Despite holding a key place in the history of tea, Europe has not been able to produce a tea of significant importance. Will Spain change that?

Back in 2016, there were whispers and rumors going around the tea world that a group in Spain was working on producing the country’s first tea harvest. Fast forward to a year later, present time, and Spain is having their very first commercial tea harvest. Granted, there have been tea plants grown and harvested in Spain in the past, but generally as a part of a smaller garden rather than a larger commercial crop.

One of the groups responsible for this inaugural harvest is called “Escuela Española del Té.” This wasn’t a massive harvest by any means, but the journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step, right?

Tea In The Ancient World did a good write-up on the topic, so be sure to pay them a visit.

Image courtesy: Facebook (Escuela Española del Té)

We’ve curated some of the highlights and key facts from the post as well, for your convenience:

· The Spanish Tea School (The English name of the group mentioned above) was founded in 2014 and their goal is to spread tea culture and to promote Spain’s burgeoning tea interests.

· Orballo is another organization involved in this first harvest, they specialize in growing organically.

· Furthermore, there’s a research center called Estación Fitopatolóxica do Areeiro who also participated in this collaboration, along with individuals.

· This first harvest included three different types of tea. Due to a lack of access to equipment, they opted to go with white tea. Presumably, they will work to acquire additional equipment for future harvests, allowing them to make other types of tea.

· Ultimately, they ended up with 12kg of fresh tea leaves, which ends up being quite a bit less once the leaves have been dried and processed. Once dried, you end up with roughly a third or less of the total weight, depending on the type of plant used and the processing method.

Image courtesy: Facebook (Escuela Española del Té)

It’s unclear how this first effort ended up, but we really wouldn’t hold it against them if things didn’t go perfectly. Even if you have an experienced team, the unique climate and growing conditions in Spain are going to mean certain adjustments will need to be made. We’re very proud of them for getting started and taking the first steps.

Tea can be as unique as the people who drink it, and different regions can carve out their own taste profiles, styles, and audiences. Some people prefer a strong breakfast tea tea in the morning, some enjoy a milder variety in the evening, some enjoy all of the above and more.

Image courtesy: Facebook ((Escuela Española del Té))

We’re looking forward to hearing about how the next batch turns out, and what the team did differently and how it impacted things. It’s not every day that you get to witness a commercial tea operation in its infancy in a new land.

Granted, it’s still a while until they’re giving China or India a run for their money, but we’re rooting for Spain and looking forward to a day in the near future when we’ll have the opportunity to sample their fruits of their labor!

Jay has been drinking tea for as long as he can remember, and loves trying different teas from all around the world. He has been blogging at Tea Perspective for over four years.

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