Bigelow Loose Leaf - American Tea - Thoughts?


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Bigelow Loose Leaf - American Tea - Thoughts?

Postby RichAftTaste » Apr 24th, '13, 16:33

I am interested in Bigelow's Charleston loose tea as a morning tea. The two of interest is the Earl Grey and the Breakfast Tea. Any input on this brand of tea and the two of their products I mentioned?



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Re: Bigelow Loose Leaf - American Tea - Thoughts?

Postby Evan Draper » Apr 24th, '13, 16:37

Pretty pricy even for being machine harvested and processed, but try it, it's interesting.
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Re: Bigelow Loose Leaf - American Tea - Thoughts?

Postby Chip » Apr 24th, '13, 16:53

Oddly they proclaim on the label, "America's Only Tea Plantation." Tea is grown elsewhere in the US.

I have also read that the tea is not 100% homegrown, but blended with international selections. But it has been a few years since I actually read this tidbit.

'nough said.

But I am not going to go so far as to say, do not support the American tea growing (slow) movement. So, give it a try. And post some photos.
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Re: Bigelow Loose Leaf - American Tea - Thoughts?

Postby RichAftTaste » Apr 24th, '13, 21:10

I was on the Charleson Tea Plantation website and read this in the FAQ section. I guess they could mean the mint tea's or other foreign flavors such as that.


Where are your teas flavored?

Our teas are flavored in the Factory at the Charleston Tea Plantation. After the tea is completely finished with production, an all natural essential oil is sprayed on the leaf which is then placed in a large tumbler. The tea is tumbled for several hours to ensure the consistency of the added flavor. It is then stored in an airtight container to maintain its freshness.
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Re: Bigelow Loose Leaf - American Tea - Thoughts?

Postby MEversbergII » Apr 29th, '13, 13:42

Isn't Charleston rather...coastal...to be growing tea at? The Carolina's have some (old) mountains, maybe some higher elevation would be better.

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Re: Bigelow Loose Leaf - American Tea - Thoughts?

Postby BioHorn » Apr 29th, '13, 18:06

Charleston is, or was, the nations only commercial tea plantation. They are not referring to mint, but the actual tea. As to blending, who knows?! :?:
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Re: Bigelow Loose Leaf - American Tea - Thoughts?

Postby McGent » Apr 29th, '13, 19:18

I've tried several of the blends from the Charleston Tea Plantation (I also visited when I was in the area last year). The tea leaves are diced fairly small (for both green and black), but it's a higher quality grade than just dust/fannings. I think the teas taste a bit thin and it's hard to tell whether it's the age of the product (not clear how old the stock is) or just the processing. Having consumed copious amounts of tea, I'd certainly drink it over most bagged tea, but for $10 a tin, I think I'd put my money into something else, unless I wanted to support the enterprise for external reasons. They lean quite heavily on the 'only' plantation in the US, so it might weaken the tourist sales pitch if that claim were untrue (though they could always carefully define 'plantation' to avoid the problem).
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Re: Bigelow Loose Leaf - American Tea - Thoughts?

Postby Poohblah » Apr 29th, '13, 20:04

BioHorn wrote:Charleston is, or was, the nations only commercial tea plantation.
There are definitely some tea plantations in the states of Washington and Hawaii. Members here have posted links to vendors that sell tea from those plantations.
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Re: Bigelow Loose Leaf - American Tea - Thoughts?

Postby MEversbergII » Apr 29th, '13, 21:10

McGent wrote:They lean quite heavily on the 'only' plantation in the US, so it might weaken the tourist sales pitch if that claim were untrue (though they could always carefully define 'plantation' to avoid the problem).


+1 on "careful definitions". Lot of that going on.

That said, I grew up (and still live) close to Sotterly Plantation. As a kid, we toured there often with school. Subsequently, the word "Plantation" brings less than favorable things to mind.

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Re: Bigelow Loose Leaf - American Tea - Thoughts?

