Charleston Tea Plantation

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Recent Tasting Notes

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

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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.

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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!

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Backlogging from yesterday: I made a pitcher of this tea Saturday so it would have time to chill and the flavors meld before the Labor Day cook out. It was lightly sweetened. One young guest, who is accustomed to the syrupy sweet southern iced tea that is predominant here, said she loved the peach but it wasn’t sweet enough for her. I have grown accustomed to tea that is lightly sweetened or u sweetened, so the level of sugar was fine.

Surprisingly, I think I like this better than Midsummer’s Peach, probably because of the additional heft of the base. It is pretty close!

Charleston Tea Plantation has been consistently good. I think I have had about four of their teas now.

Tina S.

I love this one! I have a friend in North Carolina ship it up to me regularly. Hmmm, now I want some . . .

ashmanra

Red Rose: A friend of mine bought this at the actual plantation! I have never been, but hope to go next spring. When I go to Raleigh to see my kids I can buy it loose leaf. They don’t sell it in my town, even though I am closer to SC.

Stoo

Since I live in South Carolina, we can get these teas locally. They are all very good. The company was sold to the Bigelow tea company but Bigelow said that they don’t plan to change how the tea is produced. If you get to South Carolina, make time to tour the tea plantation! http://www.charlestonteaplantation.com/

ashmanra

Stoo: I definitely want to go there! A friend moved to Charleston two years ago and has invited me to come stay with her anytime. We plan to go to the plantation when I make it down there.

Bigelow Tea

Loved reading the additional comments to your review ashmanra….@Stoo, thanks for including the link for Charleston!

Kathy for Bigelow Tea

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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.

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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.)

Bigelow Tea

ashmanra, great to hear how much you enjoyed our Plantation Peach Tea….we couldn’t have done a better job making it sound as delicious, as you’ve described here. Thank you!
Kathy for Bigelow Tea

ScottTeaMan

I see you have ordered from the Charleston Tea Plantation. I ordered their black teabags many years ago by phone. Brewed up to be a nice smooth cup of tea. One day I am going to get some of their loose tea! :)) What did your wife think of the tour when she visited them?

ashmanra

Two friends have gone, and one enjoyed it enough to make a return trip. I hope to go this spring. A friend just moved to Charleston and has given an open invitation to stay at her place, so it would be a great opportunity!

ScottTeaMan

How far are you from Charleston? My sister used to live in Camp Lejeune, while her husband was stationed there. I really liked the area.

ashmanra

We are about a four drive from Charleston. Sandy, a tea friend both in person and here on steepster, was a doctor at Camp Lejeune before moving around the corner from me. She is the one who introduced me to fine loose teas!

ScottTeaMan

That’s a good story.

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MegWesley is my roommate, so we tried this tea together today. I found that it had a very vegetative taste to it, but it was nonetheless a very drinkable and enjoyable tea. It was certainly one of the more interesting teas I’ve tried and I’ll have to try more… when I’m in the right mood for it.

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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.

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Nice, gentle, smooth, a little sweet. Enjoying mine without milk. It’s been a while since I’ve had Charleston Tea Plantation’s American Classic, but I think this is the better of the two—less of a sharp tang on the tongue.

P.S. Ices down nicely, too.

ashmanra

I hope to visit this plantation in June when I go to my niece’s wedding!

gmathis

It’s on my bucket list!

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I’ve managed to pick up a little spring cold, and knew I wouldn’t be tasting right today. I chose this tea for the citrus, and was sad but not surprised it tasted like…berries! It was still enjoyable and soothing, which is all that matters :) It was my last spoonful from Jaime’s generous sample. Thanks again!!!

I put some Rosy Earl Grey in for the next steep and…yep. Berries. I guess having everything taste like berries is a pretty good way to have your tastebuds wackadoo!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Bigelow Tea

Jacqueline…happy to hear you were still able to enjoy the flavor, even though you felt you taste buds were a tad off. Hope you continue to enjoy the Governor Gray, in sickness and in health!
Kathy for Bigelow Tea

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Today is a very, very Earl Grey day for me :) I decided that I simply must have more tea today, and remembered I had the Governor Gray that Jaime sent me here at work!

