Featured Image: Charleston Tea Plantation
Charleston is known for both its natural beauty and its rich history. Combining beauty and history on one of Charleston’s most unspoiled islands – the historic Wadmalaw Island – is the Charleston Tea Plantation. Wadmalaw Island provides the perfect environment for propagating tea, allowing the Charleston Tea Plantation to grow and produce nine special flavors of tea, including American Classic Tea – the only brand of tea in the world made exclusively with 100% American-grown tea.
The history of the charming island dates back to the mid-17th-century when a British captain and the crew of Berkeley Bay landed on the shores of what is today known as Rockville, South Carolina. It was not until the late 1800s that tea growers were able to turn American-grown tea into a reality, just up the road in Summerville, SC. In 1963, after the passing of that first South Carolina tea farmer, the tea plants from Pinehurst Tea Plantation in Summerville were transplanted to the farm on Wadmalaw Island.
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William Barclay Hall purchased the land in 1987 and converted the farm into a commercial tea plantation. The Charleston Tea Plantation was founded, leading to the development of Hall’s original “American Classic” tea, which was the first brand of tea to be made with 100% tea grown in America. This America-grown tea has been popular with tea lovers in the Carolinas for almost three decades and was made even more successful when Hall brought in the Bigelow Tea Company for a partnership.
Today, visitors from near and far visit the plantation every day, taking advantage of trolley tours of the 127 acres of tea bushes ($14/person, $6/child) and free factory tours of America’s only tea factory to learn all about how tea is made. For avid tea drinkers, expert tea master William Barclay (“Bill”) Hall offers an exclusive, behind-the-scenes tour into the plantation and production of the famous Charleston Tea Plantation tea.
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Visit the plantation – located along Maybank Highway and open 7 days a week – and be sure to check out the gift shop, where you can take home thousands of tea-related items, including a large selection of specialty teas grown on the property. If you can’t decide which tea to purchase, sample teas at the Tea Bar to find out what best fits your taste.