Monday, March 17, 2014


Tea plant (Camellia sinensis L) can grow well in the tropics and subtropics.
In tropical regions, tea plants can grow so flourish in areas with altitude about 200-2000 m above the sea level.

Traditional folk plantation
The best shoots are produced on the high land, from the altitude 800-1500 m from sea level.
In the low land areas, generally tea plants only give low yields both of quantity and quality.


This plant need enough sunshine and rain throughout the year, but it needs a little part of shady for the best yield.
We can find so many shade trees on the tea plantations.
The main shade trees are Lamtoro (Leucaena glauca), Glerisidia (Glericidia amaculata), Nimba (Azadirachta indica), Mindi (Melia azedarach), Suren (Toona sureni) and Albizia.

Modern plantation

Tea plants are grown in a single rows.
Plant spacing is 120 x 75 cm, with number of plant is about 11.110 trees/ha.

Fruit and flower
We plant it from cut stems or seeds.
But tea is usually grown from cutting stems.

Traditional Tea nursery
Tea plants can grow up to 6-9 m high (without pruning).
In the tea plantations, the plants are maintained only up to 1 m high with regular pruning .
This was done to make it easier on plucking the leaves and shoots.
With a good maintenance, no flowers also fruits, we must optimize vegetative growth.

Tea plants  need regular fertilizing, pest control, pruning, also obtain adequate rainfall.
The serious problem is Cacar Teh (Blister Blight).


There are so many caterpillars on the tea plant, but have never cause serious problem on the tea plantations.

The tea leaves can be picked regularly since 5 years after planting.
With good maintenance, the tea plant may give a large amount of tea leaves for about 40 years.
The plantations need to be rejuvenated after the tea plants reach 40 years old.

Folk tea plantation
There are two ways of picking the tea , which is fine plucking and coarse plucking.
Plucking the tea leaves is still done by human labor, even in large part by women workers.

Plucking time
The best time on plucking is at the morning or late of afternoon, when the sun shine is not too hot.
To produce good quality tea, we have to do fine plucking; just plucking the shoot with the two leaves below it.

Fine plucking shoot

Coarse plucking often done in some traditional plantations (folk tea plantation); plucking the shoots with three or more leaves below it, including the trunk.

Coarse plucking shoot
Now, we have the shoots and leaves, so tomorrow we will process them.
Have a nice week with your tea...


  1. Are the plants covered some of the time - just wondered when I saw the bamboo framework.

    1. The bamboo frame is used to keep cut stems humid and warm, in order to promote the roots growth. Also protect the seedling from the wind, direct sunshine and rain. We covered the frame using transparent or black plastic. When the seedling already bearing the shoots, we will open the cover. The roof of shady house is enough to keep the seedling from the direct sunshine and rain.

  2. Very interesting, I didn't know that shade was needed. There is some kind of tea grown in our country, I think in South Carolina but the climate is not right for your type of tea. I don't know who would pick it as the government pays people not to work and taxes those who do.

    1. The full sun make the shoots grow slower, darker and harder. It will decline the flavor. Tea plantation is a labors intensive industry.

  3. Interesting post.
    I have been delighted pictures 9 and 10
    Thank you for showing your piece, beautiful country.

    1. In my country there are hundreds tea plantations especially on the highland, and we can see the tea shoots were plucked everyday.

  4. I'm really enjoying that series. Being a keen tea drinker, I've watched several documentaries about tea, but it's much more interesting told by you!

    1. Thanks Magali. I share all that I know and what I see. I'm glad you enjoy it.

  5. Amazing to see tea growing since we don't have any of this here. Beautiful photos.