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. And it’s going to China.
Tregothnan was the first place to grow ornamental Camellia outdoors 200 years ago and it
is this expertise along with the unique Cornish environment that helps our tea bushes, Camellia sinensis, to thrive here today. Hidden behind the iconic kitchen garden door, which dates back to Plantagenet times making it the oldest remaining part of the estate, you’ll find the Camellia sinensis from which we made our first tentative tea experiments back in 2000. Tregothnan is the home of English tea. Today we were invited to 10 Downing Street on a quest to introduce the quintessentially British drink to Mr Cameron and to discuss exporting more tea to China and around the world.
The flora at Tregothnan has been managed intensively for many centuries. From the 1840s it became a global hotspot for new innovations, and “the most introduced plants anywhere in the world now flourish in Cornwall” according to horticulturalist Philip McMillan Browse. The equable climate is moderated by the vast Atlantic Ocean before it hits the ten mile ridge of Cornwall. The humid air loses its damaging saltiness and perfectly mimics the high foothills of the Himalayas. Tregothnan itself is on the banks of the deep sea creek that is the river Fal – truly a micro-climate that has supported many extraordinary species of fruit trees and an enormous range of rare plants for centuries.
Today, tea can be found growing in small pockets all over the home estate whilst larger plantations are located on Tregothnan land throughout the southern tip of the county.