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Archives for the ‘The Charleston Tea Plantation’ Category

Steep Yourself In History At Bigelow Tea’s Charleston Tea Plantation

bigelow tea charlston tea plantation

Imagine an island oasis filled with tea plants as far as the eye can see, and you’ll get a sense of why Charleston Tea Plantation is such a special part of the Bigelow Tea family. But to truly appreciate this storybook vision brought to life, come visit and steep yourself in tea history!

Tucked away on 127 unspoiled acres on Wadmalaw Island in South Carolina’s Lowcountry, Charleston Tea Plantation is America’s largest working tea garden and home to American Classic Tea. Visitors are invited to tour the tea garden via trolley, learn about tea production, or even to host a magical wedding amid ancient oak trees and the lush camellia sinensis (tea) plants.

Bigelow Tea purchased the tea garden in 2003, partnering with former owner William Barclay Hall, a third-generation tea taster and tea expert who took over the property in 1987. His expertise in tea growing and production, coupled with Bigelow Tea’s 70 years of experience in the tea business, has ensured the preservation of a historical gem for future generations.

The story of tea growing in America dates to the 1700s, when the first attempts were made to propagate the camellia sinensis plant in South Carolina. Not until 1888, when Dr. Charles Shepard founded the Pinehurst Tea Plantation in Summerville, South Carolina, did American-grown tea become a reality. It was Shepard’s plants that were transplanted to a former potato farm on Wadmalaw Island in 1963 and thrive there today in 320 varieties.

Check out the Charleston Tea Garden Pinterest page for more engaging stories and photos, and start planning your step back in tea time with a trip to Charleston!

Bigelow Tea Is Gushing Over Charleston Tea Plantation’s First Flush

bigelow tea charleston tea plantaion

Nothing excites Bigelow Tea more than seeing new growth, especially at the Charleston Tea Plantation! Every spring, their Camellia Sinensis plants reawaken from a winter slumber with a fresh batch of tea leaves known collectively as the First Flush. What makes this First Flush special is that these pristine leaves become the basis for First Flush Tea, a limited edition and unique tea traditionally reserved only for Royalty. And make note, this tea sells out quickly because it’s only around once every season.

bigelow tea charleston tea plantation blends

Of course, there’s always time to visit the Charleston Tea Plantation. Based on Wadmalaw Island, in South Carolina’s Lowcountry, Bigelow Tea fans can learn how various tea blends like American Classic Tea are produced here by going on free daily factory tours where Bigelow’s manufacturing process from crop to cup is explained and you learn about the differences in the production of greenblack and Oolong teas among other tea points of interest. Plus while you’re here, you can explore the grounds of America’s largest tea garden by buying a ticket and hopping on a trolley tour. Keep your phone out to snap some scenic pics like this great shot that Merydie Ross posted on her Instagram. And don’t forget to purchase some tea before heading home so you can have a little bit of Charleston in your cupboard.  Enjoy and happy spring!

Start off Spring Right with Bigelow Tea and a Clean ‘Green’ Sweep

bigelow tea green tea spring

Every spring ushers in a fresh start which inspires us to clean up both inside and out! At Bigelow Tea, it’s also about being ‘green’! As part of the company’s 70+ year legacy, the Bigelow family uses eco-friendly measures to keep the facilities clean — and encourages fellow tea drinkers to do the same at their homes! Here are some tips:

o   Use green cleaning products instead of ones that traditionally include harsh chemicals. Or make your own with ingredients like vinegar, castile soap, and baking soda to tackle just about any surface.

o   Instead of spraying chemical air fresheners or room deodorizers, create your own scent featuring lemon or cinnamon.

o   Use houseplants to help clear the air which also add a little nature indoors.

