Tea Info - About Tea
The tea plant is one of the Camellia family (Camellia Sinensis) which is indigenous to China and India. The leaves are stiff, shiny and pointed, and the flowers, which resemble the buttercup in shape, are white with golden stems. The plant requires a warm, wet climate with at least 50 inches (135mm) of rain a year and well-drained soil. It grows at varying altitudes up to 7,000 feet.
The quality of tea depends on climatic conditions. At higher altitudes the growth of the plants is slower and the crops smaller, but the quality will generally be better. Only the bud and two top leaves from each stalk are picked for processing.
Like wine, each crop reflects the character of the region in which it is grown. Soil, climate, the amount of rain and time of the year the tea is plucked influences its character. China is credited with originating tea cultivation, and tea plants now grow in about 30 countries. However the best quality teas come from Sri Lanka (Ceylon Tea) or India.