#1 City in the World and I get the pleasure of living in it! Still have to pinch myself sometimes. When I’m driving around town surrounded by sprawling oak trees and spanish moss canopying the roadways, it’s like something straight from the pages of Gone With the Wind. Oh fiddle dee dee…
This city has a charm unlike any other with a history to match. In light of me leaving for PA school next month, I’ve concocted a #CHSbucketlist of places I have to go to before I head to Tennessee. Recently my dad and I decided to go down and visit the Charleston Tea Plantation not 10 miles from my house. Located on Wadmalaw Island neighboring Kiawah, Seabrook, and Johns Island, the plantation consists of 127 acres of farm land featuring green, black, oolong, and white tea plants.
With a history dating back to 1666, this island is rich with narratives including the story of the Charleston Tea Plantation. Most recently, it was bought by the Bigelow Tea Company in 2003. To date, the Charleston Tea Plantation is the only one of its kind in North America. It’s a rich piece of the americana story full of struggle, triumph, growth, and vibrance.
If you are thinking about visiting the plantation, a trolley tour is a must! A guide will take you around the grounds explaining the history of the company and plantation as well as the growing, harvesting, and production process of making tea. TIP: If you are planning on visiting in the summer, get there early to avoid the sweltering afternoon heat (note there is no air conditioning on the trolley ride). With 20 different fields throughout the property, the groundskeepers harvest plant growth one field/day with a rotation that ends up being a 20-day cycle. 3-5 inches of growth can occur on the plants within 20 days. This height allows for optimum taste and flavor.
Some of the different tea blends they produce are Original, Charleston Breakfast, Earl Grey, Plantation Peach, Rockville Raspberry, Carolina Mint, Cinnamon Spice, Green, and Green with Mint.
Photo courtesy of Bigelow Tea Company
The grounds also include a tasting room and gift shop. Be sure to try all the different teas before you leave. They even let you try their First Flush blend, made with the first crop of the growing season beginning in April and May. This first growth has a unique flavor to it that is considered to be the cream of the crop.
Photos courtesy of @charlestonteaplantation Instagram
Before visiting this plantation I knew nothing about tea production. Check out some tea fun facts below…
Whether you are a Charleston native or a seasonal tourist, the Charleston Tea Plantation is a must-see attraction for rich history, stunning views, and a cuppa good fun!