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The tea glut?

March 11, 2012

The beloved deposited a large handful of leaves in a bowl. “There you go”,  he said, smiling, “tea. Needs a bit of work before you can drink it and it’ll probably taste awful”. As a selling technique it leaves (ho ho) a lot to be desired. I’m up for a challenge though, so I made myself a cup of  fair trade from India shop tea and investigated further. The beloved said the plant is camellia sinensis, and armed with this information I delved further, surprisingly coming up with a tea plantation on the Tregothnan estate in Cornwall. Maybe growing  tea in Devon’s not so daft an idea after all.

A bit more investigation revealed that there is a lot I have to do with these leaves before they are tea like – I could use them as they are and have white tea, or I could allow them to go yellow and have yellow tea, but where’s the fun in that?  I could wilt, bruise and ferment them and have oolong tea; wilted, but unoxidised is green tea, and post fermented tea is green tea that’s been allowed to ferment. It sounds a bit too complicated especially as I want tea tea.

For black tea I have to wilt, crush, and fully oxdidise  the leaves. This means I have to pick the youngest leaves and buds – not sure if the beloved has given me the best material – and then roll and crush them until they start to turn red. Then I have to leave them for a couple of days (to ferment?) and then I have to dry them in the oven for 20 minutes.

I’ll give it a go, but I’m not expecting miracles.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. March 11, 2012 11:09 pm

    Because I can’t read I just looked at the picture and to be honest Kate you’ve served up tastier looking dinners before.
    I’ve figured out how to blog now, so feel free to follow me (sorry to hijack)

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