Postby Evan Draper » Apr 29th, '13, 22:17

MEversbergII wrote:Isn't Charleston rather...coastal...to be growing tea at? The Carolina's have some (old) mountains, maybe some higher elevation would be better.

Likely not mild enough, or dry. Elevation doesn't make good tea, climate does.
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Re: Bigelow Loose Leaf - American Tea - Thoughts?

Postby BioHorn » Apr 30th, '13, 08:55

Poohblah wrote:
BioHorn wrote:Charleston is, or was, the nations only commercial tea plantation.
There are definitely some tea plantations in the states of Washington and Hawaii. Members here have posted links to vendors that sell tea from those plantations.

Please excuse the Wiki-copy/paste:

Hawaii

Tea was introduced in Hawaii in 1887 and was commercially grown until 1892. While it is not clear why the tea was eventually discontinued, historians believe higher wages compared to other prime tea growing areas in Asia and Africa were among the deciding factors. Lower production costs of tea's main rival, coffee, also helped prevent it from establishing a foothold.
In the 1960s Lipton and A&B formed a joint venture to investigate the possibility of growing tea commercially in Hawaii. Both companies decided not to open gardens on the Island, but rather to open gardens in Latin America.
In 2000 horticulturist Francis Zee found a strain of Camellia sinensis, the tea plant, that can flourish in the tropical climate and volcanic soil of Hawaii. A joint study of commercially growing tea in Hawaii was started by University of Hawaii at Manoa College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources and University of Hawaii at Hilo College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.[11]
With the decline of Hawaii's sugar industry, tea cultivation is seen as a possible replacement crop. In 2003 Hawaii had an estimated 5 acres (20,000 m2) of land producing tea but by 2005 that number jumped to roughly 80 acres (320,000 m2). Tea production in Hawaii is expected to triple by 2008.
In 2004, the Hawaii Tea Society was formed from about 40 members, many of whom had started backyard tea farms to promote tea grown in Hawaii.

Washington

Hand-picked green, oolong, and black teas are also available from Sakuma Market Stand in Burlington. This farm has approximately 5 acres of tea in production as of 2010.
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Re: Bigelow Loose Leaf - American Tea - Thoughts?

Postby mbanu » May 19th, '13, 18:50

Un-blended tea is available from their website. It has a sort of woody/grassy flavor similar to teas from Java.
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Re: Bigelow Loose Leaf - American Tea - Thoughts?

Postby Evan Draper » May 20th, '13, 16:39

mbanu wrote:It has a sort of woody/grassy flavor similar to teas from Java.

Ah, thank you! I had that same impression when I tasted it, but nobody took me up on it. I think I asked the grower about the cultivar, but he was vague, and busy.
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Re: Bigelow Loose Leaf - American Tea - Thoughts?

Postby beforewisdom » May 29th, '13, 15:02

McGent wrote:I've tried several of the blends from the Charleston Tea Plantation (I also visited when I was in the area last year). The tea leaves are diced fairly small (for both green and black), but it's a higher quality grade than just dust/fannings. I think the teas taste a bit thin and it's hard to tell whether it's the age of the product (not clear how old the stock is) or just the processing. Having consumed copious amounts of tea, I'd certainly drink it over most bagged tea, but for $10 a tin, I think I'd put my money into something else, unless I wanted to support the enterprise for external reasons. They lean quite heavily on the 'only' plantation in the US, so it might weaken the tourist sales pitch if that claim were untrue (though they could always carefully define 'plantation' to avoid the problem).


Useful comment. I have been thinking about trying their teas and visiting the plantation for a long time. I was hoping for someone who tried their teas, who knew tea, to post an opinion. Thank you.
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Re: Bigelow Loose Leaf - American Tea - Thoughts?

Postby beforewisdom » May 29th, '13, 15:06

mbanu wrote:Un-blended tea is available from their website. It has a sort of woody/grassy flavor similar to teas from Java.


grassy? was the tea black or green?
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