Thursday, August 22, 2013

I recently had the pleasure of trying some amazing teas from the  Charleston Tea Plantation. Their teas are grown just outside of Charleston SC on Wadmalaw Island. In 1963 tea plants, ( camellia sinensis ) ,  that had been propagated to produce American grown tea in Summerville SC back in 1888 to 1915 were relocated to Wadmalaw Island.  In 1987, 24 years after the tea plants were transplanted to their current home, commercial production of American Classic Tea began under the direction of William Barclay Hall. 

Camellia sinensis plant,  the flower and seeds 

The Charleston Tea Plantation is a green company that helps maintain the beautiful island of Wadmalaw as close to it's natural state as possible. They do not use any pesticides(herbicides, fungicides or insecticides) in their fields. Their irrigation system uses rain water and pond water for their plants. The remains from the tea plants once the tea is produced is used as a natural mulch which supports healthy soil. 

The  plantation is open to the public for tours 7 days a week except on holidays , you can  tour the factory, tea fields and the store. 

Now for the teas.

 The first tea I tried was the Classic Black tea. I followed the directions for cold-brewed tea. I added two tea bags to cold water and let it sit over night. The next day I had some of the best Iced Tea. There was no biter taste that you sometimes find with black teas and no "tea dust" in the container. Charleston teas are really teas leaves not the tea dust that you find in competitors tea bags. The "pyramid" tea bags are high quality not bleached paper.

The Charleston Breakfast Tea was a great addition to our Sunday Brunch. We drank this tea hot with a little sugar and cream. 

The Governor Gray , was great served warm and had a nice lite citrus undertone. 

Now for one of the stars of the show , the Plantation Peach. This tea smells heavenly and has a fresh , sweet peach taste. There is no weird artificial flavor like you find in some fruit flavored teas. It is great served Iced or hot and does not need any add sweetener. This tea is a great addition to dessert as well as summer meals from the grill.

The Raspberry tea is great hot or cold and goes well with dessert or in place of dessert. It has a great raspberry flavor  and is naturally sweet.

I loved this tea served hot with a dash of sugar in the raw. It is great in the morning to wake you up or at the end of the day. Natural mint flavor does not have that strange medicinal flavor that some mint teas have.This tea cane also be served iced and used as a mixer in a mint julep 

Charleston Teas are sold loose in tins or in individually wrapped "pyramid" tea bags. Their teas are amazing and a great go to gift as well as an everyday product.

In addition to teas the plantation store sells body products that are made with tea from the plantation.

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