Commercial tea growing planned for Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland could have its first home-grown tea by 2018, thanks to a tie-up between Antrim's Greenmount College a boutique tea supplier.

Image: Barta IV
Image: Barta IV

Suki Tea of Belfast has already imported 4,000 plants from Tanzania.

Its co-founder Oscar Woolley said: "We have been doing trials, and are having a much higher rate of success than we'd previously thought. We have several places earmarked to grow. But it's an amazingly long game to play."

Currently being trialled in polytunnels, the plants will be planted outside next year, he said, adding: "We expected about a 20 per cent success rate by importing plants like this. We are on about a 35 per cent at the moment."

The project has had advice and funding from regional business development agency Invest NI.


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