green tea
Renegade Tea Estate
Outside of the adoption period

The project

Adopt tea bushes from "Renegade Tea Estate" in Kutaisi (Georgia) and receive your harvest in the form of green tea at home. The Farmer Hannes will take care of your adoption and take its picture. Also, you will be able to download the adoption certificate and, if you wish, plan your visit to the farm. You do not enter into any long-term commitment: once you receive your harvest and you enjoyed the experience, you may decide to renew and extend the adoption.

The project

Adopt tea bushes from "Renegade Tea Estate" in Kutaisi (Georgia) and receive your harvest in the form of green tea at home. The Farmer Hannes will take care of your adoption and take its picture. Also, you will be able to download the adoption certificate and, if you wish, plan your visit to the farm. You do not enter into any long-term commitment: once you receive your harvest and you enjoyed the experience, you may decide to renew and extend the adoption.

What do you adopt?
You adopt tea bushes cultivated under the European Union's Organic Farming regulations. We are in the process of converting and hope to get certified in 2023. Become a part of our agri-social regeneration project! Adopt 50m² of our tea plantation in Georgia and give these tea plants a second life. From this area we expect to harvest 2 kg of fresh tea leaves which results in 350g of ready made tea that we send to you. Renegade Estate is growing tea on 3 tea plantations (total ~30 hectares) in Georgia that we recovered recently, after they had been abandoned with the collapse of the Soviet Union. The oldest of them was planted in 1936-1938, the others in 1970-s. Back in the day, they were mostly planted from seeds, meaning that you can find hundreds of different variations of tea bushes on our fields. Tea seeds are like people - they contain the genes of both "mother" and "father", that’s why we have high diversity in our fields. Essentially, almost all our bushes are "unique", mixing the genes of both Camellia sinensis sinensis (traditionally called “chinese version”) and Camellia sinensis assamica. The 50-80 year old seed-grown plants in combination with crispy winters, give our single origin teas a special Georgian flavour profile. We believe that single origin teas are more specific and interesting, which is the result of their unique environment, climate and soil. That’s why we do not want to blend teas of different origins and “dilute” these flavours. As our fields had been free of human intervention for almost 30 years, we saw it as a great asset and made the decision to not use any chemicals or non-organic fertilizers on our soil or plants. We have followed this principle from the first day of our operation. All our teas are harvested from our own plantations and carefully processed in our own artisanal tea factory that we built next to one of our plantations. The processing takes from 5 hours to 2 days and involves a number of different steps, depending on the type of tea we make - roasting, rolling, tossing, oxidation, withering, drying - sometimes some of the steps are repeated several times. You can find the specific steps behind each package. The productive life of tea bushes is around 100 years. For as long as you want to keep it and we can continue taking care of it, you can renew your adoption year after year. If your tea bushes die, we will replace them with no additional cost and assuring the delivery of your harvest from others.
What will you receive?
Each season we will send you a box with: 1 x __“Tulip Garden”__, green tea (50 g, zip bag) 4 x __“Green Velvet”__, green tea (50 g each, zip bag) 1 x __“Winter Remedy”__, roasted oolong tea (50 g, zip bag) 1 x __“Crowdfarmer Special”__, oolong tea (50 g, zip bag) Our spring green tea __“Tulip Garden”__ has the same overall smooth and sweet profile, however the flavors are more intense in spring, with higher content of amino acid and volatile compounds. Also, the spring green tea is roasted at a lower temperature that enhances the flavor and gives tea more layers. Our __“Green Velvet”__ green tea is perfect for all the tea lovers who tend to forget the leaves to steep for too long. The taste is fresh, smooth and vegetal with a sweet aftertaste of mangos. Almost as if someone had secretly added a dash of sugar to your cup. The tea has a fresh yellowish colour and a sweet aroma. __“Winter Remedy”__, that is a lightly roasted oolong which aroma reminds freshly baked pie with the notes of nuts and roasted almonds in the taste, making it a perfect companion for a cool winter evening. The __“Crowdfarmer Special”__ is a tea we make specifically for our CrowdFarmers - aromatic and floral tea with a bit of astringency. This special tea will receive its unique name each year depending on the specific taste and aroma of the tea that we have made just for our CrowdFarmers. All our teas are single-origin, single batch (every harvest is processed and packaged separately, without mixing or blending) and without any flavoring or additives. Each tea bag has our suggestion for brewing the specific tea, but feel free to experiment to find your own perfect cup. We promise that all our teas keep their freshness in the unopened bag for at least 2 years. Once you have opened the bag, it would be best to consume the tea within one month. Black and green, dark and light teas come from the same plant, they are just differently harvested and processed. If you like black tea, have a look at our [other project](https://www.crowdfarming.com/en/farmer/renegade-tea-estate/up/buy-black-tea-renegade-tea-estate).
When will you receive it?
Please, check the deadline for participating in this project (deadline for adoption) below. As of this date the Farmer will start preparing the orders that are to be shipped. You may select the delivery date of your box as suggested by the Farmer at check-out. Among the tea growing regions, Georgia is one of the farthest from the equator, which means that our main harvest period is only 5 short months, from May to September. Once the season is finished, we package all the teas and send them to you. You will receive the box with teas in autumn and can find the dates below.
Why should you adopt?
* Learn who produces your food, how and where. Receive your food in a conscious manner. * Buy directly from the farmer. Help to generate wealth and better jobs in the rural areas. * Plan ahead and enable the Farmer to produce on demand. This way we can avoid overproduction and fight food waste. * Reward Farmers who make an effort to use environmentally-friendly packaging and cultivation techniques.
Pesticide-free
Conversion to organic farming

