We have always had a love for business and farming. In 2005 after Katrina devastated our area and wiped out our tree plantation we knew we had to pivot our business plans.

Our next business idea would come to us on a vacation to a tea plantation in South Carolina. We asked ourselves “could we grow tea?”. It made sense. Tea is a large industry with the majority of it imported from China, Japan and India. But knowing it could be successfully grown in the USA made us ask why more are not growing it at home? The idea of bringing tea closer to Americans was sparked and a test was planned to plant 6 tea plants at home. We told ourselves that if one of the tea plants survived we would take a risk and try out becoming tea farmers. 3 tea plants made it. That was enough to encourage us. The business was born on an idea sparked by a vacation and 3 living tea plants.

The land we would use had been in our family for a long time and used to raise cattle. We had once considered continuing the cattle farm but it really wasn’t what we wanted to do.

Tea plants had so much potential. They were far more sustainable with the increasingly harsher weather. They are hardly impacted by bugs or wildlife. They were a good fit for our soil which is heavy in minerals.

The tricky side of a large scale tea business is the harvesting. Other countries can keep their costs down with cheap labor. We knew if we moved into the tea business, we would have some challenges pricing our product competitively while ensuring we paid fairly.

That being said, we took the leap in 2011. We began by planting 30,000 tea plants. Losing most as we learned how to raise healthy tea plants.

1000 of those tea plants would become the start of our business. It takes 5 years for a tea plant to come into production and 1000 of those tea plants are what gave us our start.

Today, we have over 40,000 tea plants with many of them coming into full production in the next few years. We have built a tea processing facility and invested in innovative machinery to help us deliver quality tea with a smaller labor force allowing us to pay fairly.

We deliver farm tours and full hands-on tea experiences at the farm while also hosting travelers through Harvest Host stays.

Our tea is now on shelves with 13 different retailers in North America making it even easier to get our product closer to home.

We offer over 12 different teas including some really rare ones like Pine Needle, Oolong and Yellow tea. Each of these teas require very special processing steps. And yes, we have the popular teas including Black Tea, Green Tea, Chai and Earl Grey. With a lot of gratitude, most of our teas continue to sell out every year.

Our tea farm continues to grow and thrive thanks to the support of our customers.

Thank you for helping us bring tea closer to home and supporting a local US tea farm from right here in Brookhaven, Mississippi. We are grateful for the opportunity to provide you with our distinctly Mississippi teas.

Make sure to follow us online or join our mailing list. We are so grateful to have you with us as we continue this incredible journey.

Jason McDonald & Timmy Gipson

Owners and operators of The Great Mississippi Tea Company