It’s delightful! Really light and – I don’t know – the word refreshing comes to mind. The tea and the bergamot flavoring combine for a very lemony taste. A perfect afternoon tea. This is another one that I think people with “bergamot problems” would like. :)

I also think it’s REALLY neat to try an American grown tea!! I have to put the Charleston Tea Plantation on the little radar in my head as a place to go for a really cool road trip. Look! http://www.charlestonteaplantation.com/About-Us.aspx

Thank you once again Jaime! Not only a good tea but an interesting tidbit of Americana!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Jaime

It’s a great place to visit! I went there this past March. Brought a lunch, had a cup of Plantation Peach (iced and sweet, but still very good), and sat at the picnic tables just watching the workers get the plants ready for the coming first flush. It’s so peaceful there, I didn’t want to leave! Glad you liked this blend!

gmathis

Their American Classic bagged blend isn’t bad … just a good Ceylon (can you call an American tea that)?

Jaime

Hmm…no clue. I do love American Classic. Wish they had it in loose-leaf.

Bigelow Tea

Jacqueline,
So glad to hear that you enjoyed your tea!

Gmathis, the tea is 100% grown at the Bigelow Tea owned Charleston Tea Plantation… just to clarify.

Thanks,

Valorie for Bigelow Tea

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I didn’t even know America had a tea plantation! While vacationing in South Carolina I happened across this, and, being me, had to buy some. I gave it a try and was pleasantly surprised at the taste of it. Don’t steep it too long, as it’s heavier than most, but it’s a perfectly drinkable standard black. This tea is bland if you’re used to flavored teas or other malty/oaky/bright/coppery blacks, but I do recommend picking up a box if you’re in that neighborhood, if only for the novelty.

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I picked this one up in Chapel Hill, too. The only bottled tea that I’ve ever really had (and that was at least five or so years ago) was peach Snapple tea. I used to really like it. I’ve also been really interested in the Charleston Tea Plantation since I first learned of it. The other day a colleague picked up a DVD from the plantation for me, which was great fun and is keeping this spot in the forefront of my memory.

So, when I saw they had a peach tea, I thought it’d be lovely for iced tea at this time of year. And I really think it was! I carried a bottle of it around with me at Earth Day and it was refreshing and tasty. It was just barely sweetened with sugar in the raw, which I think brought out the peach. Yum!

Cofftea

Awww… this one makes me miss my boyfried! MUST GET! But I’ll wait til I can go to the plantation myself. Glad I saw this one though, I would have logged it under Bigelow when I do try it.

Cofftea

boyfried??? LOL oops. I’m not voilent I swear- I love him very much even though that sentence doesn’t make it seem so:)

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47

I haven’t been writing as many tasting notes lately.. but I’m still drinking the same amount of tea.. they have just been the old favorites!

Thanks so much Erin, for sending some of this one to try. This is definitely a better black tea base than most teabags (not that I’m strictly teabags at this point!) The leaves really fill up the teabag. I’m not in love with the bergamot though. There is an off flavor that tastes like something I can’t quite place. Maybe a tangy asparagus or brussel sprout? I have no idea why. I think it reminds me of the earl gray that almost scared me away for good.. but now I know there are plenty of better ones out there. Luckily I only have the one bag! I appreciate being able to try it anyway.

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec

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85

Cuppa the afternoon…..

I received this tea as a gift for being a good dog sitter last week. I have to say, I was pretty excited, even though this is bagged tea. I am thinking some loose leaf from Charleston is on my wish list. I do find it very good and satisfying. I would not call it a tea for my tea snob days, but it is a very basic black. I am thinking it would also make a stellar iced tea. It is so cool to have tea grown within driving distance of my house, even if it is a 10 hour drive!

Mug method using only 8 oz of water and one tea bag.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Indigobloom

that’s an awesome gift!

