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Tea please!

Dec 19, 2014
New Zealand
Bob and others who want to know more about tea.
Well there are different tea plants.

Camellia sinesis is the plant used to make dried tea that you can buy in bags or loose etc. the flowers are not as showy as the other camellia grown for their blooms - camellia sasanqua, reticulata or japonica.
It comes from China and a lot of it is grown in the himalayas near India where all the tea plantations are. But you can try growing this plant yourself if you can source it.

Camellias prefer an acid soil so dont use any lime and if your soil is naturally alkaline it wont do so well. Pine mulch is a good soil conditioner. Camellias can be grown in full sun but they actually prefer shade and the leaves will be greener, think if the misty shadowy mountains where it comes from.

Tea is made from the fresh shoots so tea pickers are out everyday picking the fresh leaves...its like clipping a hedge but its the very tips, called tip pruning. Then it needs to be dried or cured, and i dont know so much about that process sorry!

But you can drink tea using fresh leaves from other plants, making infusions and also flowers.
Some herbaceous plants make nice teas including peppermint, chamomile, lemon balm. Just pick the leaves and add boiling water, brew for a few minutes till you see the colour and drink!