How does it work?

Meet the Farmers

Meet the Farmers

Adopt and plan your harvest

Adopt and plan your harvest

Let the Farmer and nature work

Let the Farmer and nature work

Receive your harvest at home

Receive your harvest at home

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Conversion to organic farming
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Farmer 360
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Pesticide-free
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Family Farm
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Visitors welcome
Hannes Saarpuu
My name is Hannes and I am 42 years old. I grew up in a small town in the Estonian countryside. My parents had a small farm, where our family was growing everything from potatoes to apples, we had also chicken, pigs and even a couple of cows for some period. So I am not completely new to agriculture. However, when I left to study in the capital, farm life remained just a distant memory. I had a good career in business, working at some point as CEO of Estonian national airline company and before that many years as a CEO of a mid-size bus and coach company with almost 500 workers in 5 countries. But as years passed, I started to think that I would return to the countryside one day. Though, I must admit I would never have imagined that it would be a tea farm in Georgia, 3000 km away from home. But this is not a one-man-project, this is much more: Our Renegade farmers team consists of 7 people from Estonia and Lithuania: Tomas, Mario, Priit, Kristiina, Miina, Hanna and Hannes. We got to know each other as we all worked together in one company some years ago. We have quite a bit of diversity. Some of us are below 30 and some of us above 40. Our education varies from chemical engineering to marketing. We have introverts and extroverts, some of us are slow methodical thinkers and others have a quick fuse. What we share in common is a passion for ethical business, sustainability and good customer experience. And since 2017 - some damn good Georgian tea. While we all contribute to farm works, each of us have a focus area as well - myself and Tomas, we are tea makers, spending our days in the factory. Mario takes care of the packaging and logistics, Priit sends out the tea from Estonia and Kristiina, Miina and Hanna take care of the sales and marketing. And of course we all step in wherever we are needed during the busy harvest season. We decided to join CrowdFarming, because we believe it really clicks well with our own philosophy and the goal we had in mind when we started our journey - people buying their food directly from the “next door farmers” - farmers they know and trust to bring them fresh and healthy food.
Hannes Saarpuu

"We want to be your next-door tea farmers - transparent, honest and in daily communication with our community. We started our journey so we could introduce mild and delicate Georgian teas to the world and at the same time help to rebuild the villages and communities that were left behind when the Georgian tea industry collapsed after the end of Soviet Union. Now that we have given the tea plants room to grow in freedom again, we can see many bees and birds returning, using the bushes as food or shelter. We also see the people going to work on the fields again every morning that gives us a lot of joy. If we can be the link between the people in the villages here in Georgia and tealovers all around the world, our hearts are full."

