A tea plant with a man in the background
Mikael Hassellind has planted 500 tea plants on Gotland. One year on, 300 have survived. Credit: Stefan Nordberg/Sveriges Radio

Sweden's first tea-farmer explains his plans

Tea-farmer: I think it is possible to grow tea in Sweden, and so did Carl von Linnaeus
4:28 min

When Mikael Hassellind came up with the idea of growing tea in Sweden, there were many who raised their eyebrows. Is it really possible to grow tea in Sweden?

The famous botanist Carl von Linnaeus tried to grow tea outside Uppsala some 250 years ago without any great success. Now agronomist Mikael Hassellind is giving it a new try.

"I am the only tea farmer in Sweden, as far as I know,"

Last year, he planted 500 tea plants Camellia Sinensis on the island of Gotland, off the Swedish east coast. One year on, some 300 of them have survived, and Hassellind is hoping to take out his first harvest next year.

"I have learnt a lot during this past year. I thought the chill and the frost would kill most of the plants, but it turned out that it was the summer drought that was the biggest danger to the plant," he said.

Click on the link to listen to the interview, and to find out in what way Hassellind thinks he may have some advantages compared to Carl von Linnaeus.

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