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growing your own green (or black) tea for caffeine and anti oxidants

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I dont know if this was coveree anywhere before,, but did you know that you can grow your own tea as a caffeine source if coffee gets scarce?

I don't know about anyone ese, but I have tried to quit drinking coffee, but the withdrawal headaches were brutal.  And now that coffee is on the good list for its antioxicants, as is tea, I again feel free to indulge.  I only do a cup or two a day, so even my doc is OK with it.  BUT....what happens if coffee becomes so expensive you cant afford it?  Or the import supply chain fails?  I like an ace in the hole, like any good prepper.  And it is to grow my OWN tea.  

If you look, you will see that the latin name for the tea we drink is camilla sinensis.

Green Tea

Common Names: green tea

Latin Names: Camellia sinensis


Well that is a camillia plant, a relative to the decorative ones that people grow.  The tea plant is not as decorative, its flowers are simpler, and only come in white, and occasionally pink, so it is not as easy to find at the nurseries, because it is not "decorative".    BUT those leaves are the ones that green and black tea are both made of, and contain that medicinal caffeine and anti oxidants.  Green tea is simply picked and dried.  (That is why it is still green...duh...) and black tea is fermented, then dried.  There are many ways to do it and each gives a variation in flavor.  A tea blender is a specialist, like a vintner,  and to do it can take years.

But the University of Hawaii extension service had a manual online telling how to do it, for those brave souls who like to experiment.  Me, I personally plan to start with green tea, its easier.  


You can order tea tree plants online....even Burpees sells them.  Some sites have various strains available, from all around the world.  But I am planting a tea bush among my more flamboyant camellias, as a source of green tea, just in case.  The prepper in me appreciates its dual usefulness as well as its "guerilla effect" in that not too many thieving types would consider stealing camillia leaves, not knowing their utility.   Surprise!  Even Walmart has them online!




Growing Camellia Sinensis


Camellia sinensis can be grown in most moderate zones in the United States. Zones 7, 8 & 9 provide the most suitable outdoor climates althought it can be grown in greenhouses and/or protected areas in colder climate zones or used in containers where you could protect it from severe freezes.

Camellia sinensis will perform well in areas in bright light or full sun with balanced nutrients and plenty of water.
Species Name: Camellia sinensis (Large Leaf - White Flowering cultivars)
Growth Habit: Upright, bushy growth
Bloom Time: Fall
Maintainable Height: 3-4’ or larger
Soil Conditions: Moist, well drained acid soil
Light Conditions: Full sun to part shade

Uses: Containers, landscape & garden plants, screens, hedges, foundation plants Although there are many varieties of Camellia sinensis, the large leaf tea is the most common.

Most of these plants will produce white flowers, although some have been known to have pink tones to full pink flowers. In the fall of each year, the tea plant is covered with small blossoms and later the next spring and summer, you probably will see small seed pods on your tea plants.

Sinensis is an excellent seed-setter. These seeds can be harvested, planted and new seedlings will soon sprout up. Each of these seeds will produce plants that are genetically different from the parent, and will most likely resemble the parent, but this is not true in all cases. Tea can be made from the leaves of Camellia sinensis.



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Now I have a new plant to try out. That is interesting. I have Camellia bushes and the leaves look like the ones in the picture. They have pink flowers. But not the one you are talking about.  I am in zone 4 so not sure how the Camellia sinensis will do. But I am willing to give one a go.

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I grew a couple of tea camellias and was not favorably impressed.  In zone 8, you could do better with yaupon.

(I thought I had posted this before.  I don't know what happened to that.)

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TY Ambergris...I had never heard of it  I think I wil put some of it in too...esp as it is native to the area, and freeloaders will not recognize it as useful and ingestible.  Those are very important in my edible landscaping plans.  Dont wanna grow something and have it stolen. Much better if it is a secret food.  


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I haven't seen that particular camellia sinensis bushes here yet but am looking for them.  I am in zone 4 and hoping when and if I find them, they will grow well around here.  I can't put in a fence right now so thinking as a hedge of sorts to help hide my garden and firewood for the time being till I can get a fence and have food also that no one will know that is what it is. 

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