Charleston Tea Plantation

Recent Tasting Notes

82

I want to thank my friend Melissa (who isn’t on Steepster, but still…) for picking up 4 samples of Charleston Tea Plantation Tea while on vacation for me! It’s so sweet she thought of me! :)

This is the first of 4 I will be tasting and reviewing. Prior to this the only CTP Tea I have had was the Rockville one and that is one of the 4 samples she brought me. I remember liking that one so I am so happy I get to try it again!

As for this specific tea…

Dry – it smells like a black and airy tea
post infusion it smells like a black tea with a slight cotton type aroma trying to hide in there somewhere.

The taste is robust yet well rounded and in medium strength for a black. It has a mild yet crisp aftertaste I am really enjoying, too!

ashmanra

I am hoping to visit the plantation when I go to Charleston in June for my niece’s wedding!

TeaEqualsBliss

Awesome! I wish I could go!!!

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91

I really wish this was in loose leaf or at least family sized so I would be able to put, say, 2 or 4 bags instead of 16… but that said, I like my southern sweet tea strong and sweet, so I was pleased to find that this can handle a pretty intense amount of steep time… as in “oh crap I was supposed to take those out….” still not resulting in a bitter tea.

*EDIT!! My previous note said “I’m not sure what % of this tea’s leaves are FROM the SC plantation—it could be 10% USA tea and 90% other (Bigelow/the plantation haven’t answered my 3 email attempts!), but…” See the comment by Kathy, and HOORAY, it IS 100% SC goodness!

And back to the review: …but it is perfect for cold sweet tea and leaves NO bitterness. I’ve found AGE matters—the boxes aren’t really sealed well and the leaves being quite small, there’s a decent amount of powder that ends up spilling out. Older boxes definitely show their age in strength as it takes several more bags (and when I use 16, it’s for a half gallon that I add a very little bit of ice to). When I’ve been able to get it in grocery stores in NC, though, it was much fresher than what Bigelow delivered (my sister’s b-day gift to me)… still, it’s good stuff. Don’t miss out on it; again, with age, it only loses strength; it doesn’t get bitter at all (I also recommend you store it in zip lock bags or snapware etc—something air tight will serve it well!)

Bigelow Tea

@Laura B, we certainly appreciate your comments on the American Classic Tea..this tea is 100% South Carolina grown tea…..we apologize that you had not rec’d a response to date….we do offer this tea loose as well as flavored varieties of this “southern” Amercian Classic; Please check out all we have to offer at:
http://www.bigelowtea.com/Catalog/Category/36/98/American+Classic+Tea.aspx

Kathy for Bigelow Tea

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55

Well, this feels like sacrilege. A tea grown in the U.S. of A.? And from the south? Well I suppose the climate is good enough for rice. Well how does it taste? I would say it’s a bit mild, hints of nuttiness like almond. It doesn’t have much of its own sweetness. It’s okay. Nothing special, but worth giving a few more tries (since it was a gift) I’d be interested in buying whole leaf and trying it loose someday.

It’s certainly better than any number of bagged teas though.

I put milk and sugar in it.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec
gmathis

Their American Classic is a better-than-averaged “stock” bagged tea. I do like the notion of a homegrown American tea.

Bigelow Tea

Be sure to check out all the teas offered from the Charleston Tea Plantation, from the original American Classic to our loose teas.
http://www.bigelowtea.com/Catalog/Category/36/98/American+Classic+Tea.aspx

We’d be happy to send a sample for you to try, just call us at 1-888-244-3569 to request a sample.

Kathy for Bigelow Tea

Heyes

Kathy from Bigelow – Thank you very much for the offer, I don’t know why I didn’t see this earlier. I will definitely take you up on the offer, especially the loose tea.

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88

Special Thanks to TeaEqualsBliss for sending me some of this tea to try. YUM!

This has a delicious raspberry taste. The black tea is smooth with very little astringency. A rich tasting black tea with a sweet yet tart berry flavor… yum! So glad I got to try this!

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92

Today got away from me…updating websites and blogs and such.

Backlogging this one.
See other notes

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92

My sister brought some of this back for me while she was in Charleston! Woot! I have a nice bit of it in my stash now! I had at least 10 cups last week! BACK LOG! Sorry for the dashboard flood! Sorry I was ‘missing’ last week! I should be ‘back’ most days now :) Miss everyone!

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92

SIPDOWN and started my day with this…it will be missed!