Renegade Tea Estate
Renegade Tea Estate
Renegade Tea Estate’s story started in early 2017, when Hannes and Kristiina stumbled on the fascinating story of tea growing in Georgia. 40 years ago, all of Western Georgia was covered by thousands of big and small tea plantations, and there were 150’000 people in villages and smaller cities directly employed by the industry. Everything changed with the collapse of Soviet Union in 1990-s. As the whole industry crashed in just 5 short years (1990-1995) with the production volumes dropping by 95%, all those people were suddenly unemployed and the region has never fully recovered from the shock. Decades later, hundreds of tea fields are still there – waiting for someone to give them a second lease of life. This was the moment when our story as Renegade farmers started. Soon Hannes and Kristiina were joined by Priit, Tomas, Hanna, Mario and Miina to form our current team. What we also learned was that Georgia is actually one of the best places to grow high quality organic tea, because the long and cold winters give the tea its specific sweet and mellow flavor and at the same time eliminate all the bugs and illnesses, that are a huge challenge in most tea growing regions. It didn’t take us long to make up our mind, that this is a call we can’t ignore. Soon we had left our careers in our home countries behind and found ourselves in Georgia, looking for a plantation to rehabilitate. It took us months to visit more than 50 abandoned plantations in far corners of Western Georgia, before we settled on the 3 plantations we are operating now. We named our farm Renegade Tea Estate. We felt that this was the right name because we feel ourselves as rebels and renegades in the tea industry. The tea world is heavily dominated by mass market commodity teas, huge corporations exploiting the workers and countless middlemen, each promising to provide you with the most unique and tasty teas. Our idea was different, not centered around tea itself, but around the people - people in the Georgian villages, ourselves and our customers. We wanted to provide work for the people in the villages and offer our customers the opportunity to grow tea together with us, even if in reality they are thousands of kilometers away. We want to be the next-door tea farmers - transparent, honest and in daily communication with our community. All our 3 plantations are located on the mountainous hillsides just 10-20 kilometers north of Kutaisi and they are still very much “work in progress”. After almost 30 years without human interventions, they were heavily overgrown with weeds (mainly fern and blackberries) and partly with trees. In addition to this, you can find on our lands mulberry trees, wild plums and lemons, Bilberry bushes and a lot of rhododendrons and other flowery bushes. Wildlife is represented by numerous lizards and birds, occasional snakes, deers, half-wild horses and of course - the roaming cows from nearby villages that will happily eat our tea, whenever they manage to break into our fields. We see that the ecosystem is changing every year and diversity of different plants on our fields is increasing, as we suppress the dominating fast-growing weed like fern. Still, weed-fighting remains a major challenge even 3 years after the initial clean-up. We use regular mechanical removal with hoes as the main weeding practice in our plantations. On the positive side, the removed fern gives us an abundance of mulch to use as a natural fertilizer. We have kept many trees and planting even more because they provide shade to the tea bushes. Now that we have given the tea plants room to grow in freedom again, we can see many bees and birds returning, using the bushes as food or shelter. During the winter period our plantations are visited by herds of wild horses, who stroll around the quiet plantation and therefore also fertilize it. Another focus area has been the overall infrastructure, everything from access roads to drainage systems and other basic facilities was in ruins when we started. Luckily it rains a lot in Western Georgia, so at least the irrigation is not a priority at this point. But in general, it still takes years to bring our plantations up to the modern standards in every aspect. As we are still building up our operations our local workers team is also under constant change. Already today we employ more than 50 people from nearby villages during the season, but most of them work only part-time. So far the main priority has been weed control, but as the tea bushes grow and mature, the focus will gradually shift towards harvesting, which we do only manually, to ensure the highest quality of the leaf. We expect that once our plantations are fully mature in 4 years, we can provide stable income for at least 50 households. To ensure the quality of our teas, we put a special focus on the harvesting and selecting the best leaves for the processing. As the tea bush is growing, the bud and 1-2 fresh leaves have the highest concentration of amino-acids, essential oils and antioxidants. Amino acids and essential oils give tea its flavor and taste. To make sure that we deliver high quality products, we only use hand-harvesting and only pluck shoots, that include bud and up to 2 fresh leaves.
Technical information
Address
Renegade Tea Estate, Kutaisi, GE
Altitude
400m
Team
3 women and 4 men
Size
30ha
Cultivation technique
Organic Farming
Location