DIY Teas in my greenhouse


For general/other topics related to tea.

DIY Teas in my greenhouse

Postby LordFlashHeart » Apr 30th, '11, 21:50

In looking at these less common and super expensive teas I've never heard of before, Question: is anyone growing this stuff in their backyard greenhouse?

I'm not a subscriber to the notion that some plant have to be grown in just the right spot on the planet to be good. You just need to reproduce similar growing environment.
LordFlashHeart
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Apr 17th, '

Re: DIY Teas in my greenhouse

Postby teaisme » May 2nd, '11, 15:29

I agree that if you can get close enough to the recommended environment you can reproduce the same good results. I guess some regions are easier to mimic then others.

I hear it takes at least 3 years, and 5 is recommended before the plant is ready for you to make tea out of the leaves though. Prob why I have not bothered planting anything since I don't know if I will even be here in a couple years.
User avatar
teaisme
 
Posts: 1390
Joined: May 27th, '

Re: DIY Teas in my greenhouse

Postby LordFlashHeart » May 2nd, '11, 21:41

churng wrote:I agree that if you can get close enough to the recommended environment you can reproduce the same good results. I guess some regions are easier to mimic then others.

I hear it takes at least 3 years, and 5 is recommended before the plant is ready for you to make tea out of the leaves though. Prob why I have not bothered planting anything since I don't know if I will even be here in a couple years.


A 3+ years wait is a pretty big barrier to entry. But if one is a tea aficionado and out for quality what could beat one's own greenhouse.

It appears the plants can live from 50-100 years so given a 3-5 year wait an adult could harvest from it for the rest of their entire life. I'll have to give this idea some more thought.
LordFlashHeart
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Apr 17th, '

Re: DIY Teas in my greenhouse

Postby AdamMY » May 2nd, '11, 21:57

LordFlashHeart wrote:
A 3+ years wait is a pretty big barrier to entry. But if one is a tea aficionado and out for quality what could beat one's own greenhouse.

It appears the plants can live from 50-100 years so given a 3-5 year wait an adult could harvest from it for the rest of their entire life. I'll have to give this idea some more thought.



While growing your own tea plants might be fun, and seem rewarding, it may take quite a few harvests to get down processing techniques to the point where it will taste anywhere close to what you can buy on stores or online. Granted I have not experimented myself, but so much of the flavoring of tea is the proper processing in addition to the leaves used.
User avatar
AdamMY
 
Posts: 2336
Joined: Jul 22nd, '
Location: Capital of the Mitten

Re: DIY Teas in my greenhouse

Postby entropyembrace » May 3rd, '11, 02:50

hmmmm.....first it´s difficult to get ideal conditions in a greenhouse especially if you live in an extreme climate and many plants don´t seem to be very well suited to life in greenhouses. It´ll be pretty much impossible to simulate a high altitude subtropical climate in a greenhouse, which is where tea plants are at their best. Even worse how do you plan to replicate the soil? especially for a plant as large as a tea tree/shrub? I´ve seen camelia´s growing in greenhouses, but they were big expensive greenhouses not personal greenhouses.

Also you´ll need to get your hands on the correct varietal to produce tea...there are thousands of different varietals suited to different climates and styles of tea production...there are also wild varietals that are not so good for drinking. I doubt the best varietals are easily available.

And probably the most important which Adam already mentioned is the processing....it takes specialized skills and knowledge to process tea...you can probably get decent results if you have an idea of what the correct steps are...but it´s quite a bit more complex than just plucking the leaves and drying them....and it will take practice to get ideal results from processing.

I´m not saying it´s not worth trying at all...but you should have a good idea of what you´re getting into....it´ll be quite a bit more difficult than you seem to think...

Have you grown shrubs in your greenhouse before?
User avatar
entropyembrace
 
Posts: 1850
Joined: Mar 3rd, '0

Re: DIY Teas in my greenhouse

Postby IPT » May 3rd, '11, 06:05

The processing is truly a work of art. I have been trained by experts and every year I go out and pick and process my own teas and after years of study, I can make the tea the proper shape, but as for taste, I'm nowhere even close, and I'm talking simpler green teas. If a person wanted to try a more difficult tea, it would take years of continuous training to get decent results. I was told it takes decades to become good. I believe it.
User avatar
IPT
Vendor Member
 
Posts: 1556
Joined: Nov 13th, '
Location: Guilin, Guangxi China

Re: DIY Teas in my greenhouse

Postby teaisme » May 3rd, '11, 13:53

may be hard but don't be dissuaded i'm sure it's a lot of fun too

You could start out simple and just make kukicha in different forms
Or maybe try some white tea which might be a little easier then making other types.

If you find a good source for a variety of different tea seeds let me know!
User avatar
teaisme
 
Posts: 1390
Joined: May 27th, '

Re: DIY Teas in my greenhouse

Postby tortoise » May 3rd, '11, 17:02

I'm totally inspired. I just picked up a few bags of grapes from the grocery store, because I can't justify sending my hard-earned cash to the Italians and French who make all the great wine.

