|Modified Tea harvester at Charleston Tea Plantation, |
believed to be the only one in the world
Camellia sinensis or Chinese Camellia is the species whose leaves are used in the production of tea. There are two varieties, a little leaf, used for Chinese tea and the bolder flavored big leaved used to make Assam Tea. Both are processed differently even with in their own groups to attain different levels of oxidation that change the flavors or can be blended just like wine to achieve a desired taste. Some can be cut, brewed or steamed fresh while others are roasted or dried to intensify the flavors. Even the twigs can be boiled to make a tea. The main groups however include, Green, black, white and Oolong teas.
Before you can make your own tea we need to look at how best to grow them so you can start your own backyard plantation even in Northern Virginia. I'll cover the tea making process on a later post once I've had a chance of growing mine on for a bit. Its best to get the plants growing for at least 3 years before you beginning plucking them for a brew so be patience.
|Typical Tea plantation in Asia|
So for now lets get our Camellia's happily growing in the ground and stop for a quick spot of tea. All this writing has worked up quiet a thirst and the civilized thing to do would be to satisfy it. All that's left to say is one lump or two..........Until I write again