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Belgium’s first home-grown tea to hit market later this year

15:08 03/03/2021

If Brexit has made your favourite tea much costlier, take heart: Belgium’s first tea crop will soon be harvested and put on the market. While the climate has never been good for growing tea plants, a grower has found a variety that appears to thrive here.

Raf Rombouts of Wuustwezel, in Antwerp province on the Dutch border, planted 60,000 tea shrubs in his nursery and is about ready to carry out his first harvest. “An acquaintance of mine worked years to develop a tea plant that can survive in a European climate,” Rombouts told VRT. “It’s finally ready, and it’s extremely hardy.”

We’ll have to wait until after the summer to find the new black tea in shops, but Rombouts – a long-time tea drinker – is certainly sold. “It’s very good, both cold and warm,” he said. “The tea has a very unique taste; I can pick it out among every other kind of tea.”

He won’t be able to compete with “the Pickwicks and the Liptons,” he admits, as his product, which will be called LocalTea, will have a higher price tag. “The labour and production costs in Belgium are of course much higher than in India, for instance. If we can get five or 10% of the tea-drinking market, I’ll be happy.”

Photo courtesy VRT

 

Written by Lisa Bradshaw

Comments

PGerrard

Very exciting. Good luck to him!

Mar 4, 2021 07:42