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58

thanks so much Erin, for sending a couple of these Bigelow Charleston Tea Plantation teabags to try a while back. Bigelow is one of the teabag brands I like, so I expected to like these! This pyramid bag seems to have more leaves than their other teabags. Sadly, I think I overbrewed it by a couple minutes. The taste was still fine, but I think it might have been better and with more raspberry flavor if I didn’t have it brewing for so long. There is a nice sweet raspberry scent and slight flavor, but not much. The black tea is definitely a step up from Bigelow’s usual bags, but I don’t think they are usually anything to complain about. I’ve been trying to write tasting notes for teas people have been kind enough to send me… I’m slowly making my way! I really just have a list of teas I haven’t written tasting notes for though.

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90

I’m having a cup of this with my breakfast this morning, since I’ve had such good experiences with my other Charleston Tea Plantation teas the past two days. This one is probably my least favorite out of all of them. That’s not because this isn’t a great tea, but I just prefer raspberry and mint flavors more than peach. The peach flavor in this tea is similar to the Rockville Raspberry flavor in that it reminds me almost of a jelly or jam like peach taste. And you can taste the black tea too, which always makes me happy. This really is a good cup of tea!

-Dry blend has small pieces of black tea leaves and twigs.
-Dry leaves smell lightly of black tea and peaches. Tea liquor aroma is of sweet peaches.
-Tea liquor is a clear medium golden brown color.
-Malty flavor with a juicy peach finish.
-Best with milk and sweetener.
-Very good tea. Nice black tea base with a ripe peach flavor.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
GiggleGoddess

sounds yummy!

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100

A refreshing minty aroma wafts out of this tea tin as you open it. It reminds me of the way that a fresh mint plant smells. The flavor is perfect – simple, fresh, sweet mint. I had a cup of this iced at the Charleston Tea Plantation and it was heavenly on a hot and humid day. There is nothing artificial in the mint flavor of this tea. Although I like strong black teas best, this is my favorite green tea by far!

-Dry blend has small pieces of greenish brown tea leaves.
-Dry leaves smell strongly of spearmint. Tea liquor aroma is of green tea and sweet mint.
-Tea liquor aroma is a clear dark yellow color.
-Fresh mint flavor with a sweet and cooling finish.
-Best with sweetener.
-Excellent tea. A refreshing cup of natural sweet mint.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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90

Yesterday I started my spring break off right. . . by having allergy testing done. It was not much fun and I took Benadryl and slept pretty much the rest of the day. So this morning I needed an extra special tea to get me back into my routine.

We visited the Charleston Tea Plantation last April and it was wonderful! Everything is so beautiful there, and we loved seeing all of the tea plants and then watching how they are made into tea. Of course we picked up a few tins of tea while we were there, and this was one of the flavors. The smell of it isn’t overwhelmingly of raspberry, just a nice light black tea with a little berry aroma. The black tea is definitely still noticeable in the flavor as well, with a deep, sweet raspberry finish. It’s not the truest of raspberry flavors, but it doesn’t have any artificial fake notes to it. It’s more like a raspberry jelly or candy taste, I think. Kind of like the raspberry filling in a piece of chocolate. Overall a wonderful cup of tea and just what I needed to start the day.

-Dry blend has small pieces of black tea leaves and twigs.
-Dry leaves smell lightly of black tea and raspberry. Tea liquor aroma is of sweet raspberries.
-Tea liquor is a clear medium golden brown color.
-Malty flavor with a deep raspberry finish.
-Best with sweetener. Milk optional.
-Very good tea. Nice black tea base with a raspberry candy flavor.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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67

I was a bit worried at first as this tea smelled STRONGLY of seaweed while in the bag, but it is quite nice brewed! Nothing too special, but I am enjoying my cup. Vegetal, smooth- maybe just a hint of the seaweed in the background… maybe that’s why they call it island green ;)

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86

I’m not a big fan for Charleston Plantations tea when it’s hot,but this raspberry tea… When you ice it,my god is it good! For a specific workout tonic; I brewed this hot,then added it to a gallon of cold water along with 2 scoops of iced tea mix and a scoop of sugar. If the initial taste of iced tea isn’t enough,take a moment to ponder a raspberry aftertaste that lingers to the last sip (in a good way)!

Bigelow Tea

Really enjoyed reading your review of our Rockville Raspberry, your recipe sounds amazing…..thanks for sharing
Kathy for Bigelow Tea

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