By Angie Brown
Photo Courtesy of Teatulia
Single-garden and sustainability are two words that have special meaning for Teatulia. With its roots in northern Bangladesh, one of the poorest regions of one of the poorest countries in the world, this socially responsible tea company, based in Denver, Colorado, has set out to be more than ordinary. It wants to improve the lives of the people of Bangladesh while also providing some of the freshest and purest tea to consumers internationally. “There is a better way to bring this amazing drink to life,” explains cofounder and CEO Linda Appel Lipsius, who with Dr. Kazi Anis Ahmed created Teatulia.
A single-garden tea company is one that produces all its tea from one tea estate or garden. There is no blending of origins. “Teatulia is it. It is one garden, no middleman. Our tea is some of the freshest out there,” says Lipsius. It offers a variety of 10 different teas and herbal infusions, ranging from staples like black, green, and white to more adventurous teas like Neem Nectar (derived from the Neem trees shading the tea garden) and Tulsi Infusion (which incorporates organic Tulsi leaves) to herbal infusions of ginger and lemongrass. Everything in these teas comes straight from Teatulia’s garden. The personal favorite of both Lipsius and director of marketing Chris Olsen is the black tea. “Hands down, it is the smoothest black tea I’ve ever had,” says Olsen.
To achieve such fresh tea, Teatulia started from scratch. In 2000, land was chosen for the unique tea garden, and what was once fallow ground is now a thriving ecosystem. The seeds for the Teatulia Cooperative were planted along with the delicate tea plants. Focusing on improving the lives of 1,200 workers, the Teatulia Cooperative has a variety of programs in place: cattle lending (cattle is distributed to the workers and surrounding villages in exchange for milk and manure to fertilize the land), organic farming education, athletic equipment for schools, and adult education in basic reading and writing skills.
Teatulia also strives to take care of the land through natural farming. “We are definitely one of the most sizable organic tea gardens in the world,” says Lipsius. “Tea is so good for you and healthy that it makes sense to carry that to the plant and the people who are bringing it to you.” The only tea garden in Bangladesh to be USDA-certified organic, it uses no pesticides, machinery, or unnatural irrigation in the cultivation of the garden. As a result, when consumers buy Teatulia, they can be assured that the teas are both organic and pure.
Teatulia’s impressive dedication to sustainability also extends to the packaging of teas. Because the company uses compostable canisters, labels made from post-consumer paper, water-based inks and dyes, and corn-based, biodegradable silken pyramids, its teas are good for both the consumer and the earth. Teatulia is truly committed to its motto: To Health. To Life. To Tea.
Find Teatulia teas at Whole Foods nationwide, as well as select grocery stores and fine restaurants and cafés, and taste for yourself. Learn more about this tea company atteatulia.com.