Here at Madura – North of Byron Bay, growing tea and rows of beautifully manicured tea bushes on our eco-sensitive estate is what we do best!
But exactly what type of plant is a tea bush and where does it come from?
Firstly – all tea is made from the same plant! Yes, you read right -all tea, whether it’s black, green or white, comes from the Camellia plant. Very much in the same way that wine is crafted from a grape! Like wine, tea bushes are grown and developed in differing geographical locations with unique characteristics.
The ‘tea bush’ is a rainforest shrub indigenous to tropical and sub-tropical Asia. As a member of the Camellia family, the tea bush produces dark glossy, green leaves and has a delightful, dainty, perfumed white flower.
The tea industry recognises – for commercial reasons – only two forms of tea; the China and Assam (Indian) varieties. When it comes to Madura crafting premium quality tea, we source only the freshest leaves from both the Camellia Assamica and the Camellia Sinensis.
At Madura, we have over 250 000 stunning Camellia Assamica bushes growing on very own eco-sensitive estate – leaving no questions as to why our tea estate is proving to be a very popular destination for weddings and corporate events.
Before we go any further though – let’s clear up the difference between the Camellia Assamica (Assam tea bush) & the Camellia Sinensis (China tea bush):
The Assam tea bush produces large leaves of up to 8 inches and can grow to 55 feet. It is quick growing and loosely branched; the leaves are light green and glossy and renowned for their liquor strength.
Whilst the China tea bush produces small tea leaves and will develop into a shrub of 20 feet if untended. It is a hardy, multi-stemmed slow-growing shrub which is indigenous to China but now cultivated in India, Nepal and elsewhere. The leaves are dark green, glossy and small – measuring between 1 and 4 inches.
The Camellia Sinensis does yield less than the Assamica variety, however, it is highly valued for its unique character and flavour, withstanding hot droughts and severe winters.
For our budding tea-loving gardeners: don’t shy away from including this beautiful plant in your own garden – it makes for an attractive, evergreen glossy hedge that is both hardy and pest resistant and can grow up to 3 metres!
Who needs a ‘sea change’ when you can have a ‘tea change’ – sorry we couldn’t resist!
We welcome you to explore our full range of tea and herbal tisanes.