How to pick tea?
The tea-producing bush has dark green, thick leaves and produces delicate white blossoms. The finest tea is made from the top two leaves and bud of each of the plant’s shoots. Using other plucked leaves from the sprig will produce a stronger tasting brew.
The camellia sinensis bush
Camellias have been growing here at Tregothnan for almost 200 years. In fact, Tregothnan pioneered Camellia into Great Britain by growing the first ornamental Camellia. Camellia has thrived to such an extraordinary extent that the original introductions are now growing into their third century and still look youthful!
As a result of our expertise in Camelias, it became a natural progression to start growing the first English black tea by planting the first Camelia Sinensis bush in 1999.
Why are our tea bushes from cuttings and not seedlings?
Tea cuttings are taken from specially selected plants that give the best flavour and the resulting plants are identical to the selected parents, also known as vegetative propagation. Seedlings give variable results and are not favoured by the leading tea gardens of the world. However, if you wish to grow tea in cold or challenging conditions then seedlings can give a serviceable tea bush. The flavours of seedling tea are variable and will lack the consistency of tea from cuttings but can prove hardier. The inimitable conditions at Tregothnan include centuries of Camellia expertise and selections for taste, hardiness and good Camellia breeding as well as the soil and microclimate. We will select the form of tea bush that we believe has the best chance of thriving in your location.