Tea Plants and Farms
We were recently lucky enough to be able to visit China. I was excited, because the trip was primarily a culinary tour, so we would get to taste a variety of Chinese food I had only ever read about in books.
However, when I looked closer at the itinerary, I noticed, along with other cultural icons of China, we would be visiting Longjing Village, the source of Dragonwell Tea, the green tea I had been drinking for more years than I can remember.
As I mentioned, Tea is made from the leaves and buds of a perennial shrub or tree in the Cammelia family, Cammelia sinesis.
In areas of China, tea plantations run up and down the hills in stepped rows.
Above is a closeup of a tea bush. If you look close you can see the buds and final leaves.
Tea is usually made from the first spring buds and a leaf or two of the fresh growth.
Tea is picked, usually by hand, where pickers go from bush to bush and pinch off the bud and first leaf of the spring growth at a certain time of the year, and a certain time of the day.
This is a glass of Dragonwell tea. You can clearly see the buds and leaves of the tea plant in the glass of tea. That is what tea should look like in the glass.