Thursday, February 9, 2012

American Tea Plantation: South Carolina Style

I 've been a tea drinker for decades usually from sources in China and India. So, I was surprised a few years ago to find an American tea plantation in South Carolina called the Charleston Tea Plantation.

Rows of tea bushes at Charleston Tea Plantation, Wadmalaw Island, S.C.

In 2010, I went on a tram-tour through just a fraction of the 127-acre plantation. They were growing over 300 varieties of the Camellia sinensis tea plant. They said they physically removed all insect pests because they could not spray the plants.

I bought several cans of loose tea: First Flush, Breakfast, and Green. I also found out that Firefly Sweet Tea vodka and bourbon was made with Charleston Tea Plantation tea.

Fast forward to 2012, having brunch at Micheal's Genuine Food and Drink, a farm-to-table restaurant in Miami, Florida. The menu lists Charleston, South Carolina, Anson Mills grits as one of the regionally sourced foods. But nowhere on the menu is there a mention of the other Charleston area product---Tea.

I went to the plantation's website to make sure they were still selling to the public and found they were. They were also selling wholesale.

Charleston Tea Plantation gift shop in 2010,
Wadmalaw Island, S.C.
The website did not have any First Flush tea for sale because it is a very seasonal style. It is made from the first clipping of tea leaves at the beginning of the growing season.

They are owned by Bigelow Tea now, but are allowed to sell from the plantation under their own label.
The Charleston Tea Plantation is located 6617 Maybank Hwy, Wadmalaw Island, S.C. 29487
Phone: 843-559-0383


1 comment:

  1. Wow! With this 127-acre plantation of tea, there wouldn't be any shortage of tea within South Carolina. That's pretty good news for tea drinkers, isn't it? I suppose after a couple of years, this tea plantation will become twice as large compared to when it was in 2010.

    Sabrina Garza