Growing your own tea?


Completely off the Topic of Tea

Re: Growing your own tea?

Postby IPT » Mar 16th, '10, 21:26

I have two tea trees growing in my house just for fun. I keep them stunted because I don't want them to get out of hand. I'm also training them in the hopes of having a tea bonsai. As for drying the tea, without a lot of experience and training, it's almost impossible to process the tea into something decent. I do occassionally just pick a couple of buds and brew them. That's actually how my wife's uncle drinks his tea. The flavor is very different. It was how tea leaves were drunk a very long time ago and how some farmers still do it today.
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Re: Growing your own tea?

Postby debunix » Mar 16th, '10, 22:51

IPT wrote:I keep them stunted because I don't want them to get out of hand.


Camellias are gorgeous plants. I'm sorely tempted to try go get and grow one here. I wouldn't expect to make great tea from it, but it would surely be at least as photogenic as the red blossomed ones on the side of my yard, and more fun.
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Re: Growing your own tea?

Postby IPT » Mar 16th, '10, 23:13

It's not really the Camellias you are thinking of. Mine are tea trees for brewing tea. They are different from the Camellias people grow in their yards. I don't believe those are drinkable.
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Re: Growing your own tea?

Postby Chip » Mar 16th, '10, 23:38

IPT wrote:I have two tea trees growing in my house just for fun. I keep them stunted because I don't want them to get out of hand. I'm also training them in the hopes of having a tea bonsai. As for drying the tea, without a lot of experience and training, it's almost impossible to process the tea into something decent. I do occassionally just pick a couple of buds and brew them. That's actually how my wife's uncle drinks his tea. The flavor is very different. It was how tea leaves were drunk a very long time ago and how some farmers still do it today.

COOL! I am sure we would like to see photos if you feel so inclined! :idea:
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Re: Growing your own tea?

Postby debunix » Mar 16th, '10, 23:44

I know that my Camellias outside are not C sinensis, but they are beautiful, and grow here happily. I suspect a C. sinensis would like the place as well, if I kept it in one of the slightly shaded spots.

And, it would b fun to grown a C. sinensis simply because Camellias as a genus are beautiful. The Missouri Botanical Garden has quite a collection, and while I can't recall if any of them was a C. sinensis, all were gorgeous. I reviewed a number of photos of flowers that came up on Google image search, and they are beautiful, if not quite as spectacular as my shrubs outside:

Image

Image
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Re: Growing your own tea?

Postby IPT » Mar 17th, '10, 00:13

Wow! Those are gorgeous!
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Re: Growing your own tea?

Postby beachape » Mar 17th, '10, 02:23

Ha won't be seeing flowers for at least another month...sad. I have a few bonsai and was interested in a tea (c.sinensis) bonsai as well. Unfortunately I haven't seen any sources that have older plants...
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Re: Growing your own tea?

Postby IPT » Mar 17th, '10, 02:54

I've never seen one. As far as I know, mine are unique. I also have two dead tea trees in my house for decoration. I know it sounds weird, so I'll add a photo. They are sitting in an antique teapot from the Republican period. I got the trees from a local tea farm. Periodically they cut all of the tea trees down to the roots to improve production. I helped them do it this year and took two home because I thought they looked pretty cool. The teapot would have been used either in a home, or a shop. Every morning green tea leaves and heated water would have been put in the pot for the family or customers to drink. It was believed that if the water was hot enough to brew tea, then it would be safe to drink.
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Re: Growing your own tea?

Postby msurads06 » Mar 17th, '10, 19:51

WOW!! I love your idea of tea tree as artwork.
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Re: Growing your own tea?

Postby IPT » Mar 17th, '10, 21:27

Thank you. I'm sure someone could come up with a better way to display them, but I thought they looked so cool I had to take them home. That is two entire tea trees. When you see the rows of tea trees in fields, or on mountains, that is what they are. thousands of trees planted extremely close together so that they are very narrow and fan-like. They are planted about 5 inches apart.
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Re:

Postby skilfautdire » Mar 19th, '10, 07:32

Herb_Master wrote:Tea grown in England
http://www.tregothnan.co.uk/tea-garden/p_302/


Them saying that green tea has to be infused 2-3 minutes means that the tea grown there must be weak (due to climate) and best prepared as black for savour.

Apart from current first experiences in gyokuro, a first infusion of green tea (Japanese, Chinese) never lasts 2-3 minutes.
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Re: Growing your own tea?

Postby debunix » Mar 22nd, '10, 02:28

Another grow-your-own discussion, complete with the name of a not-too-far-away nursery that had some tea plants, and pictures of the flowers--quite worthwhile just for that.

http://1greengeneration.elementsintime.com/?p=1053

But would have to figure out first which varietals they stock....
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Re: Growing your own tea?

Postby nonc_ron » Mar 29th, '10, 11:02

Ebay
30 Tea Plant Seeds,Camellia Sinensis
$3.50

30 Tea Plant Seeds
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Re: Growing your own tea?

Postby debunix » Mar 30th, '10, 22:02

I wouldn't want to buy seeds that just say they are C. sinensis, but rather cuttings or grafted plants from known varieties of tea, ideally one well suited (in theory) to the local climate.
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Re: Growing your own tea?

Postby Ebtoulson » Mar 31st, '10, 10:45

yea i highly recommend a seedling over seeds. I bought some seeds off of ebay (i think it was around 10, can't really remember) and none of them sprouted...I even tried several different growing methods. I looked it up later and noticed that the germination rate is really low.
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