Charleston Tea Plantation

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Recent Tasting Notes

69

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.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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100

I like light-flavored teas and this is my favorite peach tea of all time. I like the delicacy and subtlety of the peach flavor. The peach doesn’t overwhelm the tea and vice versa. I also love the fact that I am supporting a US product.

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100

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.

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec

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100

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.

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68

I really like this! It’s really refreshing.

Bigelow Tea

Jillian, Great to hear you enjoy!
Kathy for Bigelow Tea

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76

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.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Bigelow Tea

Meg, thanks so much for sharing your comments on the Island Green Tea….sometimes the simple pleasures of a plain green tea can be quite enjoyable…glad you think so too!
Kathy for Bigelow Tea

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62

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.

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec
Bigelow Tea

Meg, appreciate your review of the Rockville Raspberry, we’d agree that the flavor profile could be heightened with the addition of a little sweetener such as honey…if you wish not to try this particular flavor again, please call us to perhaps try an alternate flavor at 1-888-244-3569
Kathy for Bigelow Tea

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83

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.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 15 sec

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74

Fairly standard – yet a flatter tasting – green – in a bag. Not bad yet not overly memorable either.

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84

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! :)

YUM!

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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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