Sunday, November 4, 2018
Charleston Tea Plantation, South Carolina
A short hop to South Carolina included a visit to the Charleston Tea Plantation located on Wadmalaw Island, in the heart of South Carolina's lowcountry. Billed as America's Tea Garden, this destination has long been on the bucket list.
The gift shop is nestled among nature's bounty of old oaks, and upon entering, the visitor is offered a selection of self-serve tea, either hot or cold.
Hop aboard the green trolley for a tour of the tea garden where hundreds of thousands of tea plants (Camellia sinensis) stretch as far as the eye can see. Our animated guide shared the history of the plantation, the harvesting, and stories of the animals found in the area.We hopped off the trolley to check out the tea plants up close and personal in the greenhouse. Rows and rows of young plants are tucked in here, being coaxed along and closely monitored until they are large enough to plant in a new field.
This large green machine is their one-of-a-kind tea harvester. Most proud of this monster, it harvests the tea bushes all summer long which are then dried and processed in their factory. A walking tour of the factory offers a glimpse into the actual production of tea. We visited on a weekend in October, both the big green machine and the factory were at rest.
What a fun stop!