I visited the Sakuma Brother's Farms tea fields this weekend and it was
We could see the five so acres of tea fields behind their produce stand
but they didn't have time to talk to us about it -- they were closing
almost two hours early so the family-owned business could attend the
local high-school football game! Still, it was a treat to see actual
tea bushes grown commercially in person.
The poor guy behind the counter knew nothing of tea (the farm is known
for their greenhouse strawberries, pumpkins, apples, and raspberries)
but told us to come back and talk to the owner, Richard, whose pet
project the tea fields are.
They were sold out of their green but they did have some packages of
white left from their first harvest. As promised the leaves were only
FOP and OP, but they were neither rolled nor twisted, and there was
little white-tea fuzz present anywhere. They were packaged horribly --
in clear plastic bags, folded over and "sealed" only with a
computer-printed label. I can only imagine that they'll see lots of
light, heat, and moisture damage and it will go stale quickly.
The resulting brew was different than expected -- almost no tea flavor
but a very present fruity tone that was somewhere between dried apple
and strawberry. We're not sure if they were just not careful about aroma
contamination during processing or if the tea bushes themselves picked
up some aroma from the immediately-adjacent berry fields.
At $8.95 for 1.1 oz (about $135 per pound) it's not unreasonable for a
high-quality tea (and certainly not for fresh tea), but I'm not sure the
flavor quite qualifies as truly high-quality.
Still, I give the farm some slack as this is their first harvest. I'm
hoping to become involved in next year's harvest, volunteering to do
some of the picking and perhaps even give my 2-cents worth regarding the
curing and packaging. A unique learning opportunity!
In article firstname.lastname@example.org>,
> In article email@example.com>,
> > > A family is growing tea near Seattle Washington.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > -Melinda
> > Wow! Wonderful read! Hopefully we'll see more coverage of their > > product.
> > Just curious - has anyone here had a Washington State grown tea?
> > They do produce some decent white wines...................
> > Shen
> I happen to live about 30 miles north of this tea farm. I somehow
> missed word of it until I saw this thread here. Another valuable reason
> to keep watching this group!
> I'm heading to their roadside stand after work today and I'll report
> back on what their teas are like. It doesn't sound like they're selling
> any online yet.