The ultimate Cornish cream tea wouldn’t be complete without Tregothnan Tea. Grown in the perfect conditions on the Boscawen family’s ancient Cornish Estate and on Tregothnan land throughout South Cornwall, it is the world’s first true English tea.
What is Tregothnan tea?
The tea – Camellia sinensis – thrives on English soil, giving us the first version of Britain’s favourite drink made on its own land, as opposed to ordinary English breakfast tea, which is just the name of the particular blend.
What is the history behind Tregothnan tea?
Tregothnan was the home to the first outdoor camellias in the nineteenth century, as a result of the Boscawen family’s passion for growing rare plants. Since then a tea plantation was established in 1999, which would go on to provide the first ever tea native to the UK. Developing this special tea has not been easy. A freak storm practically wiped out most of the plants a few years after they were established, but the estate has persevered resulting in a successful range of teas created in Cornwall.
How does Tregothnan tea grow in Britain?
Tregothnan have had to carefully consider how to produce tea in the particular microclimate found at their estate on the banks of the River Fal. The climate is moderated by the Atlantic Ocean. The humid air loses its damaging saltiness and mimics the high foothills of the Himalayas.
Tregothnan have studied tea from around the world, taking in success stories as well as failures, to build the wealth of knowledge needed to establish a successful tea plantation. They have been careful to create small tea gardens to minimise the risk of disease and monitor their plants at all times to create a suitable annual cycle and are still learning what makes a good and what makes a bad tea year. Too much cold weather at the wrong time of year has been found to be unhelpful! They plant around 6,000 new tea bushes every October and then picking begins in the spring.
How does Tregothnan tea taste?
The tea made purely from Camellia sinensis leaves has a light and delicate taste. The refined flavour of Tregothnan’s English breakfast tea doesn’t necessarily pack a punch, but is a quality, natural taste developed using the finest ingredients. The tea is made using only natural oils, which aren’t always as strong in flavour as synthetic equivalents, and no extra tannin is added which artificially deepens the colour and flavour of tea. The leaves grown by Tregothnan are also mixed with other varieties to produce of different tea blends and herbal infusions.
Where can you buy Tregothnan tea?
Tregothnan tea can be found in delicatessens and farm shops across the country as well as Waitrose supermarkets. The tea can also be purchased directly from Tregothnan and features in some of Cornish Hampers’ delicious cream tea hampers!