DIY tea harvest?

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Jul 17th, '13, 07:38
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Joined: Jun 18th, '13, 22:48

DIY tea harvest?

by genushumanusalice » Jul 17th, '13, 07:38

I have a camellia sinensis plant in my garden that I estimate to be 30+ years old. It has recently occurred to me that I could attempt to process my own tea from in it the spring (September where I am).

Has anyone here done this before? It isn't a large plant but I pruned it quite aggressively in the fall and there are currently a lot of small leaf buds on it so I think I could make enough for at least tiny personal supply. I don't expect much in terms of quality either, other than a fun experiment and a closer connection to the drink I love.

The biggest question I have is what sort of tea I should (attempt to) make. The plant is almost always shaded except for a few hours in the morning and it has been quite a wet year. Do these factors seem to point to any particular kind of tea or should I just go with whatever I like? I was leaning towards an oolong because the process sounds most interesting.

I'd love to hear from anyone who has done a DIY tea harvest and any tips you have.

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Jul 18th, '13, 06:48
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Re: DIY tea harvest?

by gasninja » Jul 18th, '13, 06:48

Oolong will be a tough tea to make your first time. As well as probably impossible to make with such a small amount of leaf.
I would say your safest bet would be to try a green.

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Jul 18th, '13, 14:25
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Joined: Mar 25th, '13, 23:03
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Re: DIY tea harvest?

by MEversbergII » Jul 18th, '13, 14:25

Red, green, maybe white. Oolong is actually pretty complicated.

You'll need a wok and some tea seed oil for kill green on those last two, though.


Jul 20th, '13, 16:33
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Joined: Jul 5th, '13, 16:54

Re: DIY tea harvest?

by fern » Jul 20th, '13, 16:33

This sounds awesome. Even if the tea isn't great, it will be an fascinating experience. If you try it, I hope you share your experience with us and maybe some photos. :)

Where do you live, if you don't mind telling?

Jul 21st, '13, 07:10
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Joined: Jun 18th, '13, 22:48

Re: DIY tea harvest?

by genushumanusalice » Jul 21st, '13, 07:10

I live in Australia. We do have a small number of tea growers here but most of the Australian tea I've tried is pretty... rough? I have no idea if that is because of growing conditions or lack of skill, or lack of demand for locally grown high quality tea. It is a subtropical region. Not that I think my tea will be high quality, ha!

I'd love to document it and am planning to do so. I'm also planning a move at the moment though but hopefully will still be here in the spring to harvest.

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