by Mary Murkin
World-wide attention has been given to the Loch Ness Monster—-and rightly so! “Nessie” reportedly inhabits Loch Ness, a lake in the Scottish Highlands. This lake monster made its debut in the year of 565 AD when an Irish monk, Saint Columba, first sighted the beast and saw it go after an acquaintance of his in Loch Ness. More and more Nessie sightings have been recorded over the centuries. Concrete proof of its existence is slow in surfacing, but it doesn’t take away from the thrill of the thought of this creature being out there.
Another exciting discovery in Scotland, and with complete proof of its existence, that is making quite a splash (tea humor) in the tea world is a tea plantation owned by The Wee Tea Company. It was in 2011 that the plantation owners put down roots (a little more tea humor) in the foothills of the Scottish Highlands, Dalreoch in Highland Perthshire.
The Wee Tea Company owners, Derek Walker, 39, Tam O’Brann, 44, and Jamie Russell, 36, began their business as
specialist tea blenders—creating delicious luxury tea blends for a consumer to purchase. This was quite a successful business start………….but, it does not end there. These partners decided that they wanted to grow their own tea and began their tea plantation at Delreoch. This plantation is home to two thousand tea plants, which makes it one of the largest in Europe.
When talking of tea plantations, our minds conjure up images of Indian hillsides and Sri Lankan glens, but now we will be able to include sights of the Scottish Highland Perthshire. This Perthshire tea has its own distinctive flavor. It has a delicate and almost nutty flavor drawn from the local soil and water.
In March of 2015, just four years after starting their plantation, The Wee Tea Company took the tea world by storm! Their smoked white tea won the Gold Award at the Salon du The’ competition in Paris, France. This was an impressive achievement considering they were fending off famous tea names from plantations in China, India and Sri Lanka. This improbable award gives us all hope that nothing is impossible. Raise your cup of tea to Scotland and then, “Bottoms up!”
Mary Murkin is the owner of Carriage House Tea which is sold at Brightside Gallery, 170 Worth Street, Asheboro, NC. Contact her at: email@example.com.