Charleston Tea PlantationEdit Company
Popular Teas from Charleston Tea PlantationSee All 14 Teas
Recent Tasting Notes
I received my box from Bigelow yesterday! I ordered this tea, the Premium Ceylon and Classic Charleson Breakfast Tea. Firstly, this tea is bagged. There is also a pyramid version as well as loose tea. As with every first-time tea, I varied the steeping time for four bags (one minute intervals on a rising scale). The aroma is pleasant but gets notably deeper and even a little harsh the longer it steeps. Three minutes seems to be the most effective steeping time (for me) as the tannin is more evident and the bitterness tolerable without being overwhelming. A pleasant tea perhaps more suited for Southern-style iced tea. Evidently, American Classic Tea has been the official White House tea since 1987 and is officially designated as the Hospitality Beverage of South Carolina.
I was extremely psyched this weekend when I discovered that the mom and pop peach stand down the road sells Charleston Tea Plantation teas! Now I know how Columbus felt in 1492! I had just learned about these teas during my trip to Charleston last week and I figured I’d have to wait until my next trek to that great city before I could buy more. What made my discovery even sweeter was when I found that I can buy the teas locally for about 25% less than what they cost me in Charleston! So, needless to say, I picked up an additional variety of this wonderful tea.
The Governor Gray tea, like the other selections from this company that I’ve tried so far, has a very smooth and full flavor. The bergamot presence is light, but you know it is there by the citrus undertones that exist in every sip. Perhaps it only seems light to me because I am accustomed to the supercharged double bergamot tea blend produced by Stash. In any case, this is a very nice and tasty tea. I steeped it for four minutes at 212 degrees. This seemed to result in a hint of bitterness, but nothing to detract from my pleasure in drinking this tea. Next time I will lighten up and cut a minute off of the steeping time.
UPDATE: I did diminish the steeping time to three minutes to see if the slight bitterness that I experienced at four minutes would disappear. The results are in. To quote Goldilocks, “This one is just right!”
This is another one of the Charleston Tea Plantation loose leaf teas that I picked up while I was in Charleston, South Carolina, last week. Although I like several strong cups of potent black tea in the morning to get my remaining brain cells chugging, I decided to give this green tea a try today. I am so glad I did! I set the Breville One-Touch Tea Maker for medium-strength green tea, with a brewing time of three minutes at 175 degrees. The flavor of this tea is smooth as silk. The taste of mint is cool and refreshing without overpowering the light but steady essence of the tea. Bitterness is not part of this tea’s vocabulary, even 40 minutes after brewing. I drank three cups this morning and still yearned for more!
I was in Charleston, South Carolina, last week and just couldn’t resist picking up some loose leaf tea grown on the Charleston Tea Plantation, the only tea plantation in the United States. The Charleston Breakfast Tea variety brewed for four minutes, resulting in a vibrant amber color. The flavor is pleasant, although not multi-dimensional or particularly bold. The taste is slightly nutty but lacks sweetness that my worn tastebuds are able to detect. All-in-all, this is a kind and gentle breakfast tea that will softly stir you from your slumber.
Recently, I was given some American Classic Tea. Currently this is the only tea grown in the continental United States. The tea confusingly says Loose Leaf Tea in a Pyramid Bag, which is a direct contradiction. In many ways this is a traditional red tea, dark color, single infusion, and elements of bright citrus, perhaps too bright, as I’m about to explain; with a full mouthfeel. What makes this tea unusual, and I am unsure if this is because of the tea itself or the packaging that it arrives in, is a strange sour/sweet metallic taste in the forefront of the flavor profile. While not immediately bad tasting, it is very strange compared with, well any other tea I’ve tasted, as if the tea were almost completely devoid of tannins.
How I brewed it:
In terms of brewing trials, I brewed the tea two ways, once in a mug, for 3 minutes, and a second time, where I removed the tea from it’s bag, and brewed it in a gaiwan (lidded bowl) for roughly one minute. Because I got the strange metallic flavor in the first trial, I decided to try making in the gaiwan, sans bag, to see if that removed any of the metallic brightness, which it did not.