Speaking of plants, the Bigelow family has also been busy tending to the new Camellia Sinensis plant growth at the Bigelow owned Charleston Tea Plantation. For your garden, consider these suggestions:

o   Clear out drainage areas so that spring showers will have adequate runoff. Additional touch up can involve early weeding, removing dead foliage off of ornamental plants, and raking the lawn. Plus, these removals can become compost (which Bigelow happily promotes doing!).

o   Along with having native plants, consider companion planting where certain plant pairings support each other’s growth and vitality.

o   Avoid using pesticides and fertilizers that can do more harm that good in your garden. Look for organic fertilizers and natural treatments, plus consider methods that attract “good” bugs and pollinators like hummingbirds.bigelow tea earl grey green tea

And finally, why not add more green to your spring cleaning routine with a new or different type of Bigelow Green Tea? Instagrammer @blackbettybgb loves our Jasmine Green Tea, but varieties like Green Tea with Mango and Earl Grey Green are also wonderful!

Let Bigelow know how you’re greening up your spring cleaning and what tea you are sipping along the way.

Top image by Counse Broders via Flickr

Say “I Do” To These Wedding Inspirations From Bigelow Tea

bigelow tea charleston tea plantationIt’s the season of romance and Bigelow Tea is here to offer inspiration for all of you brides- and grooms-to-be! Despite the brisk weather, February sparkles as National Wedding Month. It’s the perfect time to plan a future wedding (even if it’s just pinning pins on Pinterest) and Bigelow Tea has plenty of insight into weddings … especially since its own Charleston Tea Plantation is a gorgeous and popular place to say “I do!” With majestic oaks, an old-fashioned trolley to shuttle guests and historic beauty, the grounds at the South Carolina plantation are full of Southern charm and make the perfect backdrop to a romantic event.

If you can’t get married at a tea garden, here are some other swoon-worthy ideas on how to creatively incorporate tea into your big day.

Decorations

It doesn’t matter if your theme and décor is rustic, ethereal or cozy, tea can certainly play a role. Use vintage teacups as part of your centerpieces, or have your seating cards tied to a pouch of your favorite Bigelow Tea flavor.

Time to (Tea) Party

Everyone loves a tea party! So, why not design a tea party-themed wedding? Whether indoor (formal tea) or outdoor (vintage-inspired garden party), tea time is the perfect way to celebrate a wedding—or even a bridal shower!

Have your dessert table filled with a variety of your favorite Bigelow teas, a selection of finger sandwiches, canapés, light appetizers, fresh fruit, teacakes, tarts, cookies, petit fours, and scones with Devonshire cream and jam.

bigelow tea constant comment photo box

Favors—Love is Brewing

Send your guests home with a Bigelow Tea Personalized Tea Box with a “thank you” message and photograph. Or, place several pouches of Bigelow Tea into a burlap party favor bag.  

Bridal Party Gifts

Give thanks to the members of your bridal party with a lovely personalized wooden tea chest. Both useful and a handy fixture around the kitchen, it’ll be a gift they’ll treasure forever!

If you’re planning a wedding or simply looking to the future, invite Bigelow Tea to the big day. Tea in any form is a simple yet elegant way to add a little flavor to the festivities.

 

Bigelow Tea Applauds Tea Pouring Record Setters

bigelow tea tea pot

Bigelow Tea loves to learn about people who are passionate about tea. And what’s more passionate than setting a world record?! In September, an expert team of 12 tea pourers in Ireland set a new Guinness World Record for pouring the most cups of tea in 60 minutes. In one hour, they filled 1,848 cups of tea, surpassing the previous record by over 200 cuppas. Wow! Now those are pours they can be proud of!

Speaking of setting records, did you know Bigelow Tea’s Charleston Tea Plantation and the Town of Summerville, South Carolina, currently hold the Guinness World Record for the World’s Largest Glass of Iced Tea? The 10-foot tall jar (12-foot with straw, of course!), dubbed “Mason” was constructed of fiberglass and held 1,425 gallons of brew made with 120 pounds of black tea leaves from The Charleston Tea Plantation.

bigelow tea family

It’s a thrill to see that tea can inspire such impressive feats, and that the tradition of tea is still strong in the hearts of many drinker— @DianaTh60981413 remembers her grandmother serving Bigelow Tea to her as a child, and to this day, loves tea time.

