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I work directly with tea gardens and a small number of wholesalers to source the best tea for you. Here, you can get to know some of my favourite gardens.

~ Anna

Jun Chiyabari Tea Garden, Nepal

Jun Chiyabari is an organic tea garden in the eastern Himalayan region of Nepal. It was established by brothers Bachan and Lochan Gyawali in 2000. 

It is located in the hills around the small town of Hile in Dhankuta at an altitude of 1700-2250 meters above sea level, approximately 200 km east from Kathmandu; 55 km west of Ilam in Nepal and 65 km west of Darjeeling, India. Jun Chiyabari means 'moon-lit tea garden' in Nepali.

Spread over 6 divisions totaling 96 hectares, Jun Chiyabari Tea Garden was a project that started from scratch with each step and process meticulously planned and executed. From purchase of specific parcels of land to planting of select tea cultivars, Bachan and Lochan designed and constructed the factory and employed the best people from the tea industry.

The underlying philosophy of Jun Chiyabari Tea Garden is respect for produce, people and place. Bachan and Lochan's goal is to produce the best possible teas in keeping with organic practices and ecologically friendly principles. They believe in sustainable farming practices with emphasis on bio-diversity and commitment to organic cultivation. 

The manufacturing season starts in March and continues until December. All of their teas are crafted from high elevation leaves only and processed in methods that are unique and in some cases secret to Jun Chiyabari. As most of their teas are artisanal in nature, each batch differs from one another even within the same type and style and from day to day and season to season.The teas are a true reflection of the terroir and seasonality of Jun Chiyabari's high mountain tea gardens.

One of Jun Chiyabari's  core philosophies is to be an active and integral part of their local community. The garden directly employs over 150 people, mostly women, in a rural hill district of Nepal.


Bachan and Lochan believe that while employment is critical in providing financial independence, particularly for women, it is imperative that they, the fortunate ones, also contribute towards the betterment of the less fortunate members of society in other ways too.

Jun Chiyabari is certified Organic under EU, NOP USDA-ORG and JAS standards. It is also ISO 22000 certified.

Follow Jun Chiyabari here

 

Satemwa Tea Garden, Malawi, Africa

Satemwa is a third-generation family-run tea farm located in the Shire Highlands in Thyolo, Southern Malawi, Africa.

Satemwa landscape


It was founded by Scotsman Maclean Kay in 1923 after he emigrated from Scotland and bought his first piece of land from a tobacco farmer to grow tea. His son Robert, nicknamed Chip, eventually took over the estate. Now, Chip’s eldest son Alexander runs Satemwa.

Satemwa produces small volume, orthodox specialty teas - white, green, oolong, black and dark tea - in addition to high volume, lower quality CTC tea. Sustainable eucalyptus, micro-lots of coffee and bamboo are also grown at Satemwa.

Satemwa’s tea fields sit at an altitude of 950 – 1200m above sea level. Their tea plants are grown and maintained without pesticides. All of their teas are harvested by hand. The team takes an experimental and open-minded approach to tea making which sees them producing exceptional and unique whole leaf teas that reflect the Malawi terroir.

Satemwa also has a strong focus supporting its people, and combating the effects of climate change. They are certified by Fair Trade and Rainforest Alliance and are a signatory of the UN Global Compact, a voluntary initiative based on CEO commitments to implement universal sustainability, human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption principles.

The Satemwa harvesters

View my Satemwa tea collection here.

Follow Satemwa here.
 


Wang Family Tea Garden, Nantou, Taiwan

Siblings Joshua and Ivy Wang run the Wang Family tea company in Nantou, central west Taiwan. The Wang family has been growing and selling high-quality tea for four generations. In addition to managing their own farms, Joshua and Ivy now source and sell their neighbours' and friends' teas. 



Joshua and Ivy focus on natural farming and traditional tea-making methods. They see their role as custodians working alongside nature to bring out the best natural characteristics of each tea and its growing environment. 

Joshua and Ivy say the scenic mountains of Taiwan hold a wealth unlike any other: the simple and unassuming tea tree. This treasure is more valuable to them than any material wealth, it brings comfort and joy to all who partake in even a single cup.

  Ivy and Joshua  Joshua

Follow Wang Family Tea here


Five Trees Estate, Mogok, Myanmar 

Five Trees Estate sits at the edge of Kyayk Saung village in Mogok, an 800-year-old region that lies 200km north of Mandalay, the second-largest city in Myanmar, and 300km south west of China.


Five Teas Estate is the only export-focused specialty tea garden in Myanmar. It is owned by Mogok Tea, which was started as a social enterprise in 2019 by Phye Thwe, a Mogok local who is now based in London. 

Phyu created Mogok Tea with the aim of lifting the standard of Myanmar-grown tea, exporting it to discerning tea drinkers across the world and improving the prosperity of local villagers as a result. 



Read more about Mogok Tea and its incredible founder Phyu in my blog, 'Creating prosperity in Myanmar through tea

Withering  Harvesting in Mogok


Wuyi Origin, Fujian, China 

Wuyi Origin is run by Cindy Chen and her husband, Zhou Shiwu. Cindy and Zhou's garden sits in Wuyishan, Fujian province, China.

Cindy's family has been in tea for generations. Cindy took over the family business in 2008 with her own tea garden and processing factory. After marrying Zhou in 2013, also from a tea background, they created Wuyi Origin tea. Cindy sells tea from her own garden, as well as leaves from her and Zhou's extended family. Cindy and Zhou value quality tea craftsmanship and love sharing the experience of their region’s special teas.

Cindy, her daughter and husband  Cindy, her daughter and husband
Follow Cindy here

  
Araksa Tea Garden, Thailand 

Araksa Tea Garden is a small tea garden based in the foothills of Banchang forest, in the Mae Tang district of Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Araksa tea working harvesting leaves
 
The garden produces high-quality, organic tea and orientates its tea production around high-grade tea manufacture, natural garden management and local employment. It was the first garden in Thailand to be certified both USDA and EU Organic for Farm and Factory.

Araksa’s orthodox teas are carefully harvested by hand and crafted in the factory using both modern and traditional techniques. Araksa’s tea manager Raju Suba considers tea making to be an art and puts carefully considered design into every one of their teas.

To keep the tea garden healthy, the team adheres to specific soil health principles and utilises a buffer zone of plants and trees to keep unwanted animals, people and fertilizers from neighbouring properties away from their precious tea plants. Their natural insect management practice sees them using specific fruits and flowers that encourage bird life which prey on insects as well as the planting of insect-repellent trees and weeds.

Araksa employs locally, with their team comprising people from the nearby Akka Tribe, Hmong Tribe, Lisu Tribe as well as local Thais.
Araksa tea factory Araksa tea factory 
Follow Araksa here
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