This is a photo of the first tea bag I made on Christmas eve. It took me three days to put the apparatus together and learn how to work it. My good friend, Steve Lorch at Table Rock Tea Co sold me the machine and gave me complete instructions on how to set it up. The machine is very Chinese.
I have made sample bags of tea bags that I am letting friends and family try them out. I call it field research. I have yet to figure out packaging and labeling, but that will happen soon. This is a new area for us at the Fairhope tea farm as we seldom have ever made just one cup of tea at a time. I’m excited to develop this new part of the tea business.
Have you seen the new coffee table book, “Grow Your Own Tea” by Christine Parks and Susan Walcott? It is a very nice treatment of the subject with beautiful photography. It is high quality and professionally composed. Their history, glossary, growing and making tea from leaves instructions are just fabulous! Timber Press, ISBN 978-1-60469-931-9
Other news: ATT repaired our phone lines after two and a half months after the hurricane. The phone lines were down on the road and to repair them they hung them on the barbed wire fence along the roadside. I can not believe the poor service we received from them after paying their huge bills for over forty years.
We are starting to clean up the tea farm of the usual annual weeds and small trees. I have ignored the tea out in the fields for three months while cleaning up hurricane debris. We will never be able to move the giant trees still broken all around our house. But it is time to turn our attention to start pruning the tea rows – a big job. It is time to get back into tea production as the first flush is coming soon.
I will have to admit that our tea sales was not good for this Christmas season. We depend on tourist from all over the US that visit Fairhope and due to Covid the tourist are just not there. I would say we are 30 to 40 pounds behind last years sales. Folks would buy lots of tea for Christmas presents. I depend on drive up sales and that has slowed considerably. Although selling the seedlings for a dollar a piece has gone well this winter with many customers buying thousands of plants, that planting season is about over. Our busiest tea sales season is spring so we will see what happens.
Come by and see us sometime!