For three generations, Bigelow Tea has been a kitchen staple for families, and the Bigelow family loves to hear about special memories made over a cup of tea. Keep those moments in mind the next time you’re pouring tea (hopefully less than 1, 848 cups in an hour)!

Top image by Kai Chan Vong via Flickr

Get Bigelow Tea’s 2015 Limited Edition First Flush Loose Tea!

bigelow tea first flush 2015

The Bigelow Tea team is flush with excitement and ready to share some important news from the Charleston Tea Garden! The very first tea leaves of the season were recently harvested, and that means American Classic First Flush® Loose Tea is now stocked and ready for sale! This unique black tea comes out only once a growing season and is made entirely from tea plants grown at the tea garden on South Carolina’s Wadmalaw Island.

bigelow tea american classic tin

This “First Flush” tea is produced from the leaves of the tea plants’ new growth for the season, which is called their “first flush.” The leaves from this early part of the growing season produce a smooth and mellow flavor for a truly pure and fresh cup of fine tea.

But First Flush® quantities are quite limited, so be sure to get yours soon! It’s easy to purchase First Flush® Loose Tea through the Bigelow Tea website and have it shipped directly to you, or if you happen to be near the tea garden, do stop by the gift shop to buy your tea there. Each 2.3-ounce canister, which is a lovely shade of ivory, costs $15. Try it, and don’t be shy about sharing what you think about this very special tea via FacebookTwitter or Instagram!

 

Bigelow Tea Cheers Sheryl Crow And Her Upcoming Performance  At The First Flush Festival

bigelow tea first flush sheryl crow

Bigelow Tea and music make a great combination … and if you throw Grammy-winner Sheryl Crow into the mix, well that’s definitely something to sing about!

With hits like “If It Makes You Happy” and “Every Day is A Winding Road,” Sheryl Crow is one of America’s best-loved performers. As a proud American company, Bigelow Tea appreciates this home-grown artist and hopes she sips a little American Classic tea (made from our very own Charleston Tea Garden) before she hits the stage!

bigelow tea american classic tea

If you also adore Sheryl Crow, mark your calendar for May 24! That’s the date she will headline the ninth annual First Flush Festeaval at The Charleston Tea Plantation. This family-friendly festival celebrates the first harvest of the season and includes live music, local artisan vendors, kids activities, food trucks and of course, plenty of American Classic Tea! Crow will be joined by bands like Stop Light ObservationsDangermuffin, and other special guests. Facebook fan Rosanna Stefano saw Crow perform in 2007 and said “it was the best concert I’ve ever attended… She is fantastic!”

In addition to being a nine-time Grammy award-winning artist, Crow is also the mother of two young boys. Good Housekeeping caught up with Sheryl last summer and she revealed when she’s on tour the boys travel with her as much as their school schedule allows. Who knows, maybe Wyatt and Levi will be at the First Flush Festival to watch their mom perform and to meet Waddy the Frog!

Either way, Sheryl Crow’s love of music is contagious. What’s your favorite Sheryl Crow song to listen to while you sip Bigelow Tea?

Charleston Tea Plantation First Flush 2015

bgelow tea charleston tea plantation first flush

Spring is here at Bigelow Tea and a new harvest season is about to begin at the Charleston Tea Plantation! The first harvest of the year produces a special tea called the “First Flush.” This tea was traditionally reserved for royalty and usually is picked in late April or early May. It creates a unique tasting tea that is only available once a season! Like all tea, First Flush tea comes from the Camellia Sinensis plant. After being dormant all winter, the Camellia Sinensis plants experience escalated growth of new leaves creating this distinct tea. Devoted tea drinkers describe a cup of First Flush tea as the most delicious, pure, and fresh cup of tea available with a smooth and mellow flavor.

