The tea plant, scientifically known as Camelia sinensis, is indigenous to China and India. It can naturally grow to over 20 feet high but to keep it
manageable when cultivated, it is regularly pruned back to a height of around three feet.
It is considered best practice to only pluck the tips and the top two layers of young leaves, where the sap and nutrients are most concentrated. We insist on this because we know it is the best way to ensure a fine quality cup of tea. It also stimulates the growth of the bush, increasing the maximum yield.
The perfect environment for tea bushes to grow is in warm, humid environments with good rainfall, and fairly high up at an altitude of between 1,000 and 7,000 feet. The climate dictates whether the bush can be plucked all year round, or if harvest is a seasonal effort.
For example the warmer climates of Africa and Sri Lanka allow all year round production, with higher yields during monsoon periods. In colder climates like the Himalayan foothills, tea yields come in seasonal “flushes”. Varying levels of soil acidity, altitude and climate give distinctively different flavours to the tea leaves.