Last week the tea was ready to pluck in the garden.
Do you see the tender leaves at the top of the branch.
That is what I pick.
There are a few brown leaves in among the leaves
and I usually pluck and toss those as they are damage from the winter.
There are 6 plants in the garden, but only 2 are mature
enough to pick from; so not alot of a crop.
Still it is fun to sip my own tea from the garden.
I spread the leaves out on my drying basket,
which I bought some years ago in Taiwan.
Then the oxidization begins.
It was an 80 degree day and I found the process
went much quicker than last year on a cooler day.
Then into the cast iron skillet the leaves went at a medium/low temp.
Last year I stirred fried for 20 minutes, but with the
heat I quit at 15 minutes this year.
The flavor was more toasty than last year too,
but still quite pleasant to drink.
I probably got about a 1/2 cup of roasted tea leaves.
Depending on the taste and effect you want
it isn't necessary to roast them, but applying some heat
does stop the oxidization.
For me it is just a fun experiment each year
to be able to say I have my own tea in the cup.
It is very light in color, as you can see.
The finished tea is sitting on the right side of the cup.
Linking to Bernideen at http://blog.bernideens.com/
Don't forget the give-away on Monday's post.