Charleston Tea Plantation
Popular Teas from Charleston Tea PlantationSee All 12 Teas
Recent Tasting Notes
I needed a new pitcher of iced tea, and raspberry sounded like a good choice for a nice glass of refreshment. I made this hot, poured a small amount into a cup for me to sample, and poured the rest over 2 TBL sugar in a glass pitcher.
The unsweetened hot tea was fine, but I didn’t taste much raspberry. The base was ice and smooth. The very last bit of tea in the cup had a more fruity taste than the rest, so maybe I just needed to let it cool a bit more. I tasted a little of it sweetened and I think the sugar did bring out a little more of the fruit flavor.
Since my pitcher wasn’t as full as I wanted and I had only had two bags of this, I made another teabag of their American Classic tea, which I know will further dilute the raspberry flavor, but I can already tell it has upped the “oomph” factor of the black tea. We’ll see if this was a big mistake when the tea is fully chilled, but i sampled a bit and so far it is a decent iced tea and should be really good with a meal.
I think it is really cool to be able to drink tea that is commercially grown and produced in my home state. For a long time, we South Carolinians were the only folks in the country who had that priviledge (see the below). What has made the honor even sweeter is that the Charleston Tea Plantation teas are also very good.
Since South Carolina is also the #1 peach mecca in the country, I was looking forward to tasting this blend. When I opened the container, the pre-brewed tea leaves had a very nice fresh peaches aroma. There was no physical evidence of peach chunks among the leaves, however.
I steeped this tea at 212 degrees for five minutes. The result was a reddish gold brew.
With the first one or two sips, my tastebuds could not locate the peaches. After the third and fourth sips, though, a subtle peach taste began to emerge. Sip #5 and on continued the very light and unassuming peach taste with a full Charleston Plantation tea flavor alongside it. There was no bitterness and I have no complaint about the flavor, except that I prefer strong flavors in everything I eat and drink.
If you crave robust fruity taste in your flavored teas, you may be disappointed by this blend. However, if subtlety is your desire, this tea is tasty, even, and pleasant. The discernible peach taste is fresh and natural, just not particularly hearty.
Many thanks to Steepster Bonnie, who just made me aware of another tea producer in the lower 48 states (besides South Carolina)! About five years ago, Sakuma Brothers Farms Market Stand in Burlington, Washington began selling teas grown and produced there. Here is more information about that: http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20070911/BIZ/109110041/-1/headlines
Also, Steepster Bonnie put me on the trail of a collective of small growers in Hawaii who started a pilot project producing and marketing tea several years ago. I will do some research on that too.
I can see that I still have a lot to learn about the world of teas, but it’s a fun adventure!
Peaches! oh yes, peaches in droves. So good! Muchos thanks to Ashmanra for the sample!!
Very similar to the same tea blend from Tsaa. I’m not sure which I prefer. When I first tried it, the peach overwhelmed me. Then in later steeps(I had three), it balanced out with the tea base.
In comparing it to the Tsaa version, I think this version is less “fuzzy” and sweet but I need to try a side by side to be sure.
Sooo… which do I prefer? throws up hands I really don’t know!
Thanks again Ashmanra!
Quoting a tasting note from JacquelineM directly:
“This is another one that I think people with “bergamot problems” would like. :)”
Bingo. I am often bergamot-avoidant (bergamotley challenged?), though I stand by my statement that all good tea drinkers need to have an Earl Grey variety in their repertoire. Had this pyramid sample from ashmanra handy at work, had my little liquid creamer pack at the ready to tone down the flavor, and surprise! I didn’t need it. This is good black tea foremost; bergamot hindmost. I’d drink more, and that’s saying something for an EG.
I have had a bunch of different teas from the Charleston Tea Plantation sitting in a drawer, and with the exception of Plantation Peach – which was YUMMY! especially iced – I have failed to taste them! Gmathis inspired me this morning. When I saw her review of this tea, I thought, “Hey, I have that!”
I used two sachets in an 18 ounce Stump pot and steeped for three minutes. The liquor was orange/ amber. There is a light sweet potato scent that intensifies when your kid adds a bucket of sugar to her cup! As is my habit, I took it plain first because it was my first time drinking it, and it was a smooth enough cup of tea to be taken without milk. There is a slight hint of breakfast tea bite that would probably be stronger if you want it just by adding more tea or increasing your steep time. Not bad, and it comes from an island just a few hours drive from me that I still haven’t managed to visit!
