Nela-Nela: brewing a slow tea brand

Founded in 2021 by three friends, this all-natural tea brand is preserving the traditional method of fermenting leaves gathered in the Caucasus Mountains.
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Nela-Nela was founded by Amy Jones, Tim Merkel and Tom Pinnegar, who bonded over pots of botanical tea while traveling in Georgia. The name translates to ‘slowly slowly’ and all the plants used for the tea grow wild – free from pesticides and industrialization. 

‘Tea is a product that has brought people together for centuries. Coming from the UK, tea is very dear to us – throughout life's ups and downs, the kettle is always on,’ says Amy, who cycled 3,000 miles to Georgia from her home in Herefordshire, England – and stayed for three years.

‘Digging more into Georgian tea culture revealed many unique fermented botanical teas and a community of tea-makers motivated to grow Georgia's tea industry, which was once the fourth-largest in the world,’ says Amy, who wants to teach women in rural areas of the country business skills to further advance their careers.

Committed to remaining plastic-free and natural, Nela-Nela aspires to eventually grow its tea from its own forest garden to encourage biodiverse agroforestry.

This article was first published in 100 Ways to Make a Living 2022. To purchase a copy or become a subscriber, head to our webshop.

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