We visited the Charleston tea plantation yesterday, I was very keen to see how tea is grown and it's Americas only tea plantation. South Carolina has a good climate warm, humid with rainfall and the plantation has been growing tea for a number of years in fact the owner is a fourth generation tea tester.
It has been hard to make profit though as harvesting and processing is costly and it closed for a number of years it is now in partnership with bigelo tea, who help with processing and saw it as a great tourist attraction and education opportunity.
We were amazed to learn that a tea plant can live and produce tea for over 600 years! It takes 5-7 years from planting till harvesting.
It's well worth the visit if your in the charleston area you can take an enjoyable trolly tour around the plantation, learning the history and sampling tea.
Some of the plants are over a hundred years old and were brought over from China. As a Brit and avid tea drinker I enjoyed the hot blended black tea but the iced are their number one sellers in the south. The plantation is very creative with their tea once making an iced tea vodka, hand creams with tea and soon shampoo.
6617 Maybank Highway
Wadmalaw Island, SC 29487-7006