Green tea: Where in the World
habitat and range for green tea

Camellia sinensis is native to East, South and Southeast Asia, but it is today cultivated across the world in tropical and subtropical regions.

Green tea: A Bit of Botany
a little botanical information about green tea

Camellia sinensis is an evergreen shrub or small tree of the Theaceae family that is usually trimmed to below 2 m (6.6 ft) when cultivated for its leaves. It has a strong taproot. The flowers are yellow-white, 2.5–4 cm (0.98–1.6 in) in diameter, with 7 to 8 petals. The leaves are 4–15 cm (1.6–5.9 in) long and 2–5 cm (0.79–2.0 in) broad. Fresh tea leaves contain about 4% caffeine. The young, light green leaves are preferably harvested for tea production; they have short white hairs on the underside. Older leaves are deeper green.

Different leaf ages produce differing tea qualities, since their chemical compositions are different. White tea, yellow tea, green tea, oolong, pu-erh tea and black tea are all harvested from this species, but are processed differently to attain different levels of oxidation.

common names & nomenclature
The name Camellia is taken from the Latinized name of Rev. Georg Kamel (1661–1706), a Czech-born Jesuit lay brother, pharmacist, and missionary to the Philippines. Carl Linnaeus chose his name in 1753 for the genus to honor Kamel's contributions to botany. The name sinensis means ‘from China’ in Latin.

Also known as:
tea plant, tea shrub, tea tree

Green tea: Cultivation & Harvesting
considerations for growing and harvesting green tea

Camellia sinensis is mainly cultivated in tropical and subtropical climates, in full to part sun, in areas with at least 50 inches of rainfall a year.

Tea plants prefer a rich and moist soil.

Sow seed as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse. Stored seed should be pre-soaked for 24 hours in warm water and the hard covering around the micropyle should be filed down to leave a thin covering. It usually germinates in 1 - 3 months at 23°C. Transplant the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in light shade in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent garden locations when they are more than 15cm tall and give them some protection from winter cold for their first few years outdoors. Seedlings take 4 - 12 years before they start to produce seed. Tea plants can also be propagated by cuttings taken in late summer or early fall.

The tip (bud) and the first two to three leaves are harvested for processing. This hand picking is repeated every one to two weeks. Leaves are dried whole or ground into green tea powder.

Store green tea leaves or green tea powder in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

Green tea: The Rest of the Story
green tea history, folklore, literature and more

green tea—more than a trend
It seems like everywhere you go, green tea is on the menu. It’s in hot teas and added as an ingredient to many other types of beverages. People tout its amazing effects, but is it just a trend?

You may be wondering what green tea is. It’s actually the same plant that black tea is made from, however it is processed in a different way. Black tea leaves are processed by drying them. Green tea leaves are processed by steaming. The difference in the processing preserves the integrity of the nutrients and allows it to provide you with many benefits that will leave you healthier.