The trials and tribulations of a fledgeling U.K Teafarm:
I came across a great little piece by BBC radio four On how a Devon couple stumbled into Tea producing. Link below 👇👇👇
The pioneering pair bought several varietal seeds and tested the Earth of their Dartmoor estate. The initial germination results were pretty dire with only 6% of the seeds making it into saplings. Further issues arose due to the Erratic English climate, The varietals chosen were clearly struggling. They decided to give it a shot with 1000 seeds of a Chinese varietal. To their astonishment they received a 95% germination rate and Dartmoor Tea Estate was born… Kind of by accident! The first part of the radio segment involves a casual chat with these guys while plucking 2 leaf 1 bud ratio. You will hear a very satisfying snap every time they pluck!
So now the plucky pair have a truckload of tea bushes, They needed to nail down they’re processing. To master hundreds of years of tea processing in the space of one season is a mighty task. The radio segment shows the progress the couple have been making over the course of a few years and they are particularly “over the moon” with this years produce! They going so quite intricate detail on the varying processes to make each tea, green tea, white tea and black tea. The black tea apparently has a little with of banana! I need to try this stuff! The tea bushes are only three years old And the British climate does mean that yield is lower and growth is slower than in Asian climbs but as we know, tea can provide extremely good results in stressful conditions, watch this space! It will probably take another 2 to 3 years to grow to a stage where they are crop is commercially viable. But we will be watching and waiting for the day to arrive. Currently they really don’t have much more lying around to sell after they have drunk their share.
It was really interesting to hear the experiences of the wife. She mentioned how growing your tea is a meditative experience, she really feels one with the tea! We can all understand how drinking tea has meditative affects but I find this so interesting that even growing, processing the team can give similar effects too. I also note how much better loose leaf varieties can be compared to traditional teabags, linking tea connoisseurship to wine tasting.
I’m honestly thinking about making a trip down to Devon to see these two. I’m sure make a really fascinating video. Who knows maybe in a couple of years time we will be offering their tea! If you ever wanted a little tea plants of your own they do sell them. Wouldn’t it be cool to have your own little tea plant!? I might get one haha!
You can check out their website: https://www.dartmoorestatetea.com
Thanks a lot for sticking to the end guys much appreciated. Until next time happy cupping!