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Charles and Camilla to experience New Zealand’s national tea

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will this week visit T?rangawaewae Marie as part of their ongoing visit of New Zealand.

Whilst there, the royal couple will sample a cup of Zealong Tea, the country’s national tea, during a banquet with Maori King Tuheitia.

The two hour visit will take place this Sunday, which will include a 200 strong powhiri, a salute to the couple, a mass haka and the tea banquet with more than 400 guests invited.

The general manager of Zealong National Tea Cantre, Gigi Crawford said: “To be serving tea to not only His Royal Highness Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, but King Tuheitia is an absolute privilege.

“At Zealong National Tea Centre we pride ourselves on being 100 percent New Zealand and this is a wonderful opportunity to serve a product grown, picked and packaged, right here in our beautiful country.”

But this is not the first encounter with Zealong Their Royal Highnesses will have had. Camilla tried a cup earlier this year, and gave it a tick of approval.

Zealong is grown and processed at New Zealand’s only commercial tea plantation situated in the lush and fertile conditions of the Waikato on the outskirts of Hamilton.

The plantation started off small with only 130 seedlings being imported from Taiwan in 1996. Fast forward 19 years later and there are now over 1.2 million plants which are cared for on a 48 acre site.

Charles and Camilla’s visit coincides with the first tea harvest in the latest global cycle, taking place over the first 20 days in November. The royal couple will be drinking only the freshest tea that was hand picked and processed only two days before.

The couple last visited New Zealand two years ago. Next Tuesday, they will continue onto the next leg of their tour, traveling onto Australia, where the heir to the throne will celebrate his 67th birthday at a beach barbecue in Perth.

  • Rhys Firth

    It is hardly our National Tea… If anything, that would be Bell Tea.

    Zealong is a small minnow with big ambitions, the only thing they have going for themselves is they are NZ made rather than importing the leaves. They have great publicity with having the royals visit, but they really shouldn’t try and pass themselves off as NZ’s National tea.

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