Monday, September 08, 2014

Oregon Grown Tea

Minto Island Growers is a farm located in Salem, Oregon that has grown tea for over 20 years. It did take me a while to find out of their actual existence. Upon meeting Elizabeth's mother on our last visit up north, I learned that this was not an accident. It seems that the man behind the tea, Rob Miller, preferred not to publicize any of his tea experiments on the web. So after hearing rumors of the alleged tea farm in Salem, I went searching for them on the almighty Google, and there was nothing... nothing. What?!!! How could this be. I had no choice but to wait. And wait I did, almost a year.

Flash forward to present: working with Minto Island Growers to produce some high quality black tea. Is the stuff awesome? I'd say it is pretty good. But one of the challenges has been narrowing in on harvest times, as well as organizing the picking of the various flushes that come at different times of year. The plot was created as a tea experimentation plot by Rob Miller and several varietals of tea plants were planted on the land some 20 plus years ago. Mostly the tea just grew. They worked with experts and learned what they could, but were unable to produce anything that they felt confident bringing to market.

Now, J-TEA and Balez Oh'Hops Hanger are the only ones currently processing tea for Minto Island. You can also buy the J-TEA version from J-TEA, at the farm in Salem and at the Portland State University farmers market. The Minto Island Farm also has an amazing food cart that they sell delicious creations straight out of the farm.  Minto is the real deal.

It has been a great experience working to help bring this tea to market. Inspiring all the way. I've learned a thing or two about processing tea. Is it feasible that tea is a farming cash crop?  The answer to that question has yet to be proven. Signs say, US grown tea is coming to market.

To try our Minto Island black tea, you can order it online off our website, come into the shop to get a package, or try it by the cup.


  1. I hope you had a decent sized crew to help pick. Has Minto Island started any of the new plantings yet?

  2. I'm so happy to hear that you've got some of the tea for sale! I wish them all the best!

  3. Brad,
    Picking technology has improved. Less man power needed.

    Thanks! I hope it is well received.

  4. Can we get it from Minto? Geoffrey Norman said he bought some tea from them recently.

  5. Marilyn,
    Soon... Minto will have it for sale. I've still got to send it to them. I will send it next week.