Tea Growing Tools

Tea growing tools is not something that needs to be overly complex, but it does need to be something anyone interested in growing even a single bush should be aware they will need. Tea is a delicate drink, but if treated properly can have a strong presence. The same can be said for the plant.

The first tool will obviously be a shovel. Tea does not need to be planted deep, but will need slightly sandy soil with a good acid level. This soil should be loose enough to allow easy root growth, down to a depth of between four and five feet. Most gardeners look at this requirement as extensive, but tea roots are not able to penetrate dense soils and clay can stop the growth downward. This soil must also have sufficient drained, so digging out deep trenches to be filled with soil is advised. Those with access to pots should use a very deep pot with several holes to prevent water build up at the bottom. Tea does not like mud.

Pot grown tea plants that are earthenware are best. The open drain is perfect, so a row of large reddish brown pots in a garden can be a charming and productive feature. Just try to match the depth for plants grown in the ground. If less depth is what you can access, the plant will be slightly smaller. This is not really a problem as you can then use more pots in the same area, thus reducing the chances that you will not have tea if a single plant fails.

The next tool to have at hand is a good sharp pruning shear. Tea in the wild will grow to well over human head height. This is fine if, like some ancient texts on tea harvesting description, you have trained monkeys to climb the trees and harvest the leaves. Most people prefer to trim limbs down to encourage leave growth in an easily accessible level. Tea plants are also lightly fragrant, with gentle blossoms in the fall, so keeping them as decorative highlights is also a wonderful thing to have in a greenhouse or garden if you live where you can give them the proper environment.

Harvesting the tea requires a large basket that has sufficient of an open weave to allow air to circulate without leaves done in between the mesh. Cotton bags with a reinforcing ring of stiff material around the top and bottom also work. The goal is to prevent the leaves from crushing as they pile up. It is better to take multiple trips to where the tea is sorted and discharged than to have damaged leaves at the bottom. Those will produce very poor quality teas.

The area in which the tea gets sorted and spread to dry light can be large screen bottom frames, or even just a simple clean table. With green and white teas, there is either drying by putting in a hot pan and almost dry frying the leaves, or steaming to open the surface of the tea. Darker teas need a way to roll or lightly congratulate the leaves towards the end of processing to provide oxidation. A large piece of canvas works well to allow the leaves to roll back and forth and break without becoming thick mulch.

Storage of the final dried tea is something that can be done in almost any container, but weight of too much tea will make powder at the bottom. Handling the treated tea is also difficult, so a clean natural brush will help keep the leaves and powder where you want it. Funnels with large mouths will enable pouring without dust storms.

Tea is a simple thing and does not require overly complex tools to manage. There is a lesson to learned in that.