"C" is for Charleston Tea Plantation
"C" is for Charleston Tea Plantation. The Charleston Tea Plantation produces the only tea grown in the United States on Wadmelaw Island, thirty miles south of Charleston. It is planted with more than 125 acres of tea, Camellia sinensis. Tea and camellias have celebrated histories in South Carolina. Ornamental camellias first arrived in America at Middleton Plantation in 1799 with French botanist Andre Michaux. Their popularity spread throughout the country, but South Carolina is the only state to have produced tea commercially. In the 19th century commercial tea was grown briefly in Greenville and Georgetown. In 1888, The Pinehurst Tea Plantation was renowned for its oolong tea. Thomas J. Lipton, scion of the tea magnate began the present operation in 1963. Bigelow purchased the plantation in 2003. Charleston Tea Plantation produces black tea, which is totally oxidized before being dried.