Longleaf Tea Co. Imbibe 75 Place to Watch - Imbibe Magazine Subscribe + Save

“American-grown tea will likely be the freshest tea you have had,” says Thomas Steinwinder, who, with his wife, Hillary, founded Longleaf Tea Co. in Laurel, Mississippi, about 90 miles south of Jackson. But many are likely unaware that tea is even grown in the U.S. It was a similar realization for Thomas while the couple was traveling in Shanghai, prompting seven years of research, and finally, the planting of the first 1,000 tea plants in 2018 on Mississippi land that had been in Hillary’s family for six generations.

“Our teas express earthy undertones which we feel are a beautiful representation of the Deep South,” says Thomas. “Our black tea, Longleaf Revival, has very characteristic toasted wood flavor notes accompanied by light sweet notes, similar to sweet potato.”

Spring 2021 saw the company’s first release, with every subsequent batch quickly selling out. Continuing to put more plants in the ground each year, Longleaf Tea Co. expects to double output in 2023, bringing more American-grown tea to drinkers’ cups.

Click here to read more about some of 2023’s other Imbibe 75 People and Places to Watch.

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