I have a variety that supposedly has no caffeine, but I don’t have equipment to verify that. Some variety I have(large leaves type) more suitable to be harvested branches vs harvested tips (small leaves type)due to its growth l habit. I can’t tell the significant different in flavor if used fresh (not fermented)
@IL847 I think that the branches and petioles tend to lower in caffeine. They have a sweeter taste compared to leaves a lot of time.
@nil Younger leaves tend to have more caffeine. You can increase caffeine in tea leaves by shading tea. The Japanese do this for several weeks resulting in gyokuro or kabuse cha depending on duration of shade. The flavor profile changes are very noticeable compared to tea grown under the open sky. There are other changes too other than just increased caffeine. These teas are also brewed at lower temperatures for a more pleasing flavor. Different water temperatures result in the release of different sets of compounds from the leaves which affect flavor.
Yabukita is the common variety in Japan. Other varieties are often used to make higher quality shaded teas.
I’ve been playing around with cold hardy Camellias in Central Pennsylvania Zone 6b for about 15 years now. Camellia sinensis is absolutely the hardiest, and easiest to grow, flower, etc. My sinensis are planted on the north wall of an Unheated garage and overwinter beautifully now with no damage, they bloom every year, and the past few years I am getting good seed from them. I have seedlings started from my own seeds. Japonica, Sasanqua, Oleifera, and Hybrids thereof are less hardy than Sinensis. These types suffer extreme dieback in hard winters or are killed outright. Mild winters result in tip die back. These types effectively don’t bloom due to cold. No blooms equals no seed. Some hints to help with hardiness and establishing these. You want to plant out a minimum of a well rooted 2 gallon size plant. You need to plant in early spring only. Every fall you will want to mulch with at least a foot of leaves after you’ve Wilt Pruffed the plant. Planting right next to a house helps. Deer love Camellia and will destroy them given a chance. I have to totally cage some of mine. Camellia are extremely easy to germinate, all my seed came from Camellia Forest. The seedlings are terribly prone to Phytophthora however. Things like Rootshield help more than fungicide in my experience, as does excellent drainage and a very fluffy media. After a few years, your loses to disease will drop to zero. I have made tea from my Camellias and it is quite good. I have a couple of YouTube videos on my channel about Camellias and about making tea .
your link is in your pofile but maybe drop it in the post for easier discovery
That’s amazing that you have so much success in PA with Camellia sinensis. I always figured that the other Camellias were hardier. I’m in Lancaster. Which part are you gardening in? It would be great to grow my own tea in an appreciable quantity.
Homegrown Green Tea- From Camellia to Cup
I’m in Northern York County a few miles from Adams County. Orchard County pretty much
What is yield like with tea? I’d love to grow my own, but here in Z 5/6 it’s too cold to have them outside. So I’d be growing in containers, but I’m not sure how many plants (and how big they’d have to be) to actually get enough shoots to make it worthwhile.
Can anyone give a ballpark yield on usable leaves per container plant - and how many leaves per cup of tea?
When I made my own tea last year, I picked all the tips off of my 3 plants that were each around 4 feet tall and 3 feet wide. That was enough to make probably 4-6 cups of tea, possibly a teapot full. Or, put another way, it was most of a salad bowl of leaves before processing. You could definitely boost productivity by growing in full sun, pinching regularly, and fertilizing often. Mine are grown in shade, not fed, and almost never harvested. I’d think if you pushed the plants to be more productive you could easily beat my yields by 5 or even 10 times.
i notice tea plants have some flowers. can you use them to make tea?
yes, I read there good as tempura
Yes, definitely! Check out this video by Markus Kobelt of Lubera. He’s trying to breed some cold hardy tea for the European climate. In the process he is actually testing which parts of the plants make the best tea. He prefers the flowers to make tea, which is kind of unexpected. In any case this plant seems to be able to grow in much more temperate climates. Although it probably doesn’t yield anything interesting, except for a home scale grower.
Speaking of the flowers being used as tea, quite relevant https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12568558
Regarding caffeine content, per the research it looks like the caffeine content of the flowers is somewhere around 1/4 to 1/8 of that contained in the leaves
I might start using the flowers for tea, for a bit more enjoyable cup towards the end of the day when i’m winding down a bit. The flowers on mine are yet to make seeds so this would seem as good a use as any