Monday, May 20, 2013

Growing your own tea by Joyce Lavene

Growing your own tea
by Joyce Lavene
From the Peggy Lee Garden Mysteries 

People around the world have enjoyed tea for thousands of years. The aroma, color and taste have been hotly debated (excuse the pun) and have been the cause of more than one duel!

Tea is made from the leaves of camellia sinensis. This is an evergreen that is cousin to our camellia japonica which produces such beautiful, showy flowers and shiny green leaves.  Camellia sinensis doesn’t have great flowers, but it has something much better.

Legends say that Chinese Emperor Shen Nung made a fire below a tree to heat water one day. Some leaves from the tree fell into his pot. The drink was both bitter and refreshing.  He realized that he had discovered a wonderful new herb  which he called “ch’a” which is the Chinese word for ‘check or investigate’.

Tea plant

Tea became known as the drink that could bring peace and equilibrium to mankind. It became prized throughout the world, demanding fortunes for some blends, until it was imported to Europe where everyone could partake.

Camellia sinensis is still a nice plant with small but pretty flowers. The best part is that you can cut your own tea leaves - green, oolong or black – and create your own special blends.

By Joyce Lavene

1 comment:

Marian Allen said...

Ooo! Really?? What zone? Would it grow in Southern Indiana? The only tea I know of that's grown around here, they bust you for.

Marian Allen
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