Tea field on a misty day, after pruning
Some rows are doing better than others. Two rows are doing great.
Low view showing how the tops of the tea plants have been pruned into a hedge.
Tea field, after pruning.
A pruned tea plant. The idea is the aggressively prune them at this age, to give them a strong base and a high degree of branchiness.
Tea field in June 2009 showing strong growth
Harvested tea tips, laying in the sun to wither.
Harvested tea tips, brought inside to begin processing.
Our very first batch of tea, around 160g dry weight. Despite our inexperience, it produced a very tasty green tea.
Field after harvest and full pruning.
Second harvest, Day 1. Early on a sunny morning, going down to harvest, part of the tea field is still in the shadow of the big avocado and bamboo across the driveway
Tea field under the koa trees
So much morning dew on the tea plants!
Dew on the morning tea
The two biggest tea rows, showing all the lush growth since the last pruning, which was just 2.5 months ago.
Freshly picked tea leaves laid out to wither in the sun.
6.5 hours later, all the leaves thoroughly wilted, elastic and supple.
Around 1kg of leaves, brought inside to rest
Ben posing with the harvest (our second)
Close-up. The electric light gives an odd hue.
Day 2: Tea processing. It has rested overnight and now we roll.
Tea processing. After several rollings, laying out with air flow around the resting tea.
Finished orthodox black tea, already dried, being weighed.
Close-up of our first batch of black tea. The pale tips of the leaves have turned golden.
Our first batch of black tea, bagged, just over 300g total.
September tea pruning
Comparison brewing a "commodity" black tea vs. our orthodox hand-rolled loose-leaf black tea
In San Francisco, a shop/cafe selling Hawaii tea (not from our farm, yet)
A pot of our tea brought to Samovar and tasted by the nice folks there
One of Samovar's 3 locations in SF, this one across the street from the Zen Center
View of edge of the tea field, where we are still working up the hill, with some sweet potatoes planted ahead of the tea. Beyond is kikuyu, ti, then cypress and other trees.
it's just an unusual camera angle that makes the tea look really large compared to the ginger and trees beyond..
Harvest #3, a green tea, in the early processing stage in the wok
A little further on, resting between rolling
Tea harvest #3 closeup, finished green tea