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92

I’m so excited my friend Melissa picked up a bag of this for me while she was on vacation! I’m so grateful! I’m starting my morning with this one – check out my previous review…that sums it up nicely, I think :)

QuiltGuppy

I’ve wondered about these teas. I don’t know, but I think it’s the packaging design that is turning me off about them. (I feel so superficial.)

TeaEqualsBliss

I know this one has a loose leaf and a bagged…I prefer the loose but the bagged is good too!

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92

Special thanks to Jaime for this one! OMG! Jaime spoiled me!!! Stay tuned for more reviews!

I can’t stop thinking about a Raspberry -Jelly Lined Chocolate Cake I had for my Dad’s Surprise Party this summer because that is what this tea smells like!!!! Raspberry and cake! YUM! There is a cake-bake-spongy-chocolate type aroma trying to eeeeek out from somewhere but this is a marvvvy aroma! And, yes! That’s MARVY with 3 V’s!!!

The taste is wonderful, too! It’s a true black tea but the raspberry is a creamier raspberry not a tart or bitter raspberry. And I like that very much! This is a nice treat!!!!

Jaime

So glad that you like it! And I love the sound of that cake…any chance I could get the recipe?

TeaEqualsBliss

We actually bought it at Wegman’s! A Grocery Store Chain based out of Rochester, NY, area…not sure if they have Wegman’s by you…but here is the website…http://www.wegmans.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/HomepageView?storeId=10052&catalogId=10002&langId=-1&clear=true
Nope…they are in NY, PA, VA, NJ, MD…sorry!!!!

TeaEqualsBliss

Looks like they are opening some in MA 2011! Maybe they will get down your way soon! LOL – I’ll have to get some of their tea in bulk and send you some at some point!

Jaime

It’d be years before that’d happen! Like Mark Twain said, he wants to be in KY for the end times…since we’re 20 years behind the rest of the world! I’m thinking I’ll need to experiment with a jelly roll and see if I can come up with something like this…it sounds way too good!

TeaEqualsBliss

I bet you could get real darned close! :)

TeaEqualsBliss

if not right-on!!!! :)

silvermage2000

Ooh this sounds really good.

Bigelow Tea

So glad to hear you enjoyed the Bigelow owned Charleston Tea Plantation Rockville Raspberry tea! Thanks for sharing.

Valorie for Bigelow Tea

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91

This is by far one of my favorite teas. I’m not much of a taster, but I love peach tea and this happens to be one of the best that I’ve tried. I bought a loose leaf tin of this while touring the Charleston Plantation this summer. While there, they mentioned that since this is a premium tea, it needs more tea leaves to make it stronger. You can let a small amount steep forever and it won’t get the strength you’re looking for. Personally, I use a spoon and a half and love it.

One of the best perks about it is that you’re supporting American made products. :) If you get the chance, definitely tour the plantation. It’s beautiful and you will learn a lot about tea.

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Bigelow Tea

Jenny,

So glad you are enjoying this tea and that you support the Bigelow Tea owned Charleston Tea Plantation.

Thanks,

Valorie for Bigelow Tea

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86

I tend to like my black teas on the light side; Earl Greys included. This American-spun, bergamot-scented pekoe was not only light but “first flush” light. Makes sense since it is a pekoe after all. Taste-wise, it had more in common with a Ceylon in its floral and clean characteristics. The bergamot provided a slight sour tap but nothing overly discernible. Someone used to stronger Earl variants would have a hard time finding it at all. That said, I liked it. It makes me want to kiss a Governor in gratitude.

Er…after election season, of course.

PS – Thanks to Jaime for the blend.

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

This is one of my favorite Earl blends.

Geoffrey Norman

It’s up there for me too, if only for the subtleties.

Bigelow Tea

Geoffrey,

So glad to hear you enjoyed the Governor Gray from Bigelow Tea owned Charleston Tea Plantation. Happy Tea Drinking!

Valorie for Bigelow Tea

Geoffrey Norman

Enjoyed it immensely. Makes me – now more than ever – want to visit the plantation.

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68

I forgot how much I loved and hated this tea. I love it because it tastes really good. I hate it because the end of the cup tastes really bitter and bad. Bad enough for me to drop the rating by a few points, but not much since it is still really good tea. I just found a smoother cup.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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68

I think I finally found a Grey that is a good day to day Grey. It is nice and smooth. It isn’t rough at all but it isn’t weak either. It is just a nice well-rounded tea. I am sad that I don’t have more of it.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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82

I’d been wanting to try this tea for a couple of years now, ever since I found out about the Charleston Tea Plantation. Why? Because it was “Amurrcan” gash-durrnit! Seriously, it’s from one of only two active tea growers in the country. And it’s a robust, sometimes average, blunt, spry, and crisp orange pekoe. Not unlike a certain upstart country I’m proud to live in.

