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  • How to Make a Simple Tea Garden at Home

make a simple tea garden

How to Make a Simple Tea Garden at Home

To make a simple tea garden at home is surprisingly easy. It’s easy in a way that you don’t need fancy materials and equipment. There are certain factors to consider though such as the regular climate in your area, the type of soil, and your patience. Even if you don’t have a garden, you can still plant tea or herbs on patios, windowsills, and planters in your balcony.

Growing Camellia sinensis a.k.a Real Tea Plant

At the minimum, tea plant is “hardy to zone 8” while other resources say anywhere between zone 7-9 as weather and climate changes can vary largely in different places. Zone 8 has a typical temperate climate with mild winters. The average temperatures range from 10 degrees Fahrenheit (-12.2 degrees Celsius) to 20 degrees Fahrenheit (-6.7 degrees Celsius). If you live in zone 8, summers are generally warm but nights are cooler. This zone is usually ideal for gardening. Find more about zones here.

The tea plant grows to about 1-2 meters in height but may be taller when not pruned. When you are ready to plant, you have to choose well-drained and sandy acidic soil. Note that it takes around three years before you can finally harvest your tea leaves. This is where patience comes in.

When it’s time to harvest, you still have to process the leaves based on your desired type of tea. During the fall season, small white flowers also appear, and you can harvest and dry them to add more flavor to your tea. The processing can make a huge difference because it determines when a tea plant becomes black, green, or oolong tea.

For black tea

1. Pluck the youngest leaves and buds
2. Roll the leaves; crush them until they become dark and red.
3. Spread the leaves on a tray. Leave the tray in a cool place for 2-3 days.
4. Dry the leaves in the oven at 250 F. Wait for 20 minutes.
5. Store in an air-tight container.
6. Enjoy your tea!

For green tea

1. Pluck the youngest leaves and buds.
2. Steam the leaves on your stove for about 1-2 minutes and run cold water immediately to stop the heating process. You can also try roasting them in a skillet for 2 minutes to achieve a different flavor.
3. Roll the leaves into tubes using your hands.
4. Spread the leaves in a dish then place in an oven preheated to 212-230 F for 10-12 minutes (or heat them at 250 F for 20 minutes).
5. When the leaves are dry and crispy, store in an air-tight container.
6. Enjoy!

For oolong tea

1. Pluck the youngest leaves and buds.
2. Spread the leaves on a towel and let them wilt under the sun for 45 minutes.
3. Once done, let the leaves sit at room temperature for a few hours.
4. Stir the leaves up every hour.
5. Spread the leaves on a baking sheet.
6. Dry the leaves in the oven at 250 F for 20 minutes.
7. Store in air-tight container.
8. Enjoy!

Resource: Spruce

If you can’t get hold of real tea plant seedlings, you can also try growing herbal teas or tisanes such as chamomile, lavender, and peppermint. This is also great if you want to harvest tea faster or no longer want to wait for three years anymore. Come to think of it, when you buy from the store, you don’t exactly know how long the dried leaves have been there. But when you plant and harvest your own, you know you have something fresh that will create a stronger brew.

Take a look at this cool infographic from Fix.com.


Source: Fix.com Blog

Ready to make your own tea garden? Good luck and enjoy it!

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