The Original Tea Plant
When asking about the origin of the tea plant, tea is generally divided into two source plants or tea bushes.
Camellia sinensis and Camellia assamica:
Thea assamica grows in tropical regions and requires a lot of heat. The shrub can
reach a height of 12 to 15 metres if it is not regularly pruned. The leaves are ten to twelve centimetres long. Amellia sinensis, on the other hand, is smaller and hardier. It tolerates frost, grows four to six metres high when not pruned and has leaves five to eight centimetres long.
The Assam hybrid is a cross between the two source tea plants and is currently the basis for most tea cultures worldwide.
The shrubs are regularly pruned and kept at hip level to preserve the bush during the vegetative phase and to prevent flowering or fruits on the one hand, and to make picking the tea leaves easier for the plantation workers on the other.
Picking requires a lot of care and skill and is therefore mainly carried out by women. About 16–24 kg of green leaves are picked per day on average. This results in 4–6 kg of ready-made tea. Tea grows slower in cooler, higher areas than in the flatter areas. The result is a particularly fine and aromatic character.
There are also many differences in taste. The diverse nuances in the taste of black and green tea range from floral-soft to sweet and lively to robust, tart spices. Decisive for the aroma and cup colour of the tea, besides the plant, are the climate, growing area, location, soil conditions, harvest time and processing. The handling process also determines whether the tea remains green or turns black.