PS ~ Thank you, Jaime, for sending this one along!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Jaime

It tastes better if you’re actually sitting at the plantation when you’re sipping it. Wish they sold this one in loose leaf.

Geoffrey Norman

Trust me, the actual plantation is on my to-do list. And, yeah, it is a bummer that this one isn’t in loose form, but I guess pyramid’ll do.

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70

My roommate didn’t like this tea too well, so I got to have the last bag for my morning cup. Big tumbler, hot water spicket, brewed strong, with milk. A good way to start the morning.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 45 sec

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70

This was one of the teas that my friend gave me. I actually made it for breakfast this time. I tried a few sips of it plain and it was nice. It was a stronger flavor but the flavor did not punch you in the face. It was more of a “hey, it’s time to wake up now” buzz.

I put a little bit of milk in it, just enough to turn the tea from a nice rich brown to a nice toffee color. The milk let the flavors mix better and made for a smoother cup.

Overall, I really like this tea and I wish I had more of it to drink.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 15 sec

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46

I just steeped this as my cuppa before bed. My friend went to the tea plantation this summer and brought me back some samples.

It smells nice and peachy. This is my first peach tea so I’m not sure if I’ll like it. It is just hot and plain right now. Something tells me that I should have let this steep for much longer than I did. It doesn’t taste like much but I’m not sure if it is just because I have a bigger mug or not.

It isn’t bad but I was expecting a stronger flavor. A few more sips later and I have decided that the tea is very light and almost buttery. It leaves my throat a little try but it isn’t unpleasant. Maybe if I had more fruit teas, I would like this more.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec
Bigelow Tea

Meg,

Thanks for trying the tea…we have many more fruit teas so check out the website when you are ready, www.bigelowtea.com.

Thanks,

Valorie for Bigelow

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98

This Tea was given to me as a gift and started intense love for this tea!
It has a “woody” bouquet, rich amber color. As far as the flavor (this is the first time I’ve ever put into words my opinion) it is silky smooth, with a very delicate ligneous, earthy flavor. It is fabulous!
I have purposely over steeped this tea with no ill effects to my palate or experience. This tea does not know “bitter”! Reminds me of aged Pu ehr.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 6 min, 0 sec
Bigelow Tea

So glad to hear you are enjoying your Bigelow Tea from our Charleston Tea Plantation! Enjoy!!

Valorie for Bigelow Tea

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100

This is probably one of the lightest Earl Grey-type teas that I’ve had. Not a bad thing, since some can be quite overpowering. It’s my favorite, no-frills Earl Grey. This is another purchase from my visit to the Charleston Tea Plantation.

I think I’ve said it before, but there is definitely a distinct taste to these Charleston-grown teas. I can almost taste that it was grown in the South; it’s got some quality that makes it perfect for sipping on the porch and letting the day drift by. I would love to be at the tea plantation today, curled up in one of their rocking chairs on their front porch, simply staring out onto the tea fields.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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85

I won’t pretend that I’m a knowledgeable tea drinker. I couldn’t tell you the differences in the flavor profile of an Assam versus a Ceylon versus a Darjeeling. Someday I hope to be able to tell you that, and also be able to tell you the differences in how different varietals of tea taste. But for now, you’ll just have to deal with my ignorance of such things.

And, in all my ignorance, I think this is perhaps the best, plain, straight-up black tea I’ve had to date. It’s rich, thick, and slightly sweet. It has the perfect astringency.
And, if you like good ol’ Southern-style sweet tea, there’s nothing I’ve found yet that makes a better pitcher.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Bigelow Tea

Jaime,
There is no such thing as tea ignorance, there is only what you personally enjoy! So glad to hear about American Classic Tea.

Valorie for Bigelow Tea

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100

I loaded my One-Touch with this last night. How did I live without this machine before now? After a night spent tossing and turning and trying to sleep, I woke up to a pot of tea. No putting the kettle on. No finding a clean strainer. No spilling of tea due to sleep-induced dexterity. Just pour.

Yes, I do notice a difference in the taste of this tea when made with the Breville (I shall have to name her, she is quite special). The taste of the tea itself is much more developed and prominent, with the peach as a very delicate note. It’s still very much one of my favorite teas.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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