Tregothnan has a history of botanical firsts – camellias from China have been grown there for over two hundred years and magnolias from Darjeeling now grow to sixty feet and are amongst the worlds largest in cultivation.
Some years ago they began to grow tea and have now achieved the fine teas that deserve the accolade ‘English Tea’.
Tea was first mentioned in English literature in the 17th Century. It was the British that took it to Africa and India and to all parts of the British Empire - wherever it could be grown.
The English have long been renowned for their love of “a cup of tea” and this habit has been taken around the world. Tea is said to be the cure of all ills – and when disaster strikes the call to "make a cup of tea” is always heard. Now English soil is being planted with bushes to produce real English Tea.
Tea comes from a special form of camellia – camellia sinensis. All teas as grown from this plant: black tea, green tea, oolong and white tea. It is the method of processing and oxidation that makes the difference. The search for the perfect tea was intensified when it was proven that high quality tea grows well on the estate in Cornwall.
From tea bush to tea cup: the first fresh leaves are plucked at dawn by hand. Tregothnan usually plucks tea from April to October and the top two leaves and bud are harvested every month during the season. These are quickly taken to the withering racks where they are laid on bamboo. This process will allow for softening. Rolling then takes place if black tea is being produced. Oxidation is then encouraged by spreading the tea on a surface in a controlled temperature – this stage is known as fermentation.
As the natural liquid in the cells interacts the colour changes from green to brown. The final stage is to dry the leaves to 2% moisture content. Green tea varies from the above in that oxidation is replaced by steaming and by this process the tea retains its green colour.
Thirty six hours after plucking the fresh leaves the tea is ready for drinking. No matter what age you are, tea is said to deliver a multitude of health benefits that range from being good for your heart to a good source of fluoride to protect your teeth. We all hear about the importance of eating a balanced diet that contains five portions of fruit and vegetables, plenty of complex carbohydrates and restricted amounts of saturated fat. However, a recent survey showed that only 23% of GPs knew that tea could be included in the daily fluid allowance and many of them believed that tea contained the same amount of caffeine as coffee. In fact the average cup of tea contains less than half the level of caffeine than coffee. Tea is also a source of minerals such as manganese and potassium.
So it is now proven that a cup of tea is good for you.
You can visit Tregothnan
Find out more - www.tregothnan.com