For those of you that love tea as much as we do, you will know that tea is a type of Camellia – the Camellia sinensis. In the mid-nineties, the gardeners at Tregothnan suspected that because of the success of ornamental Camellia at Tregothnan, that the tea variety might also grow successfully in Tregothnan’s unique environment. Much research was undertaken including trips to tea regions around the world such as Darjeeling in India and Japan to understand more about the processes and pitfalls of growing and harvesting the precious leaves. Head Gardener, Jonathon Jones, completed a Nuffield Scholarship on the subject and then in 1999 the very first British tea bushes were planted!
Twenty years later and we have learnt a great deal since those early days of tea production. Now up to 20,000 tea bushes are planted every year, in new tea garden areas across the wider estate in Cornwall.
In part we thank the true and unique micro-climate for the success of our tea gardens; the similar climate that makes Cornwall the richest garden county of Europe. The 18-metre-deep sea creek is almost seven miles inland from Falmouth as it bathes the gardens in mist and relative warmth in the winter.
The very first blend we released in 2005 was our best-selling Classic blend. Today, the range extends to many black teas including our exclusive Single Estate, Green Tea and a growing list of home-grown herbal infusions. We are proud to be the only producer actually growing tea in the England, putting the English into English tea.
For any tea enthusiast, we provide exclusive tours of our tea plantations and orchards. Our Kea Plums orchards are made up of just 20 acres, surrounding the Fal estuary at Tregothnan.
Kea Plum Jam is dark, delicious, and deep-flavoured, perfect accompaniment for an afternoon tea.