I tried it next with a bit of sugar, and I thought it odd that sugar increased the sense of bite. If you like an Assam to kick your butt into gear, you would like that! Next I added a splash of milk to smooth that bite. It was a decent cup of tea that way as well.
Overall, I think I liked it best absolutely plain. My daughters were not wild about it, but they add LOTS of sugar and milk to most of their teas so they tend to like things with more Assam in them.
Looks like I liked this when I had my first sample about a year ago; I’m liking it even better this morning. It has some dark and just-barely sweet cocoa personality that’s kin to super-fine estate teas from outside the U.S.
All the Charleston Plantation teas I’ve tried have rated a pretty good or better, but at least for this morning, this is nearing superlative.
I have had the 12ct with loose leaf inside the bags, which was VERY good. The 12ct box has a South Carolina Grown Certification seal on it. All of their products, besides the 48tagless have the seal on it, besides this one. I have asked a few times about why this is, but have yet to recieve a straight answer. How come when all other American Classic Tea products have the certification, why does the 48 tagless not? It seems peculiar to me. However, the tea I have tried of the 12ct box was extremely good and well balanced.
American Classic Black Tea from Charleston Tea Plantation is a real (Lipton style) black tea with flavor and body, nice without anything else added. It steeps in 2 – 3 minutes and never fails to please. The plantation is stunning, beautiful but management and financial difficulties prevent its full operation. http://south-carolina-plantations.com/charleston/charleston-tea.html
Island Green tea from Charleston Tea Plantation is an innocent, low-processed green tea. If you like strong, bracing tea, this will taste like grass cuttings. So steep one tea bag per tea cup for at least 5 minutes. It is fresh, clean, light, like a Stephen Foster song about the old South that drifts through the air. It comes in little cloth pouches that resemble ladies’ hosiery. We have things to learn from the Chinese and Indians before the tea will become popular. Apparently the variable climate of South Carolina makes growing the tea a challenge. The plantation is a nice tourist attraction, but I prefer their black tea to this innocent green.
First, let me state that I like peaches. If a peach is just right, I love it.
Ok, I was in South Carolina-home of the only tea garden in the States. South Carolina is also the #1 producer of peaches in the States-sorry, Georgia. So, buying this tea was pretty much a no-brainer.
Loose tea in a car and in hotel rooms was too much a hassle, so I waited until I got home to try it-what a disaster. I opened the tin and was overwhelmed by the most intense, artificial peach aroma I have ever encountered. There was no way anyone was ever drinking this stuff on any plantation. It smelled EXACTLY like a peach soda pop I had had several years ago. They really poured it on. Strong enough to be a car air freshener-and better suited, imho.
The loose leafs? I don’t recall. However, there was not a drop of peach chunks, blossoms-anything-in there. This is a PEACH producing state, please give me some peaches in your peach tea!
The tea? What tea? The liquor was overwhelmed by the peach perfume factory in my cup! The tea had no chance. After several failed attempts to find a brew time and temp that might bring out a little of the tea, I gave up and happily unloaded it on my sister.
I see that the pyramid bag version of this tea has a few decent reviews. Maybe they used some sort of different flavoring at that time. I don’t know, but I have convinced myself to give this a 1.
Bought this while on vacation in South Carolina. It’s a basic, no-frills green tea. Nothing complex, but nothing that your palate needs to adjust to either. Slightly vegetal. Unlikely to offend, but just as unlikely to induce rabid affection. The loose tea was finely chopped? The tin lasted forever. For me, more a reminder of a great vacation than a great tea, but if you want to try a tea grown in the States, it’s not bad.
This is the loose leaf version. I gave instructions to my youngest to only give this about three minutes since the leaf particles are rather small. I must say it came out rather nicely and the peach flavor was quite good. This is definitely going to be my lunchtime iced tea when the horrible heat hits this summer. The tea base is strong enough to stand up to the flavoring, the peach flavor tastes natural, and it is great without additions.
Today I get to control how this is brewed. Go me! I used a healthy spoon and boiling water for 2 ½ minutes. I thought 3, Ashmanra suggested 2, and so I compromised :) The liquor is nice and dark. It smells much lighter than the dry leaf suggests. One comment on the wet leaf – this is CTC and the wet leaf does plump up nicely but not quite as much as say Twinings.
