Cornish tea plantation expecting record yield thanks to warm winter
Cornish tea growers are expecting their biggest yield yet after the unusually warm winter.
Bella Percy-Hughes, who works at tea plantation Tregothnan near Truro, Cornwall, said the climate had been perfect for growing tea.
"We had an extremely warm winter so we could have started plucking in January," she said. T he plantation would normally begin plucking tea leaves in April.
Tregothnan, on the banks of the River Fal, began supplying England's first and only tea in 2005, although other UK growers have since taken root.
"The air is constantly humid and it's always warm - we never get frosts here," Ms Percy-Hughes said.
"It's warm and wet and those are the conditions that tea absolutely loves."
Tregothnan produces a host of flavours - from strong breakfast teas akin to a Yorkshire brew to herbal varies - which get their different tastes from the drying methods.
The Tregothnan estate, which has been in the Boscawen family since 1334, was the first place to grown ornamental Camellia plants outdoors 200 years ago. Tea plants, Camellia sinensis, now thrive on the estate.