Not many people know that Abkhazia can boast of wide tea fields located far from the main roads visited by tourists.
The factory building requires repairing but money obtained are not enough to pay for it. The factory is a property of the state according to which growing of tea must not be cultivated as it is not a competitive culture.
In Soviet times tea production in Abkhazia was the trend of priority and returned a profit. Tea-producing factories often exceeded the target and made salaries of all people engaged in the work much higher as compared to other inhabitants of the country.
The best tea consists of leaves collected from the upper branches of bushes. This method however is not longer applied and special machines cut branches with leaves on them. Later the branches are processed and discarded.
Collected tea goes to the first stage of processing through the conveyer band.
Tea is pressed in rotating cans.
Work of a real machine tool is presented here.
This tea is different from the one we usually use.
The equipment is very old and produces much noise.
Following initial processing tea mass goes to the next workshop where it is cut into smaller pieces and roasted.
After the tea was roasted it will be sorted out. Much of it is discarded.
Branches and rough leaves are discarded at the stage of production.
Tea dust is always in the air which is bad for those who suffer from allergy.
Ready-made tea is put into bags and divided into groups considering their sorts. There are three sorts of Abkhazian tea.
Flour bags can also be used for packaging.
This Soviet certificate of honor was given to one of a factory worker 24 years ago.
Freedom To Real Men!
This part of tea was discarded. Its amount exceeds the one that will be sold.
It is used as fuel for tea roasting.
As you can see, the factory is very old. It was built over 60 years ago. The equipment hasn’t seen any modernization for a long time. Now the factory works only in summer. Local authorities refuse to support tea production.
These tea fields are private and belong to inhabitants of the neighboring villages.
Many tea bushes are left abandoned. The fields won’t produce any tea in future.
Many tea bushes are slowly substituted by corns.