Been trying to find American tea growers.
I’ve been blending different American grown tea for about a year now. About to launch a Kickstarter to get the first batch off the ground (and start selling American tea blends). But, wanted to know where people are finding (if they are) American tea.
Current American tea growers (that I know of):
- Mauna Kea (http://www.maunakeatea.com)
- Tea Hawaii (http://teahawaii.com)
- Onomea (http://www.onotea.com)
- Sakuma Brothers (http://sakumabros.com)
- Moonrise Teas (http://moonrisetea.com/teas/)
There’s also the Bigelow operation in South Carolina, but I’m looking more for loose-leaf stuff. And I’ve heard rumors of growers in Oregon, Alabama, and Michigan, but haven’t found much info.
Sakuma’s stuff is great, but it’s a pretty small operation. The Hawaiian growers seem to be producing more product. I’m sure there are others out there in the continental US. Anyone know of any other US tea producers?
J-Tea is selling a black tea they processed from tea grown in Oregon by the Minto Island Growers. http://jteainternational.com/tea-shop/black-tea . I don’t know if anyone’s tried it they claim it’s similar to a Taiwanese Black.
I’ve heard of one in Florida, and there is suppose to be one starting in Mississippi. There is currently one in Alabama (he doesn’t sell his leaf, gives away to friends), and another starting up in Alabama. I found this while Googling. http://www.slideshare.net/TonyGebely/us-league-of-tea-growers
I’ve also heard talk about one in East Texas, though I think that’s all talk.
What are you planning on blending with the teas? I’m very interested. I haven’t tried any American grown tea yet mostly because they cost so much.
I was just reading on Sakuma Brothers, did you see that apparently there workers are striking? Talk about bad PR. Also why would you advertise that on your main page?
I realize this is 4 months old, but I just saw this thread. Yeah, this is unfortunate. It’s a little bit of a hot topic here locally among certain circles. They’ve been getting a lot of bad press, which is, I’m sure, why they feel the need to talk about it on their main page.
Being so close to home, we’ve looked at the issue fairly closely. There really seem to be two sets of issues. The first is a set of minor grievances such as the way workers were clocked out at the end of the day. Some of these appear valid, or at least founded. The second, and the reason it has blown up so greatly, is the question of whether one supports the H2A guest worker program and/or the rules governing it.
I don’t know, yet, if I support that program, but I don’t fault Sakuma Brothers for using it to fill an otherwise unmet labor need. (And, I’m not even sure this is an issue with their tea crop.)
At the end of the day, they are a local business growing and producing their own tea … in the U.S. … on the Pacific Northwest coast. I want to see them succeed at this.
It still seems like a bad idea to mention it on their homepage. As I don’t live in the area, I had/have no idea of the issue, it still seems like a bad marketing move to broadcast the information on the world wide web.
I haven’t tried their tea, (hope to someday), so I really don’t have an opinion on them. It just struck me as a very odd thing to do.