Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Growing Tea

I am a tea lover. I love coffee too, but there is just something about a cup of tea that is wonderful. My favorites are English Breakfast and Peppermint. There are of course, so many varieties that I think it's probably impossible to try them all. We have a shop in our downtown called The Tea Lady and she sells hundreds (maybe thousands?) of varieties of teas.

Anyway.... the other day when I swiped my mom's Territorial Seeds catalog, I came across a page which said they sold a plant for growing your own tea. What!? My interest was piqued. I acutally think I'm kind of driving my family kind of nuts (at least my husband) because I keep talking about growing my own tea!

Tonight I've been googling growing your own tea plant and here's what I've discovered so far (non-herbal teas):
  • Green tea, Black tea, Oolong tea and White tea all come from the same plant (ha!)
  • The different types of tea come from how you process it after removing it from the plant
  • You can grow it outdoors in Zones 8 and above (but I've found one variety that says you can grow it in the Pacific NW)
  • If you grow the plant from seed, it takes up to three years before you can harvest the leaves for tea.
  • The plant variety is called the Camellia sinensis
Interesting, right?

So I'm thinking I may have to get one - a plant I mean. I don't think I want to wait three years! But I think I can wait one or two (maybe), so I'm considering purchasing that Camellia sinensis plant from Raintree Nursery.

Want to find out some more about it? Here are some of the places I found helpful:
One Green Generation
Growing Tea at Home
The Tea Guy - interesting video of how he harvests the tea leaves
Groovy Green

If I actually DO this, I'll be sure to blog about it. Does anyone else out there grow their own tea?? I'd love to hear about it!

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