which characterizes some Japanese steamed teas.
Georgian Prince Miha Eristavi first encountered tea during his travels across China in the 1830s. Impressed with its taste he decided that he would take some seeds back to Georgia. At the time, exporting tea seeds from China was forbidden so the prince hid some seeds in a length of bamboo and smuggled it out of the country. On his return to Georgia he used the seeds to create the first tea plantations. The very first Georgian tea was produced in 1947.
In Georgian mythology Paskunji is a Phoenix-like being who helps heroes and humans. He lives in the underworld, and fights the serpents there. Heroes summoned him by burning one of his feathers, and he could transport them to other places and heal wounds and illnesses.
- loose tea