Overall, due to the almost unpleasant brightness, I’m going to give the tea a fairly low rating, however it did fulfill the other criteria of being a basic red tea, and by no means is it totally undrinkable, however, there are many, many other better bagged teas, with less ostentatious and incorrect marketing, that are far cheaper and less pretentious.
From additional readings, it seems that it really is primarily used to make iced tea, and sweet tea at that, where one really only uses tea as a carrier for syrup, and the ultra-brightness would likely work quite well.
Origin: Con. US
(Indian + Chinese crossbreed?)
Type: Red (Black)
Packaging: Pyramid Bag, Foil Packet
Plantation/Company: Charleston Tea Plantation, owned by Bigelow
Time 2-4 minutes
Temperature: 205-210 F
Having been disappointed with most peach flavored teas, I was pleasantly surprised by this. I picked up one sachet in a gift store in a tourist trap, remembering a friend mentioning liking the Charleston teas. This was a good buy and I’ll definitely be buying more. Very strong peach smell and flavor as well. Nice honest, basic black tea as the base.
This tea is a definite favorite of mine. I like how the raspberry flavor is very much present and distinct without overwhelming the tea itself. I find that this tea requires no sweetening whatsoever. I grew up going to my grandparents’ summer home on an island very near Wadmalaw, so the Charleston Tea Plantation teas are really something special to me. I will definitely be buying more.
This is my absolute favorite Earl Gray. Growing up, I spent my summers on an island very near Wadmalaw, so I jumped at the chance to visit the tea plantation and try their teas. My mother and I left with arm loads of boxes in just about every flavor, but I think this and the Rockville Raspberry are my favorites, followed by the peach. You can really taste the care they put into making these teas.
The last bag from the Charleston Tea Plantation. This is such a nice cup of tea. It tastes clean and fresh. It is a very plain tea, so I bet it would be good in almost any tea preparation. I would totally get some of this tea as a safe tea to carry around in areas where you can’t control the water temperature very well. Like a college where you have to pick between a communal tea kettle or the boiled water that is in the cafeteria.
I found the last two teabags from the Charleston Tea Plantation that my friend gave me about a year ago. I thought I had finished them already, so I was pleasantly surprised to find them.
At first, I didn’t think I would like the raspberry. Sure, I like how they taste and it smelled nice, but I remembered the Peach Tea from the plantation. I made it hot and plain. I was a little underwhelmed at first sip. It was light, but it didn’t taste bad. I could barely taste the fruit. It didn’t have the “wow, this is fruity” punch that I was expecting. By the time I reached the end of the cup, I had decided that this would be a good tea to have for tea parties with people you like. A social tea.
I think that the raspberry would have been brought out more with a little honey. I could see this being an interesting iced tea too. But, I don’t think I would drink it again.
My friend got this for me from Charleston because she is a sweetheart!
It’s a nice, tasty, solid green tea, and I think what I like most about it is how easy it is to make. Most green teas are all finicky and easy to mess up, but I guess American teamakers decided “You know what the world needs? Green tea that you can steep in boiling water for two or three minutes, and it’ll be fine!” And I did, and it’s glorious. It actually kind of tastes a little like Japanese green tea, but with a tiny bit of that floral taste-smell you get from Chinese tea. If I were to point someone in the direction of a good solid green tea, it would probably be this one. It might not be outstandingly memorable, but it’s really tasty and I’d totally buy it again if I find myself in Charleston.
Another gift from a friend of mine…so grateful!
I was thinking this one was a green flavored tea but when I opened up the bag and started steeping it I noticed it was black flavored and highly aromatic! The aroma and taste are both lovely! I like most peach flavored teas but this is really good especially for a bagged tea! You have to REALLY like peach tho…lucky for me…I do! :)
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!
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!)
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.
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!!!!