If you are like me, you probably thought that green tea came from the green tea plant. It is green, but that’s all. It actually comes from the shrub, Camellia sinensis variety sinensis, which is either called a plant, a shrub, or a tree. The shrub probably originated in Northeast India, Tibet, and Southeast China.
So, the Camillia sinensis is not called the green tea plant, and as a matter of fact, only about 20 percent of its leaves are used for green tea production. You see, white, green, oolong, black, and pu’er (dark) teas are all made from the leaves of the same plant. The major differences are basically the methods of fermentation and drying, which produce distinct flavors.
The plant is an evergreen shrub which is usually pruned to 2 m (6 feet) or less in height, but can grow to 17 m (51 feet). The leaves are bright shiny green, often being hairy on the undersides.
It grows in tropical and sub-tropical climates. In humid climates it requires 127 cm (50 inches) of annual…