Oregon Grown Tea
At Minto Island Tea Company, we produce certified organic, handpicked, small-batch crafted teas. All of our unique product is grown in the fertile Willamette Valley at Minto Island Growers in Western Oregon.
Our story begins in 1988, when Rob Miller and John Vendeland planted an experimental half acre of Camelia sinensis, sourced from all over the world. Back then, we were hopeful that the tea plants might survive. To our great surprise, they not only survived, they thrived. With time, we have improved cultivation techniques and learned the rhythms of seasonal flushes. We have made connections and friends with many people passionate about learning the art of tea processing.
Sweet, aromatic, and smooth, our green, oolong, and black teas may be the freshest teas you have ever tasted! We invite you to try some today, and experience the beginning of the Oregon-grown tea movement.
Where to Buy & How to Visit
Our 2016 teas are currently sold out. Please check back in late May for the first of our 2017 teas here on the website. We are also selling at our Farm Stand in Salem and at the Portland State Saturday Market, April through September.
While our farm is not usually open to the public, we are offering three days this summer to visit and tour our tea operation. For more information, visit the Tours page.
Green, Oolong and Black Tea
At the beginning of each season, we eagerly watch the tender new growth, or flush, of the tea plants and prepare for the highly prized first harvest of spring. We choose to harvest only the top two leaves and a bud, which are easily plucked by hand between the thumb and forefinger. Our tea is picked several times during our Oregon growing season, from April through September.
We are currently sold out of all 2016 teas. More tea will be available to purchase online in Summer 2017. Sign up for our New Releases newsletter (below) to be the first to know.
All types of tea come from the Camelia sinensis plant. Once picked, our tea leaves go through different processing techniques that create unique types of tea such as green, oolong, and black. Tea processing is an art form with a rich tradition that varies from country to region to village; some have been perfected and passed down for generations. These processing techniques include periods of withering and other methods such as bruising, cooking, fermenting and oxidizing to create different flavors. Combined with our passion for farming, handcrafted products, and bringing innovation to Oregon agriculture, we are proud to work with a community of people to help create a home grown tea movement in the U.S.