Camellia Sinensis a part of the evergreen family from China consists of glossy green leaves with jagged edges. When it starts flowering, the plant produces small white flowers with bright yellow stamens. Fruits contain a hard green shell and a single, round seed. The seeds are essential for making tea oils. Consisting of three varieties-the Camellia sinensis sinensis , the Camellia sinensis assamica ,the Camellia sinensis cambodiensis,the Camelia Sinensis plant from China are widely used for making white teas, green teas ,some varieties of black teas as well as oolong teas. Grown best on perpendicular mountain slopes, these China shrub can grow upto 15 ft. tall if left untouched. Now lets take a detail into the two varieties of plants:
- Camellia sinensis sinensis (Chinese tea as some people say) is indigenous to China and grows at cool temperatures and high altitudes. Usually grown on mountain slopes, this tea variety is used for make sweeter, gentler teas, including white teas as well as green teas.
- Camelliasinensisassamica better known as the Assam tea or Indian tea originated from the Assam region in Northern India. Climate more tropical with plenty of rain and warm temperatures, produces larger plants and theses plants are further used for making teas like oolong tea, black tea as well as pu-erh teas
- Camellia sinensis cambodiensis, also the third variety of the plant better known as the ‘Java bush.’ are not normally used for tea making but it has been used to hybrid plant cultivars.
The Camellia Sinensis plant consists of tiny tea leaves at the top which are known as ‘flush’ which gets plucked first. Flush here means a tiny portion of the stem with two to five leaves. In rare occasions, the stems and florets of the plant are used.