Charleston Tea Plantation

Recent Tasting Notes

I am not going to rate this as I didn’t prepare it and it was mostly ice. What I do want to comment on is how nice the mint in this tasted. I am not a big mint fan but this did not overpower the tea. The ice however gave me brain freeze.

SimpliciTEA

oooh, brain freeze! That brings back memories of Slurpees in the summer!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

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.

Bigelow Tea

Thanks for sharing with us, we hope the flavor was just what you were looking for once chilled, enjoy!
Kathy for Bigelow Tea

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

93

Damn good…nuff said.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

88

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 IMPORTANT UPDATE!!! 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.

IMPORTANT UPDATE!!!
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!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

Not so Stoo but I understand you might be the oldest tea growers, not sure. There is a tea farm in the Skagit Valley in Washington State, and the of course you can’t forget Hawaii! But noone does sweet tea and peaches like the South!

Stoo

Thanks for educating me, Bonnie. I was not aware of the tea farm in Washington State. I didn’t know they were growing and processing tea up there. The Charleston Tea Plantation would probably be older. Hawaii I was aware of, but I should have clarified that I was talking about the lower 48 states. :-) I will correct my claim in my tasting note.

Bonnie

Don’t. change anything! I doubt many people know about Washington but I have family that lives in the area. The farm has an online store.

Stoo

No problem, Bonnie. Being a former journalist, it is pounded into me to strive to keep my writing accurate. Feel free to correct me anytime I say something that isn’t factual. I greatly appreciate it! Plus, there is no discord or competition between the two states that I am aware of. The Civil War ended a long time ago. :-) I plan to order some tea from the Skagit Valley. I’d love to try it!

ScottTeaMan

Many years ago I bout their Raspberry Black (loose), and it was quite delicious. I did find that the raspberry was more subtle, much like your description of the peach. I remember liking the more subtle flavoring of the tea.

ashmanra

I know Charleston Tea Plantation touts themselves as America’s only tea garden. Could it be that they once were and they just haven’t changed it on their logo, or is there some part of the definition of tea garden that would still make that statement apply? The fact that it is open to the public for tours? But I think most tea plantations are! So I don’t know!

Stoo: I knew I liked you! You remind me a little of my godfather, and he was a journalist, too! You are younger, though.

Bonnie

Stoo, what’s with the 22 likes in a row? Are we going steady? Your sweetheart better not get wind of this!

Stoo

Hi ScottTeaMan!

Raspberry Black is the only Charleston Tea Plantation tea that I haven’t tried. I hope to cross that one off of my tea bucket list soon! There is nothing wrong with subtle flavor. I’m just a little taste-challenged with my constant sinus allergies. Therefore, flavors have to be sand-blasted into my tastebuds in order for me to fully appreciate them. :-)

Stoo

Hi ashmanra!

From what I’ve been able to learn so far, it does appear that the Charleston Tea Plantation was the only and oldest still working U.S. tea plantation until recently. That’s ok. The more the merrier! :-)

And thanks…I like you too! ;-)

Stoo

Hey Bonnie.

SSSHHH! Our clandestine and steamy (or is it steepy?) tea affair is supposed to be a secret! ;-)
But, besides that, I’ve been feeling guilty about not getting out to Steepster as much as I should to review other people’s tasting notes. I love reading them all and I always learn something about teas in general and new teas for me to try. You just happened to be one of the first Steepster friends that I got to today. :-)

Bonnie

Shhhhh! Ok…won’t tell a soul! ; )

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

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!

ashmanra

Glad you liked it! I thought it was great iced, and was pleased to discover yesterday that Whole Foods carries a number of their loose leaf teas.

Indigobloom

I tried the Tsaa blend iced, I personally prefer it hot!

Indigobloom

hehe peaches make me happy :P

Indigobloom

Bonnie: yes pls do! purty horse…

Indigobloom

ahh I just realized, this was my 600th note! not a big milestone, but its something to smile about :)

Missy

Yay for 600!!!

Bonnie

Wow! Beeeeep beeeeeep! (Blowing of horn!)

Indigobloom

hehe thanks Missy and Bonnie! :)

Bonnie

Fires here again (larimer county, 10,000 acres already the air is like Lapsang Souchong) . Ugh! And high winds!

CHAroma

600th tasting note and not a big milestone?! That’s huge!!! Congrats!!

Indigobloom

Bonnie: hope those fires are doused soon :(
CHAroma: hehe thx :P

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

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.

Bonnie

I’d like to present you with this good spelling award (A) and well done!

gmathis

Winner of the 7th and 8th grade spelling bees, Lamar Junior High, circa … well, never mind.

K S

Those who embrace the bergamot will like this one as well

ashmanra

LOL! I sent it to you and I haven’t even tried it yet! I must remedy that ASAP. I have liked all their tea, though!

gmathis

Haven’t hit a bad one yet with Charleston Tea. I think I still haven’t tried their raspberry one; it’s in the stash of emergency bags I keep in my purse.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

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.

gmathis

You’re a lot more poetic than I was this morning, but it’s definitely a good stand-alone sippin’ tea! Charleston Tea Plantation is on my bucket list, too.

