Grow Your Own Green, Black or Oolong Tea


cup of teaDid you know that green, black and oolong tea are all made from the leaves of a camellia plant?

Yes, it’s true! Tea comes from camellia sinensis, a small flowering shrub native to Asia that produces small, white flowers, along with bright green leaves. Baby leaves are harvested, cut, roasted, dried and fermented in different ways to produce different types of tea, including black, green, and oolong. The location of where the plant is grown will influence the flavour of the tea.

While most teas are made in China, Japan or India and exported to the rest of the world, you can grow your own for the freshest, tastiest brew!

Camellia sinensis is a plant hardy in climate zones 7-9, but can also be grown as an indoor plant for those living in colder climates. It will grow to a height of 1-2 m (3-6 ft) and does best in well-drained, slightly acidic, sandy soil. Plant in full sun or partial shade. Water regularly to keep soil moist. Prune to keep shrub compact and manageable.

Even if you aren’t a tea drinker, you can grow this shrub as an ornamental plant. In the fall, the shrub will produce wonderfully fragrant flowers.

For plants that were started from seed, you will have to wait at least 3 years before harvesting the leaves. But you know what they say… Good things come to those who wait! You can harvest every ten days during the growing season.

Once you have harvested the leaves, here are the steps to process the tea leaves:

Green Tea

  • Harvest the youngest leaves and leaf buds in early spring.
  • Dry them out on a napkin in the shade for 3-4 hours.
  • The leaves can be roasted for a distinctive flavour. Roast them in a skillet for 2 minutes.
  • Spread the leaves on a baking sheet and dry in the oven at 250F for 20 minutes.
  • Store the dried tea leaves in an air-tight container.
  • To brew green tea, place a teaspoon of tea leaves in a teapot. Pour hot water brewed at a temperature between 140ºF-185ºF (60ºC-85ºC) and steep 3-5 minutes, depending on your preference (the longer it brews, the stronger the flavour).

Oolong Tea

  • Pluck the very youngest leaves and leaf buds in the early spring.
  • Spread the leaves out on a towel under the heat of the sun and let them wilt for about 45 minutes.
  • Bring your leaves inside and let them sit at room temperature for a few hours, mixing the leaves every hour or so.
  • The edges of the leaves will start to turn red as they begin to dry.
  • Spread the leaves on a baking sheet and dry in the oven at 250ºF for 20 minutes.
  • Store the dried tea leaves in an air-tight container.
  • To make oolong tea, place a teaspoon of leaves in a teapot. Pour hot water brewed at a temperature of 185-206ºF (85ºC-97ºC). Steep for 3-5 minutes, depending on preference of strength of tea.

Black Tea

  • Pluck the very youngest leaves and leaf buds early in the spring.
  • Roll the leaves between your hands or with a rolling pin, and crush them until the leaves start to darken and turn red.
  • Spread them out on a tray, and leave them in a cool location for 2-3 days.
  • Dry them in the oven at 250ºF for about 20 minutes.
  • Store in an air-tight container.
  • To make black tea, place a teaspoon of leaves in a teapot. Pour hot water brewed at a temperature of 206ºF (97ºC). Steep for 3-5 minutes, depending on preference of strength of tea.

Enjoy! Tea is good for you and contain many health benefits! And if you really don’t want to grow your own tea, you can always buy it! This Exceptional Tea Premium Gift Basket would be a lovely gift for yourself or for a friend.

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About Connor Lowry

I love flowers! I enjoy writing about them as well as gardening. Mostly I love finding new and unique flower gardening ideas I encourage you to post regularly on this blog, and send in guest blogs or ideas for new blogs as well. New and exciting blogs are always welcome I intend to post a lot of interesting facts and fun stuff about flowers, as well as info on many varieties of flowers.
This entry was posted in Flowers and Health, Fun Stuff and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Grow Your Own Green, Black or Oolong Tea

  1. Pingback: Facts about Oolong Tea | cupofrealitea

  2. Pingback: Health and Tea | Pandora's Boox & Tea

  3. tribute0928 says:

    Reblogged this on tribute0928's Blog and commented:
    TRUE♡ Thank You!

    Like

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