Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Charleston Tea Plantation souvenirs
During the Charleston Tea Plantation trolley tour, our guide told us the plantation makes only enough of its American Classic Tea to serve Charleston and the local market. Fortunately for out-of-town tea lovers, some of that tea ends up in the gift shop, and I was delighted to be able to bring some home to enjoy and to share with friends. I also like to collect any mug with a tea company logo on it, and this cute china teaspoon showing a flowering tea plant seemed destined for my tea cabinet.
My favorite souvenir is this keepsake wooden chest of First Flush Tea (the glass jar is shown in the top photo). I don't guess I've ever had tea I knew for certain was fresh from the field, and the pure, clean taste of this was very refreshing. If you want to order some American Classic Tea for yourself, it's available on the Charleston Tea Plantation web site.
I am a good gift shop's dream shopper, because I'm a sucker for all the stuff they carry. I got a couple of boxes of the silk tea bags, a bar of soap made with American Classic Tea (I forgot to photograph it before I gave it to a friend), some postcards (I particularly liked the closeup of the flowering tea plant), and a DVD.
Finally, the souvenir I'm most proud of is this pen. You see, I am a pen fanatic. I love-love-love pens. I carry at least a half dozen with me at all times, often more. I'm always looking for new ones (cheaper ones seem to write better, unless you get into Montblanc luxury fountain pen territory, and I'm not willing to go there). I saw a few of these plastic logo pens at various spots around the Charleston Tea Plantation, but they didn't appear to be available for purchase. I asked the cashier if they could sell me one. She shook her head politely and said they weren't for sale. Now you have to understand about me and pens. I *have* to have a pen as a souvenir if at all possible. After I paid for my bag of goodies, I picked up the pen and said "Are you SURE you can't just sell me this?" Obviously, I wore her down. "Just take it," she said, nicely. So FYI, holding up the line of 87 customers will net you a free pen. (I didn't say that.)