Herbal Mountain Teas from Mount Olympus, Greece
ANEMOILEKTRIKI'S STORY & THE DREAM
Christos Papachristos had a dream - Create a company that not only incorporated Greek tradition and highlighted its unique and superior quality flora but also contributed to, and supported, the local community in which it would be based. Shortly after retiring from the Greek banking sector he decided to pursue this dream using his company Anemoilektriki SA. The question though, was what to begin with and where?
He decided to discuss the matter with his wife’s cousin, Ilias Kalfas, a professional in the fields of agronomy, production management and quality assurance. It was during this initial discussion the two started to reminisce about their childhood and realized, like so many other Greeks, they both grew up drinking and enjoying “Tsai Tou VouNou” (Tea of the Mountain). This was their epiphany!
WHY OLYMPUS MOUNTAIN TEA?
They would begin with the production of Mountain tea and create modern tisanes using it as their core ingredient. They named their Mountain Tea Olympus after the majestic Mount Olympus. With a peak at 2,917 m it’s Greece’s highest mountain and one they were very familiar with. Knowing that Mountain tea only grows at an elevation above 1,000 metres they decided to base their operation in a small town called Livadi. Located at the foot of Mount Olympus, at an elevation of 1,200 meters, Livadi is also Ilia’s place of birth.
With no propagation material to be found in the marketplace, the seeds to grow their mountain tea plants had to be slowly collected from the surrounding mountain side and carefully sowed on their farm located just 15 minutes away from their drying and packing facility in Livadi. From these initial plantings in June of 2012 the best plants were selected to become the “mother plants” for their farm which is now anticipated to exceed 10 hectares (25 acres) by the summer of 2018.
THE DREAM COMES TRUE
Today Anemoilektriki’s products are Certified Organic by Q-Cert Ltd., it's also accredited by Q-Cert Ltd. in meeting and following the requirements of the ISO 22000:2005 Food Safety Management System and it’s devoted to environmental responsibility and fairness at every level. It accomplishes this by sustainably farming its mountain tea on land that for years was left uncultivated, employing townspeople from Livadi throughout all its cultivation and production processes and, where possible, sourcing materials and products from only local suppliers and farmers. In August of 2017 its efforts were acknowledged at the Guild of Fine Food’s “2017 Great Taste Awards” in the U.K. At this prestigious event 12,366 products were submitted by producers from around the world but only 4,347 or 35% received recognition. With its first submission to this event two of its three products, Purity and Serenity, each received a 1 Star accolade. All three products were once again submitted in 2018 and a "hat trick" was scored with a 1 Star accolade being awarded to all three designating Purity, Serenity and Vitality as “Simply Delicious”.
Anemoilektriki's Mountain tea is the Sideritis scardica variety from Mount Olympus. Organically grown, its hand harvested in June by cutting the stems at the base of the plant. This allows the plants to regrow and flower the following year. The blossoming shoots are then taken to the drying facility. At the facility they’re placed on a mesh shelf out of direct exposure to the sun and allowed to dry using natural ventilation. This traditional method of drying takes two to three weeks but it’s well worth it as it allows the shoots to retain their natural aromas, colours and essential oils.