We are members of a group called Harvest Hosts. This gives us access to stay overnight at farms, breweries, wineries, museums, and even bowling alleys. This was the first time we have stayed at a Tea Farm. I did not even know there were tea farms in the country.
The owner took us on a tour of the farm. We got the most detailed description of how tea is grown, harvested, and processed. There was so much to learn like tea is actually member of the camelia family of plants. If the plants are not trimmed, they will grow into a tree instead of the bush size needed for harvesting the leaves.
I asked if they had any problems with deer eating the plants. He said no that the leaves are very bitter because of the caffeine content. The farm has no pest problems because of the same thing. There are pests in other countries that do damage plants but they do not exist here. Bees do like the flowers and they have hives on site. The honey has a different flavor than regular wildflower honey.
Next, we toured the production building they call the "Tea Shack". They use several methods in the preparation of the different types of tea they produce. Black, Green, White, and Oolong tea are sold by the farm. I had no idea how much time and effort are required to make good tea. He was very descriptive of their process and the way commercial tea leaves are processed. They have some creative names like Mississippi Mud, Black Magnolia, Mississippi Pine Needles, Mississippi Belle Oolong, ...
At the end of our tour, we purchased several bags of tea. The owner told us of a tradition of bringing morning tea to his visitors. As promised, he brought us a tray with tea at 9am the next day.
We enjoyed our stay and the hospitality of the owners.
We are a couple who have started on a new adventure...