American Classic Tea

Here is a little known fact: Charleston is the only place in North America that produces tea.

I have always been a tea drinker, but it was only recently that I started drinking hot tea (except for the occasional Chinese restaurant). That is when I started learning a little about loose leaf tea picked by monkeys, but that is another story.

What I didn’t know, however, was that there was only one place in America that actually produced tea. I did not know it was so difficult to grow into a cash-producing crop. For that matter, I didn’t really know what a tea bush looked like until yesterday! Did you know it takes 5 years for one tea bush to mature enough to harvest the tender leaves (flush) to make tea?

It is a little out of the way, but it is worth the time to visit. The factory is small, but the tour is free. While in the store you can drink all the hot or cold tea you want. And, if you’d like to pay a few dollars, you can take a trolly tour of the plantation (45 minutes). Seriously, how many tea farms have you ever toured?

Well, here is a picture of me standing beside the sign at the entrance to Charleston’s tea garden. We had a great visit and enjoyed some great tea, especially the tea made from the first flush of the year.

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