Over the last couple of years, I’ve become more conscious of what I put into my body. And one of the things I have grown to love is tea. Tea is almost magic–when made properly and with good quality ingredients, it tastes good, all by itself. It has zero calories, zero fats, zero carbs. As with many wholesome foods, no sugar is needed, not even for an American palate.

I’ve been trying a number of organic and fair trade teas lately, and I’ve begun to pay more attention to where they are grown. I have my own concerns about the safety of products from various overseas countries. But, recently, a friend of mine made my love of tea much more complicated by sending me a link to an article that discusses this very thing–concern over various pesticides and chemicals used not only in tea but in the paper used for tea bags.

Now, it’s just an article someone posted on the Internet, so I know enough to take it with a grain of salt. But it did get me thinking, and I wondered if I could find any U.S.-grown tea. Shopping local is not likely to happen for me, being in the south central part of the country, with nary a tea tree in sight. But I did just a little research and found Charleston Tea Plantation in Charleston, South Carolina. According to their web site, they use no pesticides, which they define as including “herbicides, fungicides and insecticides.” Sign me up! They have six varieties of loose tea: Breakfast Blend, Peach, Governor Gray, Rockville Raspberry, Island Green Mint and Island Green. They also have nine varieties available in pyramid-shaped bags, and a small line of body products available.

Their products are available in dozens of stores across the United States, but since none of them are close to me, I ordered the Breakfast Blend and the Island Green loose teas online from their web site. I can’t wait to try them!