Charleston tea follows American troops across the world and at home

Staff Report
Published Nov. 11, 2013

More than 3.4 million bags of tea grown on a Charleston-area plantation have been delivered to U.S. troops across the globe over the past four years.

Bigelow Tea said the company has shipped about 165,000 boxes of American Classic Tea to troops in Afghanistan, Iraq and other posts since company CEO Cindi Bigelow started the Tea for the Troops program in 2009.

The fields at the Charleston Tea Plantation filled with plants just before the annual first flush. (Photo/Leslie Burden)
The fields at the Charleston Tea Plantation filled with plants just before the annual first flush. (Photo/Leslie Burden)
Bigelow Tea Co. covers the costs for the donated tea. The program sends specially designed boxes of tea to U.S. military personnel overseas and in the U.S. More than 15,000 boxes of tea have been donated in the last 12 months, the company said in a news release.

“We’ve heard from many soldiers thanking us for the tea,” Bigelow said in a statement. “Tea provides a degree of comfort and a reminder of home, which we know soldiers appreciate.”

American Classic Tea is grown and produced at the company’s Charleston Tea Plantation on Wadmalaw Island. Bigelow Tea, a family-owned business based in Fairfield, Conn., bought the plantation in 2003 and produces tea in partnership with the plantation’s former owner, William Hall.

Working with the USO, the company’s American Classic Tea has been delivered to Iraq, Afghanistan and other USO facilities. Bigelow Tea also has distributed the tea to Veterans Administration hospitals and through VFW chapters.

“Sending our soldiers a little bit of home in the form of our American Classic Tea package is our way of recognizing and thanking them for the sacrifices they make so that we can enjoy the freedoms we all share,” Bigelow said.

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