Tregothnan, Earl Grey (Hot) & More

The United States has never been known as a nation of tea consumers or tea producers, although for a long time now we’ve had our own homegrown tea estate – South Carolina’s Charleston Tea Plantation. Over in the United Kingdom they are known for their immense consumption of tea, but they have never done much in the way of growing or producing the stuff. The notable exception in recent years has been Tregothnan Estate, which is located in Cornwall in the western region of England.

An interesting twist that I wasn’t aware of but one that’s been much in the news lately is that the owners of Tregothnan Estate are descendants of the former British Prime Minister, Charles Grey. Which may not mean much to most people but when you consider Grey’s title – Earl Grey – it’s a name that takes on a whole new dimension for tea lovers.

To make the story even more enticing to the news media, Tregothnan is actually planning to export some of their tea to the greatest tea-producing nation of them all. If you guessed China, give yourself a gold star or two. Which is especially worthy of note, given that the estate turns out a relatively small amount of tea, compared to the Chinese, whose output is measured in millions of tons. Read one of the recent articles about Tregothnan here. For an impressive pictorial take on tea production at the estate, be sure not to miss this pictorial from Boston.com.

In other matters Earl Grey related, if you’re a fan of the stuff (not guilty) you might want to take a look at this recent article from the Financial Times. Which chronicles the efforts of a panel of esteemed judges to pick the best in show of a bunch of 14 varieties – ten of them in bagged form and four loose-leaf varieties. Click here to see who walked away with the gold medal.

Last up on the Earl Grey front, I may have already mentioned this brand that pays tribute to a famous fictional fan – Star Trek captain Picard – but it’s worth mentioning again. It borrows the name of Picard’s famous catchphrase – Tea, Earl Grey, Hot – for its name.

See more of William I. Lengeman’s articles here.

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