Scotland, or Alba in Scottish Gaelic, is famous for its whiskey, castles, beautiful countryside and no less than nine extinct volcanos. The pristine Caribbeanesque coastline hugs the dramatic wild and rugged terrain, which includes Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the British Isles.
Despite being a relatively small nation, Scotland’s climate varies a great deal from one region to another, with palms growing in the West of Scotland, due to the Gulf Stream flowing up the Firth of Clyde. It is this variety in climate and mineral-rich terroir which lends itself to tea growing, especially in Perthshire, Angus and Fife! Nepali and Georgian Camellia Sinensis (tea plant) cultivars are commonly used in Scotland (as they can withstand harsher conditions), and grown from seed, producing long tap roots anchoring the plant, protecting it from high winds, frost and snow, and allowing the plant bring up nutrients and minerals from deep within the soil. The harsh climate conditions put plants grown in the area under stress, which provide a unique, and in some cases, more pungent flavour.
Herbs such as meadowsweet, valerian, wild garlic, wild marjoram, watermint and heather thrive in even the harshest of conditions, and have historically been used by ancient Scots to treat all sorts of conditions and ailments.
Tea growing in Scotland is generally a new concept, but with historic roots, being introduced as a beverage in the early 1600s. Many Scots went on to establish and develop tea estates in India and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). In fact, English Breakfast, the world's most popular blend of tea, was originally crafted by a Scottish tea master in Edinburgh in the 1890s. Having sampled the tea, referred to as ‘Breakfast Tea’, in Balmoral, Queen Victoria brought the blend back to England and promoted it. Eventually, it became known as ‘English Breakfast Tea’.
Currently, there are at least ten tea plantations in Scotland, most of which are, small scale sustainable tea farms.
Our Scottish chamomile is single origin and certified organic from Windy Hollow Farm, in Auchterarder. The Griesbaum family, with their love for nature and commitment for a healthy ecosystem, strongly believe that this can be best achieved with organic farm practices, learning and understanding about healthy soil, plants and wildlife around us. Windy Hollow Farm is 23-24 acres in size, of which 14 acres is used as the tea and infusion growing area, and the rest being young native Scottish mixed woodland.
The use of chemicals is shunned in favour of traditional farming methods, such as composting herbs into a nutritious solution as an alternative to standard fertilisers. In short, as in days of yore, quality is chosen above quantity, still dependent upon the plant type, soil type, climate and natural manpower, as opposed to chemicals.
Our Scottish herbs are grown organically from seed and are irrigated using water from the farm’s infamous spring. They are then harvested by hand and dried naturally for the best aroma and quality. To complete the drying process gentle ovens, which run on only renewable energy, are used. Windy Hollow Farm is fully off grid and generates its own energy using solar, hydro and wind energy.
Each sip of our Scottish herbal infusions bestows on the drinker not only the purity of Windy Hollow Farm, but also the love and attention which has gone into each petal and every leaf, from seed to cup!
Windy Hollow Farm is committed to sustaining a healthy ecosystem, with a strong belief that this can be best achieved with organic farm practices, learning and understanding about healthy soil, plants and wildlife. Windy Hollow Farm is fully off grid and generates its own energy using solar, hydro and wind energy. The Farm also holds renewable energy workshops, wildflower identification trails, tea tours and herbal tours, to encourage environmental learning.