The taste is interesting. The bergamot is a tad lighter than I prefer in an EG, but tasty. It comes in late in the sip. The first taste is a very smooth bit of malt, emphasis on smooth. There is a drying aftertaste yet this doesn’t seem astringent when sipping. As the cup cools the bergamot becomes more pronounced, which appeals to me. I let the last of the cup get cold and I liked it. This would make a good iced tea. Today, the second cup is not as good as the first but still drinkable.
This is a pleasant cup. I can’t think of anything to compare it to. It is as far removed from Twinings as it is Harney & Sons. Obviously, the American aspect of it appeals to me. It breaks the rules of tradition and it still works. I started to give this a 76 as in ‘spirit of’, but in reality it is a little more interesting than that. If I could buy this locally, I would keep a small tin around for the novelty alone. I was told it was $6 for 2.3 oz (50g).
A co-worker (not the cheesecake guy) came back from vacation having taken the South Carolina tea plantation tour. He didn’t want to go – his wife pushed him into it. He said it actually turned out to be the most interesting thing they did on vacation. He wanted to share what he had learned. It was a bit of a refresher course but I pretended it was all new so as not to squash his excitement. He bought a book, and a video, with me in mind, but forgot them this morning :( but did remember a tin of this tea :)
On to the tea. There are no brewing instructions on the tin. Ingredients are tea and oil of bergamot. It smells great in the tin. The leaf is very small pieces of CTC. I am going to reserve rating this until I get control of the steep. Today I was handed a press with the leaf already brewed once. It did not appear there was enough leaf. This may also prove to be a tea that cannot be steeped twice. It has been so long since I have had a black that could only be steeped once that I almost forgot that is normal. The tea is dark enough but the taste isn’t there. The coworker who drank the first steep compared it to bagged Twinnings Earl Grey. I took a scoop of leaf out of the tin and put it in a plastic bag to try later.
I haven’t had this tea since last semester. This time I only used one teaspoon for my cup. I’m not quite sure how much I was supposed to use, so this is a guess.
The liquid is a nice amber. It smells like damp earth. It isn’t unpleasant to drink. It tastes toasty and roasty. It also tastes a little bit like wood and slightly dries out my mouth. It tastes nice, but I’m not sure if I actually care for it or not. Nothing really jumps out at me. Of course, this could be that she has had this tin of tea for a long period of time and it is still mostly full.
So, it is a nice cup of tea, but not something I would drink most of the time. It is kinda “meh”. The more I sip it, the more it doesn’t really taste like much.
Tea bag sipdown day tea number 2! Like most of the other teas I still have in bagged form, this one was also a gift. I suspect after sipping this one, that I have become a true Earl Grey fan. Between this and the ones I’ve tried at David’s Tea, I’ve yet to find one I didn’t like. This one, however, is definitely a favourite. Smooth, light, and a lovely blend of tea and bergamot, I am definitely enjoying this cup. If all bagged teas were like this, I wouldn’t have abandoned them for my looseleaf.
I honestly can’t wrap my mind around the low-ish rating on this one. This is my favourite peach tea I have found in my tea tasting history. And that includes loose leaf! This is a true peach, none of those scents like bath and body works or flavours like peach tang. This, when brewed, tastes like someone has dripped juice directly from a peach into your glass. My only sadness is that this is a small brand that was bought out by Bigelow. Which, yay getting the tea to more people, but still, I wish more independent companies were just that, truly independent.
One of our writers’ group members dropped by with his wife today to get to know our little American Dingo we are fostering as they are thinking about adopting her. The wife had toured the plantation in Charleston about a month ago, and brought this as a gift. What a lovely surprise!
The first thing I noticed was that the aroma was far more natural than Midsummer Peach by H&S. This really smells like a fresh, juicy peach. I think I need to open my bag of Harney Sachets and let them breathe a little! There is a decided artificial aroma to them. Not this one!
Steeped, this is a very good cuppa. As I drank it, I couldn’t help fantasizing about hot summer weather and tall glasses of fruity iced tea. So I iced the rest of the pot! Delicious! I will definitely be making big pitchers of iced tea with this when summer rolls around.
The peach isn’t as subtle as I expected it would be in the iced version. It still comes through very well. The tea itself is a tiny bit astringent, not in a bad way…a lot like the base for Mango Black Iced that 52teas had last year. (That was so excellent by the way that I will personally beg Frank to make it available again next summer.)