Agripedia

Growing and Harvesting Tea at Home; Green, Oolong & Black Tea

It’s quite easy to purchase tea from the market, but it’s even more rewarding to grow them in your kitchen garden, terrace garden or balcony. Interestingly, tea is quite easy to grow because it thrives in a variety of climates. In addition you can make several types of teas (green, oolong, or black tea) from the same plant - depending on how you handle the grown leaves. So let’s start!!

Growing a Tea Shrub

The tea shrub is hardy to Mid-West and the Southern U.S. states. The country is divided into hardiness zones with similar temperature and weather patterns. The Mid-West and the Southern U.S. states are in Zone 8. If you don't live in these areas, don't worry. You could try growing Camellia sinensis in a green house, or in a pot that you can bring inside during cold winters.

The Camellia sinensis plant is a small shrub with height about 3-7 feet i.e 1-2 meters, though it will grow taller if you don't trim it. In the fall, your tea shrub will have small flower of white blossoms that have a delightful scent. These plants or shrubs are often grown as ornamentals.

For planting Camellia sinensis, it is best to plant in well-drained and sandy soil that is on the acidic side. Add some sphagnum moss, if you are going to grow your tea in a container and add it to the potting mix. Growing this plant needs patience. The plant should be around 3 years old before you harvest its leaves. You may be able to get seeds at your local nursery.

Harvesting and Processing Tea Leaves

Growing tea is only half the process. Once your tea plant is growing well, then you will have to harvest and process your tea leaves at right time. From your plant, you can make three tea i.e black, green or oolong tea.

Green Tea

How To process tea leaves for green tea:

Pluck the youngest leaves and leaf buds from plant with your clean hands.

Blemish the leaves dry, and let them dry in the shade for a few hours.

Then Steam the leaves on your stove for a minute under low flame. (If you are interested in different flavor, try roasting them in a skillet for 2 minutes instead of steaming them.)

After Steaming Spread the leaves on a baking sheet and dry them in the oven at a temperature of 250 F for around 20 minutes.

At last, Store the dried tea leaves in an air-tight container.

opt tea

Oolong tea

How To process tea leaves for Oolong Tea:

Pluck the youngest leaves and leaf buds from plant with your clean hands.

Spread them on a dry towel under the sun and let them droop for about 45 minutes. This step is called withering.

Bring your leaves inside and at room temperature, let them sit for a few hours.

Make sure to mix the leaves up every hour.

The edges will start to turn red as they begin to dry.

Spread the leaves of the tea on a baking sheet and dry in the oven at 250 F for around 20 minutes.

At last, store the dried tea leaves in an air-tight container.

Black Tea

How To process tea leaves for Black Tea:

Pluck the youngest leaves and leaf buds from plant with your clean hands.

Between your hands roll the leaves , and crush the leaves until the leaves start to darken and turn red.

Then spread them out on a tray, and leave them in a cool place for 2-3 days.This is also called withering.

Spread the leaves of the tea on a baking sheet and dry in the oven at 250 F for around 20 minutes.

At last, store the dried tea leaves in an air-tight container.

Benefits

Green tea is helpful in reducing weight.

Reduces the effect of diabetes.

Green Tea can protect against heart disease.

Green tea can reduce the levels of harmful cholesterol.

The catechins present in green tea also play a major role in enhancing immunity.

The anti-oxidant present in green tea improves digestion.

According to the National Cancer Institute, polyphenols (especially catechins) are responsible for the tea's anti-cancer properties.

The caffeine present in green tea can also play an important role in treating stress. Consuming three to four cups of green-tea a day can reduce stress.

Green tea for longevity.

Green tea reduces the risk of Alzheimer's.



Share your comments


Subscribe to newsletter

Sign up with your email to get updates about the most important stories directly into your inbox

Krishi Jagran Marketing
Krishi Jagran