It all started with a camellia tree.
Flowering, lush and green, it thrives in the Waikato. A lover of tea, Vincent was struck by the similarities between tea plants and the local camellias. The flourishing Waikato plants mean New Zealand is not just pure and clean, it is also the perfect environment to grow one teas that excel in aroma and taste.
In 1996, 1,500 rigorously-selected tea cuttings were imported from the best tea growing regions in Asia. Following a long quarantine from New Zealand’s Ministry of Agriculture, Vincent was left with only 130 plants. After careful propagation and a wealth of knowledge gained through the years, Zealong’s lush tea plants add up to just over 1 million and are spread over 40 hectares.
Discover a whole new world of tea.
Be informed and entertained in equal measure – explore every step of the tea making journey through our estate, or simply enjoy the taste of our glorious tea.
The tea walk guides visitors through the history of tea as they explore unique sculptures and scenic stops to learn how tea is picked and processed.
It is hard to believe that the magnificent 48ha, certified organic Zealong Tea Estate was once a dairy farm. Today, 1.2 million Camellia sinensis bushes are loving nurtured by our farm team, and the impressive tea rows provide a safe haven to an abundance of native birds and wildlife.
Zealong tea is carefully handpicked by skilled and expert workers during only three short harvest seasons each year.
Tea is a science, but it is also an art.
Our skilled Tea Masters bring with them a wealth of traditional knowledge and years of experience in turning hand-picked tea leaves into exquisite tea flavours.
Every batch of fresh leaves is different, leading to countless micro-adjustments as they dry, roast, shape, and roll our delicate tea leaves to perfection in our modern facility.
Each batch of tea which passes through our factory must undergo a sensory evaluation by our team of experts from all over the world. The tea leaves – both dry and wet – are examined, the aroma, taste, and colour of the tea is appreciated, and multiple infusions compared.
It is amazing that with so many different batches of tea from each season, we retain the complex, international award-winning taste profiles for which Zealong tea is known.
Enjoy the ancient art of the tea ceremony, which describes the fine art of tea appreciation and how to brew the perfect cup.
As part of our guided tour, all five of Zealong’s Origin Collection tea are presented at this experience, with a focus on identifying flavours and qualities through whole leaf styles, colour, aroma, and taste.
EXPERIENCE ZEALONG TEA