Janefan

It’s definitely worth a visit! It’s the only tea plantation in the continental US, and the drive out onto the island is beautiful thanks to the marshland and hanging moss.

Bonnie

But tea is grown in Washington State too! Who would have thought! (There is Hawaii but not in the continental U.S.)

Janefan

@Bonnie I didn’t know that about Washington – thanks!

Bonnie

I’m not that smart…my Aunt and Uncle live in Skagit Valley where the farm is! Sakuma Bros.Farms has White, Oolong and Green that they grow there. The area grows lots and lots of bulbs (tulips) and ships them to Holland. When in bloom people come from all over to see the flowers (May usually I think). I was going to move there but too much rain!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

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.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

84

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.

Mike

I have just recieved word that the 48tagless is in fact grown in America, I am still slightyl suspicious….but I have to believe it

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

99

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

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 4 min, 0 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

68

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.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 5 min, 45 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

1

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.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Blake

It’s always heartbreaking to see a clear 1+1 scenario and somehow wind up with -12.

Scott B

Indeed it is. Can we give it a -12? I started out in my mind give this about a 25-30, but then I got so worked up writing this review that I downgraded to a 1

Scott B

Seriously, I am the only reviewer and I give this tea a 1 and Steepster says, “Nope, 59”?!

Blake

Hahaha…I’ve been wondering how that averaging system works without multiple entries.

Scott B

There’s probably a thread about it in the discussion board. I think it’s like the SAT’s-they get a 59 for putting their name on the label! My single reviews for Banana Crepe, Greek Mountain, and Golden Needles were not adjusted too much-but all were adjusted upwards. I am thinking that they estimate the average tea to be a 75.

Bigelow Tea

Scott B, so sorry to read how disappointed you were with the Charleston Plantation Peach….we certainly appreciate the honesty of your review. I will certainly share your comments with our Marketing Tea for you
Kathy for Bigelow Tea

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

72

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.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

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.

K S

Its never occurred to me to ice my peach tea. Not the brightest bulb in the room.

Tina S.

I love Plantation Peach! I only have it bagged but it is still worth it. Mmmm.

ashmanra

K S…I have tried this one iced already and it is VOON-DER-BAR! I think you would like it! I was actually a little disappointed in Harney’s sachets of Midsummer Peach when I tried it beside this tea, and not because it is decaf. I just thought the peach flavor tasted artificial next to this one. My guest today said this one tastes just like the fresh South Carolina peaches that are sold beside the road here in early summer. The farmers drive up from SC almost every day to sell their peaches.

ashmanra

Tina…good to know that the bagged version is good! It is probably more readily available. This was a gift from someone who actually went to the plantation.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

80

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).

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec
gmathis

Charleston Tea’s American Classic is another good’un. Basic and unpretentious.

ashmanra

LOL! I just mailed you a bunch of Charleston tea in your box, gmathis! I thought maybe it would be new to you since it is sort of “local”! Heehee! Well, maybe you won’t have had these flavors yet.

gmathis

Cool—actually, the Classic is the only one I’ve tried. (All this talk of SC makes me miss my Tea Shop Mysteries. I think there’s a new one out.)

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

80

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.

Dinosara

I was recently in Charleston and was interested in this tea, but couldn’t bring myself to buy a whole tin of it because I knew it was going to be a CTC and that I probably wouldn’t be that much of a fan. Interested to see how you feel about a first steep of it!

ashmanra

I don’t think I would give a CTC much more than two minutes…

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

44

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.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Bigelow Tea

Meg, one teaspoon is correct….the flavor will weaken over time. Drinking within 1-2 years from when product was purchased, would be our recommendation for the best overall flavor profile for this particular tea….thanks so much for your review….it was a pleasure to read and we really appreciate your comments
Kathy for Bigelow Tea

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

78

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.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

95

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.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Bigelow Tea

Tina, we are very happy to hear how much you enjoy the Peach flavor, in the Charleston Plantation Peach. Although Bigelow, a small family owned company, did obtain this piece of the business, please rest assurred that the Charleston Tea Gardens will continue to offer their teas true to that of an independent company.
Kathy for Bigelow Tea

Stoo

Kathy,

I greatly hope you are correct, and the integrity, high quality, and exceptional formulating of Charleston Plantation teas will not be pillaged, as so often happens when small companies are gobbled up by larger ones. It is ironic that I am reading this note now. I just picked up a tin of Plantation Peach tea an hour ago at one of our local markets in Fort Mill, South Carolina. The Charleston Tea Plantation has been very special to South Carolinians for a long time. It has more recently become special far beyond our beloved state.

As the only working tea plantation that remains in the United States, it is very important that the Charleston Tea Plantation be allowed to continue to flourish using the excellence that can only exist from independent effort.

Sincerely,

Stoo (A concerned Charleston Plantation Tea lover)

Login or sign up to leave a comment.