Is British Grown Tea the Answer to Climate Change?

New evidence is emerging to confirm that Tea is a ‘super plant’. Not only is it Britain’s number one drink, but British-grown tea might also be a way to help protect Britain’s natural environment and reduce the carbon footprint of everyone who drinks it. Tregothnanon the Fal estuary was the first place in the UK to grow tea, planting in 1999 and producing the first-ever British tea harvest in 2005.

Tregothnan has commissioned research to demonstrate that these pioneering British tea gardens are the best long-term, carbon-reducing crop.

Tea or Camellia sinensis is the leafy green bush from which every cup of tea is made (approximately 2 billion people drink tea daily). Once a tea garden is established it can remain in the same spot for hundreds of years – some of the oldest bushes in China are reportedly more than 600 years old. This avoids the over-ploughing of land and the potentially harmful effects of carbon release into watercourses. It allows for the natural microbiology in the soil to flourish and the invertebrates that live in the soil to enrich this most precious global resource.

Tregothnan’s Single Estate teas do not have to travel by ship or by air from China, Sri Lanka or India. In fact, this rare and delicious tea has travelled the fewest miles of any tea ever made. Tregothnan’s Single Estate Black and Green Teas are enjoyed by smart consumers who want to create the lowest carbon footprint possible.

Tregothnan wants to demonstrate that these pioneering British tea gardens are the best long-term, carbon-reducing crop. Tea bushes can grow in windswept areas of Cornwall where tall trees cannot survive. This is because of Camellia sinensis’ flat top (plucking table) and that they only grow to about hip-height. When tea bushes flush (grow new bright green shoots), this photosynthesis sucks the carbon from the air. Regular plucking stimulates further green growth, removing the carbon from the atmosphere – so the more tea we drink, the better our air quality will be!

The company has cherished its natural environment for nearly 700 years – generations of the same family have protected and managed the lands and the huge variety of the Cornish flora and fauna surrounding them. Tregothnan has SSSI status (Site of Special Scientific Interest), SAC (Special Area of Conservation) and is a Marine Protected Area. Tea at Tregothnan grows in a spectacular landscape in the warm and wet climate on the banks of the 18-metre-deep sea creek of the River Fal.

Tregothnan grows over 38 varieties of tea in its unique climate, although continues to experiment with many more. Tregothnan customers choose their tea because for the integrity of provenance, understanding more than ever about the process to get from bush to cup. Tregothnan has helped to educate British people about tea provenance, giving consumers seeking the immersive experience the chance to see and feel the environment of a real tea plantation.

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