It appears a bit difficult to nail down any current cold hard facts about the tea growing situation in Russia, but ...
Yes, I said Russia.
Tea? Grown in Russia?
The 5,000-acre Dagomys chai-plantation (growing tea since 1936) is about 30 miles south of *Sochi - one of Russia’s top vacation destinations (Vladimir Putin has a villa nearby). Sochi is located on the coast of the Black Sea and enjoys a sub-tropical climate. Isn't that amazing? Its Krasnodar tea - which reflected the unique microclimate and soil of the region - became very popular in Russia in the 1980s. However, political change greatly affected the operation of the plantation, as Mikhail Gorbachev’s perestroika led to a long period of neglect. In the last few years, a new management team has taken over the plantation and is aggressively attempting to revive it to its previous state. (Sourced from a May 2007 article in Fresh Cup magazine entitled Russian Tea: a rich brew of culture, flavor and history.)
Mechanical harvesting at Dagomys-chai tea plantation
If anyone knows of a source for this tea, please let me know.
*The mountain range that surrounds and protects the city from the cold northern air is home to world-class skiing. In fact, Sochi has been chosen to host the 2014 Winter Olympics.