Friday, August 12, 2011
Take Me Out To The Tea Farm
Fairhope Tea Plantation got its start when Donnie Barrett rescued three tea plants from a tea research station that was destroyed by Hurricane Frederick in the 1960’s. These stations had been run by Lipton when the loss of China’s tea was threatened at that time. He now has about 20,000 bushes and produces about 50 -100 pounds of tea a year. You can purchase this tea at http://www.churchmouse.com/ , a gift shop in Alabama. If you are in the area of Fairhope, you can visit.
On the other side of the country, the Sakuma Brothers Farm, near Burlington, Washington http://shop.sakumabros.com/ has been growing tea for ten years. They sell white, green and Oolong. Their white tea was reviewed on Teaviews http://www.teaviews.com/ and received a very high rating.
Hopping across the ocean brings us to tea farms in Hawaii, of which there are at least three. One well-known one is Big Island Tea http://www.bigislandtea.com/. They produce organic, artisan teas.
You all have read here about Roy Fong of the Imperial Tea Court starting a tea farm in California and there are people starting one in British Columbia, Canada. It is really exciting to think of all these new ventures in the tea world. We may not rival India and China in metric tons, but it looks like North America is carving out its own little tea niche.
At the World Tea East, Lisa Boalt Richardson is giving an introduction to tea as part of the educational wing of the conference. Beth Johnson, the founder of Teas Etc. will be doing some tastings of black teas. Pearl Dexter from Tea Magazine, will be speaking about the history of tea in America. Jane Pettigrew is leading a tasting of pu’erh teas. In addition, the president of the American Tea Association will also be lecturing. And that is less than half of the speakers. Pretty exciting stuff!