In Europe are few places where tea is grown outdoors. The article about Monte Verita in Switzerland had already been posted in tee-focus. This article is about tea cultivation in England.
The Tregothnan Tea Estate is located in Cornwall, South England, near Truro:
The climate here is influenced by the North Atlantic current. It ensures that it is warmer than one would expect from the geographical location.
The winters are mild, allowing frost-sensitive plants to grow in protected areas all year round in the open air. It also rains quite often in Cornwall, which makes it even more suitable for tea growing and reminds us of Darjeeling, according to Tregothnan.
Tregothnan describes the climate on his homepage as follows:
“Tregothnan is one of the very best tea regions in the world. Its cool climate and inimitable uniqueness is essential for the best of teas.”
Since 1335 the estate has belonged to the Boscawen family who has been interested in plants for generations. The first tea bushes were already planted about 200 years ago, but they were used in a similar way to camellias, for ornamentation, and were not used for tea production.
In 1996 Jonathan Jones, landscape gardener on Tregothnan, came up with an idea: he saw that the camellias (Camellia japonica), which are very closely related to the tea bush, could grow outdoors without any problems, and so it was only a small step for him to cultivate tea plants (Camellia sinensis). He was able to convince his employer of the unusual idea and then he traveled to countries such as India, Japan, Korea, China and Sri Lanka, to learn about tea and tea cultivation. Back in England, a valley in the estate was planted with tea plants, and according to Tregothnan's homepage, tea has been harvested and processed since 2000. From 50 kg at the beginning, the yield has meanwhile been increased to around one ton per year..
In this case, we can speak of serious commercial tea cultivation.
The Homepage of the Teagarden: Tregothnan