Imagine a quiet misty morning in a tea garden. The lush green scent, the fog gently rolling through the bushes, coating everything with tiny droplets. Everything is peaceful, even the critters living among the leaves. I’ve always wanted to visit a majestic tea garden, and I know Kat and I will one day be able to do so. Dearies, I know we’ve talked about teas grown all around the world, but what do you know about tea grown here in the United States? Tea is actually grown in many states across the country.
American grown tea actually started in the 19th century. A few unfruitful attempts were made in the South, until in the late 1800s a tea plantation established in South Carolina called Pinehurst Tea Plantation by Dr. Charles Shephard. In order to ensure quality tea was produced, he even started a school to teach individuals how to properly pick tea. The plantation flourished for a few years until Shephard’s death in the early 1900s. Not much happened with the plantation after that. Tea in the US lay quiet until 1987, when Mack Fleming established the Charleston Tea Plantation. The plantation still exists today and is owned by Bigelow.
Hawaii has a number of independent tea producers. The climate in parts of Hawaii are perfect for tea growing, and the volcanic soil gives the tea a distinctive flavor just like teas grown from Darjeeling, or Yunnan have their own specific flavor profiles. The plantations are small and the quality of the tea is high here. So have a look at some of the tea plantations in Hawaii for a distinctive, high quality cup of tea.
There are so many small tea farms popping up all over the US that a United States League of Tea Growers has been established to support and connect the growers. From New York State to Oregon and Washington there are growers in many different states. Some farms are just getting started and haven’t produced plants ready for plucking, and some farms are processing and selling their tea online and at farmers markets.
It’s so exciting to know that tea growing is becoming more popular in the US! There are regions that have just the right soil and climate. So next time you are thinking about what teas to purchase, don’t forget to have a look at some US grown and processed teas!