Tea plantations, where to collect tea yourself

Collection of tea. Gather the top leaves Gather tea. Gather the top leaves

We went to see the Vorontsov caves and saw orderly rows of bushes along the way. Naturally, I cannot pass by such beauty, especially since I had a hunch that it was tea. Our guesses did not let us down, the real fragrant Sochi tea, and at the very time when it is actively harvested, was the month of May. It is the upper young leaves that are harvested, apparently they are the easiest to process, or go to the most elite types of tea.

We got out of the car and with the children went to see how the tea grows, how the bushes look, and in general to inspect this place. Not far away, horses with small foals grazed peacefully, the children really liked it.

Horses in the tea bushes Horses in the tea bushes

When you rub the leaf with your fingers, you can feel a subtle smell reminiscent of freshly brewed green tea.

We still found a few uncollected tops, either they were not specially collected, or they were missed during the collection. Already at home in Krasnodar, we dried them, brewed them and realized that this is a drink of the highest quality. Black tea is made differently, there is a different manufacturing technology, if you just dry it, you get a semblance of green. In any case, the children will know where everything comes from, how it grows, is collected and prepared to get on our table, or rather in the teapot.

tea bush tea bush young tea leaves young tea leaves

In the distance, we saw several tea pickers, with large baskets behind their backs, they were picking the young tops of the bushes. I did not dare to photograph them, I did not want to embarrass people, now I think that I should have taken them. And so the work is rather difficult and does not end with the collection, then many more stages follow to turn into green and black tea.

picking up tea leaves picking up tea leaves

Each manufacturer and each region has its own recipes on how to make tea richer and with a brighter taste, I will tell you what I heard from the locals.

To make black tea, it must be laid out in the shade or in the sun for several hours until the leaves begin to wither, during this “drying” the leaves are turned over all the time so that the process occurs evenly. The leaves are then rolled up. I once saw how, at home, tea leaves were wrapped in a towel twisted into a tube, and then two people (or one end was clamped with something) twisted the ends in different directions, like squeezing clothes. The tea leaf secreted the remaining juice and upon further drying, the leaf acquired a black color. This process is called fermentation, in factories everything is done clearly differently and more technologically.

Green tea is made a little differently, where the leaf is subjected to light heat treatment or in hot air, or steamed, or by other methods, I can’t say for sure, they didn’t tell me everything and very approximately, obviously not really wanting to reveal their family secrets of making tea raw materials, because this is their income, sometimes the only one.

In general, tea from this region is very much appreciated by drink lovers, to whom I also belong. And of course it was nice to participate in the process of its collection and, of course, enjoy the fragrant tea collected by local residents.

📍village Kalinovoe lake, Sochi

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