Taking off my socks now...this is gonna be great!
:mrgreen:

I'm gonna have to be a naysayer on this one and agree with Shangguan...
it'll never work. But by all means, go for it. It would be fun to try.
User avatar
tortoise
 
Posts: 704
Joined: Sep 1st, '1
Location: Northwest Louisiana

Re: DIY Teas in my greenhouse

Postby iannon » May 3rd, '11, 17:54

Of course you could make some great herbal "teas" :D
User avatar
iannon
 
Posts: 1631
Joined: Dec 30th, '
Location: The foot of the great Smoky Mountains

Re: DIY Teas in my greenhouse

Postby nonc_ron » May 4th, '11, 07:22

Image
With tea so cheap and food so expensive I'll stick with growing food.
User avatar
nonc_ron
 
Posts: 468
Joined: Aug 28th, '
Location: The first State (DE)

Re: DIY Teas in my greenhouse

Postby ChinesePottery » May 4th, '11, 10:46

About growing tea in your backyard greenhouse I can't be of much help I'm afraid, but making it once you have the plants is not that big a deal.

Shaping it is indeed rather tricky if you want it a particular style, but just making nice tea if you don't mind so much how it looks but the more how it tastes is not all that hard. One season easily gets you going and, if you have access to enough fresh tea, you can try a slightly different technique and timings every day with daily feedback (1 day behind) and you'll end up with more than drinkable quality, tailored to your own taste. Whatever others are writing here, don't let them discourage you. If you have the chance to try I'd suggest just go for it.

Have a look here: http://teaandpottery.wordpress.com/2011/05/04/2011-yixing-hongcha-homemade/

and here: http://teaandpottery.wordpress.com/2011/04/05/wild-tea/
User avatar
ChinesePottery
 
Posts: 137
Joined: Feb 10th, '
Location: Leipzig/Germany

Re: DIY Teas in my greenhouse

Postby Chip » May 4th, '11, 12:09

Growing any food crop in a greenhouse is a bit problematic since you are more less placing your plants into a vacuum, outside a natural environment. If a parasite gets in ... and it will ... they can ravage your plants rather quickly w/o your intervention since natural predators are likely not present.

Chemical treatments are problematic as well, you do not want to be spraying your plants all the time. Also, tea plants absorb any odors, chemical odors in a greenhouse can linger for quite some time.

You will need to consider temp control, heat in winter, cooling in other seasons. Humidity, too much or too little can be damaging and are often present in poorly planned greenhouses. Air circulation is a must.

Mechanical failure can be devastating. Losing your heat or electricity on a cold winter's night can kill off years and years of work.

Other than all that, have fun and go for it. :mrgreen:
User avatar
Chip
Mod/Admin
 
Posts: 21937
Joined: Apr 22nd, '
Location: Back in the TeaCave atop Mt. Fuji

Re: DIY Teas in my greenhouse

Postby teaisme » May 4th, '11, 13:55

I think maybe people are underestimating the hardiness of a tea plant?

I imagine that after the initial delicate phase when its beginning to grow its roots it might be a little temperamental, but once it's time to transfer from pot to soil I don't see it being that hard to keep alive at all

Found these if you have difficulty finding seeds and plants...
http://www.camforest.com/Camellia_sinensis_s/34.htm

They also have one year old ones too so you can skip some worry
User avatar
teaisme
 
Posts: 1390
Joined: May 27th, '

Re: DIY Teas in my greenhouse

Postby Chip » May 4th, '11, 14:05

... but the question was "Teas in my greenhouse." Greenhouse culture is not as easy as it seems. Mealybugs, scale, aphids can quickly take over for instance.

Yes, you can probably grow them fairly easily in a greenhouse if you do what is required to keep them healthy and parasite free. But to be able to harvest tea from greenhouse grown tea plants is another story.

Plus I failed to mention that it is virtually impossible to mimic natural habitat in a greenhouse. So while I am sure you can grow healthy tea plants, I am doubtful of mimicing natural environment tea from Kagoshima to Wuyi.
User avatar
Chip
Mod/Admin
 
Posts: 21937
Joined: Apr 22nd, '
Location: Back in the TeaCave atop Mt. Fuji

Re: DIY Teas in my greenhouse

Postby AdamMY » May 4th, '11, 14:11

churng wrote:I think maybe people are underestimating the hardiness of a tea plant?


+1 to what Chip said and:

Granted Tea bushes are able to take a frost, but due to their growing region I doubt they are able to sustain long periods of extended sub zero temperatures. I do not think people are telling the OP it is impossible, I just think most of us are saying it is harder than it may initially appear, as it is going to be harder than just keeping an eye out for a single house plant or two.
User avatar
AdamMY
 
Posts: 2336
Joined: Jul 22nd, '
Location: Capital of the Mitten

Next

Instant Messenger

Permissions
You cannot post new topics
You cannot reply to topics
You cannot edit your posts
You cannot delete your posts
You cannot post attachments
Navigation