May 27, 2009

elephantjournal.com product reviews: Teatulia: the truly “green” tea.

If you’re eco, if you’re green, if you think caring about our earth isn’t a joking matter—and yet you like to enjoy life, take care of your health and feel good about your buying decisions, then tea is for you. Disclaimer: after two years drinking only green tea, never coffee, I’m back and hooked on the hard caffeine stuff), though I still drink tea at home and very occasionally out on the town.

And if you’re gonna drink tea, loose tea or Teatulia is best. Why? Loose tea, or Teatulia individually bagged tea, leaves behind a minimal “footprint”—normal bagged tea is generally contained in individual, non-compostable tea bags with stapled tags. Teatulia, on the other hand, is in tagless, compostable, bags, in a compostable, unbleached (and attractive) container (that will make your kitchen look cool), and most importantly of course the tea itself is “beyond” organic:

More Organic than Organic

Teatulia’s mission is to sustain the land and the people while producing top-quality organic tea.

Established on virgin soil and grown following Masanobu Fukuoka’s “natural farming” method, Teatulia is the only organic tea garden in Bangladesh to be USDA certified organic and the only garden we know of that has approached tea cultivation this way.

At Teatulia we:

• Do virtually no tilling, weeding, etc.

• Develop the soil with cover crops and mulch

• Utilize water bodies & herbal shade trees to restore the eco-balance to the area

• Use only natural pest & weed controls

• Nourish the land with bio-fertilizers and bio-gas plants

• Protect wildlife


They’re also beyond “fair-trade.”

Fresher than Fresh.  Single-Garden Direct
Teatulia organic tea comes directly to you from our organic tea garden. There is no middle man, no long-term warehouse storage and no waiting around to be put into just the right blend as defined by a third-party blender. What does this mean for you? You get to enjoy some of the freshest certified organic tea in the world, and you know exactly where it came from. 
Social Responsibility

Teatulia is no ordinary tea garden. Started in 2000 to give back to our community, we sought an enterprise that would give the most people a living wage while protecting/strengthening our environment. Not content with the social programs already in place, our Teatulia Cooperative has established revolutionary education, health and cattle-lending programs for the people working in the garden and surrounding areas. All sales of Teatulia Organic Teas contribute to this mission, helping to better the lives of Bangladeshi men, women & children while rebuilding the local ecosystem.

“From its inception, Teatulia has been eager to engage with the community in a mutually beneficial manner. This is why Teatulia started a Cooperative that is open both to its workers, and to neighbors in surrounding villages. Teatulia’s Cooperative began with an innovative method focused on dairy. Co-op members receive a milking cow, for which they pay back not in cash, but with milk and cow dung.  Members pay only one liter of milk per day, keeping the rest for their children and the calves. They pay 10 to 20 kgs of cow dungs per day, keeping a measure for their own use. This easy “barter” form of payback takes off the pressure of cash payments, making the co-op a practical alternative even to the micro-credit operations for which Bangladesh is now famous. Most members manage to pay off their cow within two to three years.  Best of all, they keep any calves that the cow bears, doubling or trebling their cattle wealth!

After a nascent experimental period, Teatulia has stepped up its Co-op efforts in the last two years, and members now exceed one thousand in number. Teatulia expects this number to cross quadruple within the next two to three years, if not sooner.

Teatulia is now also bringing other areas of work, like growing tea, within the ambit of the Co-op. In places like Satmera, Co-op members have come together to start a one-room school built from bamboo donated by the community. When I go the garden, visiting that school and hearing the children sing, or watch them play on the sea-saw or the swing – also made of bamboo – by the little river where they are located is one of the greatest pleasures.” – Dr. Kazi Anis Ahmed, CEO

Love it. Named Best of Denver, from which Teatulia hails, their award-winning black, Neem, Vasaka Laka and Tulsi are probably their strongest suits. Bangladesh, where their tea hails from, isn’t known for the best-ever green and white tea, but I sampled it and can give it a ready two thumbs up. 

Teatulia Tea Garden from Teatulia Tea on Vimeo.

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