Along with a quantity of seeds, we had bought a number of live tea plants that were placed in the orchard. I originally had some trouble with bugs and with a large number of the leaves turning brown. Testing at OSU showed no disease problems they could detect so we placed a heavy shade over them that seemed to help quite a bit. This winter I decided to prune them back to start shaping them.

And, just for fun, I decided to try processing some of the leaves that I had removed. I decided to try black tea first since it seemed the most forgiving ... this from someone who has never processed tea before :-). The pictures show the original leaves, a while after they started wilting, and another after rolling them. I'll dry them later today. If it ends up tasting anything like tea, I'll let you know in a future post :-).

-- A few days later ... I did dry them and tried brewing a cup of tea. Water just below a boil, a quick rinse and then a 30 second steep.

The tea only lightly discolored the water but the taste was strong for such a light tea. I liked it. My neighbor, Tom, liked it. My brother hasn't commented :-). I have to say that using old tea leaves from the middle of winter, and having zero experience processing tea ... I was pleasantly surprised!!

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