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After water, tea is the most-consumed beverage in the world. The latest trend for this traditional drink? Sustainable tea, produced affordably and without the use of pesticides, in a climate-neutral way, under fair working conditions.
What happened to the tea of our childhood? That’s the question Balts Tomas Kaziliunas and Hannes Saarpuu asked themselves four years ago. Before the fall of the Iron Curtain, Georgia supplied all of Eastern Europe with tea. And no wonder: the climate in that country is ideal for tea cultivation. Tomas and Hannes traveled to Georgia — and stayed. They leased an overgrown tea plantation. It had lain fallow for 30 years, because Georgian tea production collapsed along with the Soviet Union. Now, the two adventurers are building an ecological tea plantation. And anyone can become a "co-farmer" online. Aron Murro, Sven Bock and Leon Franken are also tea lovers. They’ve christened their start-up "KarmaKollektiv." The young founders want to produce tea and tea beverages as sustainably and healthily as possible. "I'm often told it won't work. And that's motivation enough for me to make it work," says Aron. In the Indian state of Assam, plantation owner Ketan Patel is working on making his Jalinga Tea Garden completely CO2-free. He has a good idea of what this will take: After all, he has been growing his tea organically here for the last 17 years. Instead of coal, he now burns pellets made from plants. His next ambitious goal is zero-waste: "Everything that grows on the farm will also be used."