A tea tree in my home? Now is the time!
The tea plant (Camellia sinensis), sometimes called simply tea
It is a species of shrub native to the Far East and is related to the horticultural camellias. Its name Camellia sinensis means "Chinese camellia".
- A tea tree in my home?
This is possible even if the tea bushes are sensitive to wind, as it dries out the surface of their leaves and slows down their growth. The optimum temperature for the growth of tea plants is around 18° C. (Its growth stops below 10° C and above 30° C)
- At what period?
Between April and June is a good time to put it in the ground!
- What care?
The Tea Tree prefers an aerated, well-drained, cool soil with an acid pH. A heather soil will be perfect to meet all its needs in trace elements. Line the bottom of the pot (or the spot where the tea plant will be placed) with small stones before pouring in the soil. Take it out from May to October, always in the light (without direct sun) and sheltered from the wind. Water it as soon as the surface of the soil is dry with clear water (it fears limestone). Don't forget to mist the leaves in case of heatwave.
Preferably overwinter under cover in a greenhouse or veranda to protect its leaves. If this is not possible, cover it with a coat so that it can spend the winter peacefully.
- How to make your own tea?
Of course, your harvest will be minimal but it will still allow you to taste your own production! Once a year, I recommend picking the buds and leaves: this is the so-called imperial harvest (the terminal bud and a first leaf) which was reserved for the Chinese emperor.
White tea leaves undergo only two operations: wilting and immediate drying, either in the sun, steam or in a basin. To obtain a white tea ready to brew, let your harvest wither for 24 to 48 hours by spreading it out on a mat. Then I advise you to put it in the oven at about 100°C for 20 minutes.
The resulting tea will yield a very pale yellow liquor after a brewing time of 7 to 20 minutes at 80°C. "I wish you a good tasting"?