Tea production in the US can trace its history back to the 1700's, however, recently it is under-going a renaissance. Much of this effort is due to a single man, Donnie Barrett. Donnie has been cultivating tea since the 1980's and has given away thousands of tea plants to hobbyists, researchers, and other tea growers (including us!). For most of the Fairhope Tea Plantation's history, Donnie has used the proceeds to fund the local museum and given back to his community. Now in his retirement, he is finally selling his own tea.
We are proud to sell his tea. While we personally prefer to drink tea western style, the complexity of flavors in Donnie's tea are best consumed via gaiwan. Not a requirement, just something we have observed. While I never like to tell someone how to brew or drink their tea, I have included brewing instructions below.
8 grams to 1 litre of water. 1st infusion 2:30 minutes, 2nd infusion 4 minutes, 3rd infusion 6+ minutes (can get quite astringent so I would recommend saving the final infusion as an iced tea!).
3 grams to 60 ml of water. 1st infusion 0:45 minute, 2nd infusion 1:15 minute, subsequent infusions increased by 30 seconds.
The flavor profile on the tea is a complex. Dried hay transforms into a mild tea with jammy undertones, and cacao like finish. The body of the tea is mellow and can be consumed at any time of day. Leaves are a mix of mature and young due to Donnie's unique harvesting method. While this is a fully oxidized black tea, it is mild and reminiscent of some more oxidized/roasted oolongs.
If you are interested in learning more about Donnie and his tea plantation, check out his website at: https://fairhopeteaplantation.com/