Saturday, May 05, 2012

Grow Your Own Tea

Black Tea, Green Tea, and White Tea, all come from ONE plant.
 The Camellia Sinensis plant.
I bought the Camellia above 6 years ago, it should have been 5 times its original size but Camellias are hardy to Zone 7 and I was living in Zone 6 at the time I bought it (Climate Change has now put me in zone 7A) I was told to bring it indoors every winter which every winter caused half of its leaves to fall off and half the plant to die and need to be pruned back by half, the past 2 winters I threw caution to the wind and left it outside and it thrived and grew...

 This is a close up of the leaves, see the tiny light green buds?
Those are what gives us all the tea we drink. The tea pickers just pluck those tiny leaves, then it is either dried for green tea or rolled, heated and fermented for black tea

These are what I picked for the demo.

Left to right: 1) a regular mature tea bush leaf, 2) a suitable leaf for green or black tea, 3) a super tiny leaf for "White Tea"

Here they are brewing in steamy hot water, the water is faintly beigey green.

 The finished fresh leaf tea.

You can buy your own Camellia Sinensis here.