In celebration for the new harvest season, each year the Charleston Tea Plantation hosts the First Flush FesTEAval. This year’s 9th Annual First Flush FesTEAval will include live music from nine-time Grammy winner Sheryl Crow! This family friendly festival also includes local artisan vendors, food trucks, kids activities, and of course, plenty of tea! The First Flush FesTEAval will take place onSunday, May 24, 2015 beginning at noon. Tickets are currently available online through Ticketfly and in person at the plantation. This is an event you won’t want to miss!

The Charleston Tea Plantation is open seven days a week, with the exception for a few holidays and is the perfect spot for a family day trip. To learn more about First Flush tea, and all tea, enjoy a trolley ride through the fields, Factory Tour, and a glass of chilled iced tea in the Plantation Shop. And don’t forget to snap a picture with Waddy the Frog!

 

Bigelow Tea’s Proposal For A Wonderful Wedding

bigelow tea wedding

Bigelow Tea loves a good wedding! Even in 2015, brides and grooms still follow the tradition of “something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue.” Bigelow Tea is excited to share some thoughts as you plan your fairytale wedding.

Something Old

Three generations of the Bigelow family have been creating tea for 70 years, and tea itself has a storied past. Celebrate the bride-to-be with a whimsical afternoon tea for a bridal shower or bachelorette party.

Something New

Deciding on thank-you gifts for your bridesmaids? Or looking for a personalized present for the happy couple? Make their next tea-time special with a new Bigelow Tea engraved tea chest.

Something Borrowed

If you’re searching for a venue, remember that you can always use Bigelow Tea’s Charleston Tea Plantation for the day. The serene and unique setting of the Plantation—found on Wadmalaw Island—provides wedding guests a taste of Southern charm and historic beauty. The grounds of America’s largest working tea garden offer a picturesque pavilion, an old-fashioned trolley to shuttle guests, and gorgeous locations to recite your vows.

Full of majestic oaks and lush fields, it’s the perfect setting for saying, “I do” and April starts the wedding season so do call to book your date!

Something (Red, White and) Blue

After a day of wedding festivities, give guests a wedding favor that’s original. Try a box of American Classic® Tea, tea grown and produced at the Charleston Tea Plantation or personalized boxes of Bigelow tea. @PrettyLaneEtsy suggests hand-stamped gift tags with the phrase, “You, me, and a cup of tea.”

bigelow tea american classic

Congratulations to all those couples celebrating their big day this year. If you need a break from wedding planning, remember, nothing’s more relaxing than a nice cup of tea.

Counting The Days Till Bigelow Tea’s First Flush Festival!

bigelow tea first flush

Bigelow Tea is more than a little excited for the upcoming 8th Annual First Flush FesTEAval on Saturday, May 24, at the historic Charleston Tea Plantation! Consider visiting America’s largest working tea garden and the home of American Classic Tea!  Tickets are available here, and children under 8 enter free.

This celebration of the very first tea harvest of the year draws music-loving tea fans to Wadmalaw Island in South Carolina for a glorious day of musical medley, art, local cuisine and of course—tea galore!

Headlining the festival are the uber-talented musicians, The Avett Brothers! Festival goers can also sample a range of food truck artisanal fare, enjoy kids activities, explore the stunning grounds, and sip iced American Classic tea. An exclusive ROCK STAR VIP package includes car service to and from the grounds, open bar, reserved seating and more.

In addition to the great entertainment, attendees are encouraged to bring five canned goods for donation to the Lowcounty Food Bank in exchange for $5 off ticket prices. Gates open at 12pm.  Show times start at 1pm.

Can’t make the Festival?  The Charleston Tea Plantation is open year-round offering tours of the lush tea fields and working factory where visitors can learn a thing or two about the history and process of tea-making. Come visit soon and, like Facebook Fan @CindyAnneFenton, meet Waddy the frog!