I have recently begun experimenting with making tea from the Camellia Japonica, a plant found abundantly throughout the south. The Camellia Japonica is a close relative of the Camellia Sinensis, the plant most commonly associated with tea. The Japonica has been used for tea in the past, “mountain tea” is an old term for tea made from the leaves of the Japonica.
To make tea from the Camellia Japonica:
1. Gather the soft, waxy leaves of the plant.
2. Remove the stems and hand rub the leaves into a bowl.
3. Place rubbed leaves in a dark closet for approximately three days, stirring once or twice each day.
4. Place the leaves in a cast iron skillet and bake 200 degrees for approximately 40 minutes.
The tea has a pleasant, floral taste. Certainly one of favorite teas.