Growing tea plants at home
This is one of those subjects that comes up from time to time. I don’t have much to add about it personally, so the post is based almost entirely on input from one of the main nurseries selling tea plants in the US, the Camellia Forest Nursery in North Carolina.
Great! Thanks for the post, I have a couple of small tea plants and I often wonder how I could be looking after them better so will have to give your blog a read.
Those two references mentioned might be more useful than the content there, since there isn’t but much, that mention about humidity level alone might be helpful.
Nice blog post. I remember a TeaDB video where they tried a home grown and processed green tea. They described it as pretty foul tasting. One can definitely grow their own tea plants, but turning it into something drinkable requires skills that few people have.
I only remember seeing a Tea For Me Please blog post about at home processing and she said results weren’t great. It’s hard to say if a good bit of background reading or watching videos could have someone making passable tea within a half dozen tries or not. A couple bloggers not experiencing good results could relate to lots of things; being at the start of the learning curve, not basing attempts on great input, or using leaves without much potential. Or something else; maybe trying to make the wrong kind of tea for that leaf type. As I said in the post I wouldn’t expect anyone to be able to recreate or match their favorite tea, and trying growing tea would seem to need to relate to an interest in the process and making the attempt more than expectation of producing significant amounts of good tea.
Of course it goes without saying that it would be possible to learn difficult skills based on being willing to go through a learning curve. I’ve talked to people who have learned to make good tea, but their path to learning that wasn’t exactly reasonable. I’ve tasted experimental versions of tea too, and was surprised at how bad that could be.
Cool! I’ll have to read over it more thoroughly later! I have a small tea plant I got this summer. So far I haven’t killed it, but I wouldn’t say it is thriving either. Good to know that they go dormant in winter, so maybe I’m not doing as bad of a job with it as I had suspected. I got it mostly for decoration and fun, with no real aspirations to make my own tea. I’ll just stare at it happily while drinking a bath of it’s cousins! LOL!
That tea plant vendor said in a comment mentioned in the post that typical inside air humidity level might stress a plant. It’s the same issue that comes up with pu’er storage. If someone lives in a cold climate it’s normal for heated air to hold very little humidity. It’s not the heating that’s causing that, it’s that cold air naturally holds very little humidity and heating doesn’t put it back in.
A US based tea grower (Jason McDonald, who grows tea in Mississippi and Hawaii) passed on some more input about processing tea leaves at home, and I combined that with earlier material from that post for a TChing submission: