As much tea as we southerners consume, you’d think there would be tea plantations spread throughout the South. But tea growers are a rare breed in the United States, and local growers are found just here and there. Tea plants require a lot of rain, and in general, the climate across the country is not wet enough for tea cultivation. But in South Carolina, there is one large tea operation near Charleston owned by the Bigelow Tea Company (which is an interesting place to visit). It produces tea on a large scale. But there is another tea farm, a more intimate, family-farm operation located in the Upstate. Table Rock Tea Company, Ltd. is U.S. Grown, Real American Tea ™️ and is raised along the Cherokee Foothills at the base of Table Rock Mountain. Gaining a reputation for growing premium, small-batch tea that is crafted with the best of both traditional and modern methods, Table Rock produces fresh, exquisitely complex teas. They grow and package green, black, and oolong teas.
You are invited to tour the tea operation. They’ll take you through the greenhouse, the grounds, and the processing areas so you can experience the tea from seedling to packaging. Tours are given at 10:00 am (Thursday-Saturday) and 2:00 pm (Thursday -Sunday). The tour lasts from 45-60 minutes and they can accommodate individual visitors, families, and groups up to 30. Limited golf cart transportation is available for folks with mobility issues.
Table Rock Teas are specially blended to maximize the flavor in each tea. Currently, they offer WinterLeaf Cold Harvest Green Tea (this tea was just harvested last week!), Bear Claw Dark Oolong Tea, Hillbilly Tea (from native yaupon), Marathon Kenyan Black Tea, and Walhalla Masala Chai. These are available at Table Rock or you can purchase online at their shop here.
Table Rock Tea Company is expanding! Steve and Jennifer Lorch, owners, are not resting on their laurels, or tea leaves! They are working to give visitors an even better experience with a new tea museum and visitors center. Here’s a link to a video on Facebook about their new project.
The tea plantation is located 128 miles from the South Carolina State House in Pickens, SC. If you’d like overnight accommodations, Laurel Mountain Inn is nearby as well as Table Rock Inn, both highly rated bed and breakfast spots in Pickens.
Table Rock Tea Company LTD
118 High Hills Lane, Pickens, SC 29671, US Phone: 864-915-0571
HOURS: Th-Sat 9am-5pm; Sun 1-5pm. Tours at 10am (Th-Sat) & 2pm (Th-Sun).
To schedule a visit or group tour, call 864-915-0571.